When you think of the relationship between marijuana legalization and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the immediate thought is not one of peaceful coexistence. That’s not to say that overlap would be detrimental to progress; in fact, it’s doing the exact opposite.
Karen Tandy was recently appointed to a CBD industry panel.
Karen Tandy, who was the first female DEA chief and led the organization from 2003 to 2007 under President George W. Bush, was recently appointed to a CBD industry panel. She joined the former mayor of Oklahoma City, Mike Cornett, former Boston Police Department commissioner Edward Davis, Digital Citizen Alliance executive director Tom Galvin, and former Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner Michael Taylor.
The advisory board, proposed via the Consumer Brands Association (CBA), seeks to make recommendations for quality assurance in the CBD industry. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies look to the CBA as a point of reference for safety and processing regulations.
Industrial hemp has been legal in the United States under the 2018 Farm Bill, thus removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. The passing of this legalization put the onus on individual states to monitor the industry, as opposed to the DEA. Although a good idea, in theory, this industry is becoming too large for state law ambiguity.
“The individuals that we have assembled have decades of experience in tackling issues like the one we face today — the smart regulation of CBD,” said CBA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “Each of the advisory board members brings a unique perspective that will be crucial in helping inform and guide the CPG industry’s advocacy approach on this rapidly evolving issue.”
The hope for this advisory board is to work through strategic oversight and leadership issues within the CBD industry. Additionally, the Consumer Brands Association is hoping funds are allocated to further research on the effects of CBD and the inner workings of the FDA’s regulation of CBD-infused consumer products.
The board is hopeful that, in the event of a surge in CBD-related product consumption, each board member’s unique viewpoint will aid in making sure the products flying off the shelves are closely monitored for quality.
Tandy is an excellent addition to this board, based on her government expertise; she has been outspoken about cannabis control in the past, though, and is well-known for her cynicism and critiques of medical marijuana. She has also stated that cannabis advocacy groups were funded by illegal drug money. She fits in well with this group of governmental appointees, and hopefully, the CBD industry and those who work within it will reap the benefits of imposed quality regulations.
“Federal regulators and law enforcement need the necessary resources to ensure any CBD that enters the marketplace is safe, regulated, and not entering through the hands of bad actors,” Tandy said.
In a $2 trillion industry, understanding consumer tendencies is the key to managing a changing market like CBD. Monitoring quality assurance, especially in the cannabis and CBD industry, one that is nearly synonymous with illicit activity and “drug” connotations, is a considerable step toward legalization efforts.