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Cannabis Briefs for January 3, 2022

January 3, 2023

•The Food and Drug Administration says it will release its regulatory assessment for hemp and CBD products in the coming months, a move that should clarify the legal status of such products. Hemp and CBD have spent years in legal limbo since they were legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, with the FDA particularly objecting to CBD products meant for oral consumption like food and beverages, maintaining that more research was necessary to understand the potential health effects. While the FDA’s findings are not yet known, the agency’s principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock recently told The Wall Street Journal: “Given what we know about the safety of CBD so far, it raises concerns for FDA about whether these existing regulatory pathways for food and dietary supplements are appropriate for this substance.”

•Google is relaxing its rules around advertising for CBD products, opening up online marketing opportunities for the space. It will update two of its rules, one of which will allow ads for pharmaceuticals containing CBD provided that they have been approved by the FDA. The other will open up advertising to topical products like lotions, bath bombs, and other beauty products. The pilot program will initially limit the ads to consumers in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico and won’t be served to users under 18.

•Legalization activist group NORML released a short list of states to watch in the new year for cannabis reform. Top of the list was Hawaii, where incoming governor Josh Green is pro-legalization, raising hopes of legislative action on the matter. The November midterms flipped the state legislature in Minnesota from Republican to Democratic control; Minnesota’s governor Tim Waltz has said he will sign a legalization bill as soon as it lands on his desk. North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas all have strong potential to enact medical marijuana programs. And in March, Oklahoma voters will decide on a ballot initiative to create an adult-use market following the state’s medical marijuana boom.

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