Marijuana, THC, and the US FDA – What Does Increasing Legalization Mean for Food, Drugs, and Dietary Supplements?

Colorado made headlines this past week when its decriminalization of marijuana went into effect. Since that time an increasing number of calls and e-mails rushed in to ask what the FDA position was and if foods, dietary supplements or drugs could contain cannabis. The short answer is no. For federal purposes marijuana remains a schedule I controlled substance deemed to have no medicinal value. The decriminalization either fully or for medical applications by states has not changed the status.

THC has a limited application as an FDA-Approved medication in clinical trials. In clinical trials it was shown to have a therapeutic benefit for relieving nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and stimulating appetite in patients with wasting syndrome (severe weight loss) that often accompanies AIDS. To date the evidence from the clinical trials falls short of the standard needed for

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Marc is dedicated to helping his clients navigate the complex world of FDA and USDA legislation. He represents FDA-regulated companies in the food, dietary supplement, beverage, cosmetic, medical device, and drug industries.

Marc is the author of two textbooks and a lecturer at Northeastern University. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the D.C. Bar Association.

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