Hemp Marketers Remain Bullish on CBD Following FDA Approval of Drug

U.S. marketers of hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) remain optimistic over their livelihood even after FDA approved a medicine that some regulatory and legal experts predict will spur FDA to take additional enforcement actions against companies selling the compound in dietary supplements.

In interviews, several hemp advocates said they remained bullish about the market for CBD following FDA approval of a drug to treat seizures associated with rare and severe forms of epilepsy.


Bob Hoban is a Denver-based attorney who sued the DEA on behalf of the Hemp Industries Association and other petitioners to invalidate a new drug code for marijuana extract. Although a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the petition on April 30, 2018, Hoban characterized the ruling as a “homerun” in hindsight.

Cannabinoids like CBD, he said, have never been scheduled. Moreover, he referenced language from the Ninth Circuit’s decision in which the court observed, “The Agricultural Act contemplates potential conflict between the Controlled Substances Act and preempts it.”

“That makes it very clear that hemp-derived products—including cannabinoids—are not controlled substances at all,” asserted Hoban, a managing partner at Hoban Law Group, a firm focused on cannabis business issues.