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Evolving Regulatory Climate Signals New Potential Step for CBD Products

NEW YORK: Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held its first-ever public forum on cannabis and its derivative, CBD or cannabidiol.

The FDA's decision to hold the meeting comes after the government approved the U.S. Farm Bill, allowing for the possession, cultivation, and sale of hemp-derived CBD products. The FDA held the meeting in order to better understand and evaluate the efficacy of CBD, potentially allowing producers to add CBD into food and beverages as the agency has strictly stated that CBD currently cannot be added into food and beverages because it is still considered as a drug. However, given the strong public interest, the former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that he is willing to hear opinions and research on the matter.

Over a hundred speakers, which included researchers, health professionals, and politicians, voiced their opinions on the scientific background of CBD. Researchers have long argued that CBD can be effectively used to treat a variety of medical ailments such as cancer, chronic pain, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and notably, epilepsy. Notably, in 2018, the FDA approved the first-ever cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy among children. Following the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill, many retailers and online vendors began to sell CBD-based products. In the beginning, mostly local businesses sold these hemp-derived CBD products, but shortly after, major international corporations such as Walmart and Amazon also began to carry CBD products that are geared towards health and wellness. Looking back, regardless of concrete regulatory approval, the CBD industry has made significant progress throughout the past year.

Moreover, researchers and medical institutions are continually evaluating and studying CBD in efforts to launch large scale clinical trials, potentially leading to the broader approval of CBD. According to data compiled by Ameri Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 14.3 Billion in 2016. By 2024, legal marijuana global sales are projected to reach USD 63.5 Billion while exhibiting a CAGR of 21.1% from 2017 to 2024. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTC PBIO), iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTC ITHUF) (CSE IAN), 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE XXII), The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ WTER) (TSX-V WTER), Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ SRNE)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has long been an advocate for CBD. The organization released a report last year which noted that CBD is safe and is not associated with any negative public health effects. Additionally, the WHO highlighted that CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found within the cannabis plant. While the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce analysts cited the WHO's report, they mentioned that there is still a lack of data in order to progress further. On the other hand, CIBC acknowledged that there is a strong growing demand for CBD, citing a speaker from at the hearing from that suggested there are about 65 million Americans who have tried CBD and 63% found it effective, according to MarketWatch. While many reputable CBD supporters praise the benefits of the compounds, most agree that there is still a need for testing and safety standards. CIBC said that it expects to hear more clarification from the FDA within the year. In the meantime, companies and researchers are expected to continue advancing and developing clinical trials to undermine the floating misconceptions and stereotypes regarding CBD. Predicting the future of cannabis isn't the easiest thing to do, but there are certain things that we know for a fact will happen/change, said Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Blinc Group. The first being that Cannabis will come off Schedule 1. The majority of the industry doesn't think this will happen within the current administration but we believe it will happen sooner than later. This will lead to a more mainstream approach to compliance and the involvement of organizations like the FDA, if they are given a mandate. Then will come a regulatory framework and we'll be confronted with inconsistencies regarding state-level and federal regulations.

Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB PBIO) announced earlier in April that it had, released a new, short video demonstrating the ability of the Company's proprietary Ultra Shear Technology (UST) platform to create water-soluble CBD oil that disperses instantly, resulting in improved dosing effectiveness, enhanced absorption, and more aesthetically-pleasing products when added to carbonated soft drinks, vitamin-infused sports drinks, and beer.

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Evolving Regulatory Climate Signals New Potential Step for CBD Products

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