FDA Commissioner Robert Califf highlights cannabis in his year-end reflection on FDA work.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published an FDA Voices post, which is part two of FDA Commissioner Robert Califf’s reflection on his one-year anniversary with the FDA.
An entire section was devoted to cannabis. Or, more specifically, “Cannabis and Its More Than 30 Derivatives.”
Califf expressed gratitude to Janet Woodcock, as she has “taken on this issue, developing novel approaches to regulation in the face of controversy that has caused others to shy away and ‘kick the can down the road.'”
Many in the cannabis industry have said that the FDA is doing just that, kicking the can, or punting, on the CBD rules that the Administration was charged with creating after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. In January, as Cannabis Wire reported, the FDA announced that it would not be establishing those rules after all. Instead, it would turn to Congress.
“We are addressing cannabis and its more than 30 derivatives by seeking a new regulatory pathway that can provide access, safeguards, protection and oversight in ways that existing pathways cannot,” Califf wrote in his reflection.
+ More: Read Cannabis Wire’s exclusive Q&A with Norm Birenbaum, the FDA’s top cannabis advisor.
NIDA will meet to discuss medical cannabis registry.
Last summer, Cannabis Wire reported that the National Institute on Drug Abuse was seeking applications to “develop and maintain a medicinal cannabis use registry to assess the medical conditions reported as reasons for using medicinal cannabis, how and what products are being used, and the associated medical outcomes.”
The RFA continued: “The goal of this registry is to inform research, policy, and clinical recommendation practices on medicinal cannabis, associated conditions, and outcomes.”
It also pointed to challenges posed by the “great heterogeneity” in state laws that have different qualifying conditions, and by the wide range of cannabis products, from vapes to gummies, which the notice called “varied” with “not well-enforced labeling policies.”
Applications were due in November. And now, the review process is set to commence, starting with a “scientific merit review” in March, an “advisory council review” in May, and a “start date” as early as July.
To that end, Cannabis Wire spotted in the Federal Register last week a “notice of closed meetings” that includes one on March 24 “to review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications” for this RFA.
+ More: While cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, NIDA has increasingly pushed for more cannabis research, as Cannabis Wire has reported.
NYS Dept. of Health survey touches on cannabis and alcohol.
The New York State Department of Health recently published the results of its annual chronic disease public opinion survey.
The survey responses showed that New Yorkers think alcohol far more of a concern for public health than cannabis.
• 77% of respondents “think that alcohol consumption is either a very or somewhat serious public health problem”
• 46% think “marijuana or cannabis use is either a very or somewhat serious public health problem.”