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Home / Business / Cannabis shares thumb as FDA chief departure leaves CBD regulation in limbo

Cannabis shares thumb as FDA chief departure leaves CBD regulation in limbo



Cannabis shares fell across the board Wednesday, when investors weighed the surprise news that the US Food and Drug Administration leader has resigned, abandoning the fate of cannabis ingredient CBD in regulatory limbo.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, well-known for his efforts to stop youth arms, will go down next month after two years in the role. Only last week did Gottlieb say that public meetings will be held once in April to hear from relevant parties on how best to regulate the CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in December 2018 on the farm. The FDA is responsible for regulating the CBD. a non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that was not included in hemp good nationalization due to lack of research on long-term effects on human health.

CBD is widely held to have wellness features and many cannabis companies plan to start food, drink and cosmetics that contain it, but the FDA has said they cannot do so without prior approval. Gottlieb told a hearing before a sub-committee on house grants last week that the FDA should form a working group of experts to inform him of regulatory options for the drug.

The FDA has already approved a CBD-based medication aimed at treating a very serious type of childhood epilepsy, but it was based on traditional clinical trials, a long and costly process that companies would prefer to avoid.

Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Cannabis Law Practice and Vice Chairman of Food and Beverage Practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr and a former regulator at the FDA, said the regulator's position on the CBD has been consistent for years.

"The FDA issued a similar statement after Pharmacode for 201

4," he said. "So this time the folks said," why is the FDA involved? "And" it's a nanny state! "But the FDA has said the same for a while, not because of the CBD's past history of being a controlled substance, but because it was studied in a clinical trial and given approval, and you can't just add a drug ingredient to Foods. "

He noted that Gottlieb has said that the FDA was open to alternative pathways to CBD approval, including allowing only low concentrations in food and drink, and keeping high concentrations for drugs to encourage further research.

Nevertheless, "everyone who follows the FDA regulations knows that this is not a six-month process," he told MarketWatch. "Gottlieb has said to do it fast, the FDA can come back to Congress and say," We may need to delegate another authority or make a new bill. "

If you missed it: Hemp is now legal in the United States, so what does it mean for pot companies?

In Canada, British Columbia's first collection of cannabis tax revenues is expected to reach just $ 68 million next three years, according to data from the provincial minister mentioned in the Vancouver Sun. It is well below the estimate of $ 200 million over three years included in the budget 2018/19. Cannabis sales have gone up to a slower than expected start in Canada after full legalization in October, thanks to early drug shortages after provinces underestimated initial demand and other factors.

Now see: Canada's black cannabis market remains strong in the fourth quarter

In Company News, Namaste Technologies Concerned Inc.

N, -7.37%

said late on Tuesday that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has resigned as an accountant and that it is unlikely to face its March 31 for filing audited accounts.

"The company will continue to evaluate this and will update the market over time," Namaste said in a statement.

Read: How the unstable increase in pot industry has made dime bags a billion dollar business

The news comes just a few weeks after Namaste fired his CEO for cause, after discovering self-trading in the sale of its subsidiary in the US in 2017. The company has launched a lawsuit against Sean Dollinger for damages and disgorgement. The stock is on the over-the-counter market.

For more, see: Canadian cannabis company Namaste's stock glass after CEO is fired for cause

Shares in New Age Beverages Corp.

NBEV, -3.58%

went 4.3%. The firm has said it plans to launch a line of CBD infused drinks in conjunction with the Marley brand created by the family of the late Rastafarian reggae singer Bob Marley.

Elsewhere in the sector, Aurora Cannabis Inc.'s US listed stock was down 1.9%, hiding some of its previous days' gains made after Cowen voted it a top pick in the cannabis sector.

Tilray Inc.

TLRY, -0.57%

was down 0.2%, Hexo Corp.

HEXO, -0.73%

was down 0.3% and Aleafia Health Inc.

ALEF, -5.31%

ALEF, -5.31%

was down 6.1%. OrganiGram Holdings Inc.

OGRMF, -2.29%

was down 3.4%, CannTrust Holdings Inc.

CTST, [1.25%] TRST, -0.92%

was down 1.5%.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC

GWPH, -4.02%

fell 4.6% and Cronos Group Inc.

CRON, -3.88%

CRON, -4.06%

was down 5.1%. Canopy Growth Corp. stock

-2.90%

WEED, -2.73%

wear 2.5%

See: People in states where marijuana is legal eat more cakes and ice [19659002] Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF

HMMJ, -1.89%

was down 1.6% and ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF

MJ, -1.48%

was down 1.8%.

S & P 500

SPX, -0.39%

and Dow Jones Industrial Average

-0.38%

was down about 0.4%.

For all MarketWatch's coverage of cannabis companies, click here.


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