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CBD business exploding as FDA works to create regulations

Mile High Labs just purchased a 400,000-square-foot, former pharmaceutical facility in Broomfield.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — If you need an indicator of how Colorado’s CBD business is going, look no further than Mile High Labs’ new home in Broomfield. It’s a 400,000-square-foot plant, formerly a pharmaceutical facility, that will soon produce mass amounts of CBD isolate.

“I like to say we have 400,000 square feet of optimism behind us here. We are very confident the FDA is going to move forward in a sensible way,” said the company’s communications director, Christopher Lackner, hopeful about how the FDA will regulate this relatively new product. “We are very hopeful that it will be regulated as a food and dietary supplement and that will allow the industry to move forward in such a way that products you see on the shelf, you can be assured that they’re safe, that they’re quality and that the label actually says what is in the container.”

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Hemp became a legal crop across the country with the passing of the Farm Bill last year. A flood of CBD products entered the market, being used for everything from back pain to anxiety. CBD does not get users high like hemp’s cousin marijuana does.

“As a medical professional, a lot of us are shaking our heads going, show me the data, show me the evidence that CBD oil is safe, show me it’s effective,” said 9NEWS medical expert Dr. Comilla Sasson. “A lot of these over-the-counter products are making the same claims you’d see with a pharmaceutical drug. And I think that’s where it becomes very difficult for the FDA. OK, what is the right amount of regulatory oversight to make sure consumers are really protected?”

Mile High Labs doesn’t make medical claims and also has concerns over product purity and quality. Lackner said they produce “products and ingredients that are incredibly consistent and incredibly pure” in medical-grade labs but that the same can’t be said about some other producers.

The FDA has opened up a public comment period in order to hear from all stakeholders before creating new regulations. Mile High Labs' message to the FDA is “don’t wait.”

“Get regulations on the books now so that consumers and manufacturers alike have a roadmap to success. We have a roadmap to safety and we have a way to make this industry grow and thrive in such a way that both manufacturers and consumers can benefit,” Lackner said.

Public comment is open until July 16. Click here for more information and to weigh in.

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