As those of us who have been operating within the weird parameters of the United States medical cannabis industry know, there has always been a lot of gray areas. Let’s say, for example, the fact that the plant is still very much federally illegal. Especially now with Jeff Sessions and his somewhat archaic understanding of the plant’s benefits. Now, the FDA Commissioner is hinting at cracking down on medical claims posed by cannabis companies across the nation.
“I see people who are developing products who are making claims that marijuana has antitumor effects in the setting of cancer,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said at a hearing before Congress on a separate matter. “It’s a much broader question about where our responsibility is to step into this.”
Certainly, we can agree that making false medical claims is bad for both sides. On the hand of cannabis activists, false medical claims put us back into the age of being called charlatans. Might as well be selling snake oil. For the anti-cannabis crusader, it poses a risk to the general public solidifying their hate for the plant and its flowers. Both sides of this coin can agree that false medical claims should not be spewed from the mouths of essential oil ladies or medical cannabis brand labels.
“We’ll have some answers to this question very soon because I think we do bear some responsibility to start to address these questions,” Gottlieb said.
While both sides agree, there is an issue posed in the fact that cannabis hasn’t had its fair show in terms of research. In many cases research has been barred because of the Schedule 1 status of the natural plant. When research looking into the medical benefits of cannabis has been allowed the product wasn’t comparable to that which is sold in recreational and/or medical markets.
Without the ability to properly understand the chemical compounds and healing properties at the level of science-based research we cannot understand if it is or is not medically beneficially to the public. This is why conservative octogenarian Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah – R) introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 onto the Senate floor last month. He first signed the bill over a year ago and hopefully soon it can help us to further research and understand exactly how this plant can help people heal.
Until then, brands should be conscious of exactly what type of claims and statements are made regarding their products. In states like Washington, the Liquor Control Board (LCB) monitors these claims. For brands operating in California, it’d be smart to get prepared and start abiding before the laws come into effect.