Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, surprised the country – and the cannabis industry – by announcing his plans to resign in the very near future.
Gottlieb was sworn into leadership of the FDA in May of 2017 and was regarded as a quiet yet effective leader. He was also seen as one of the “superstars” of the Trump Administration. Within the cannabis industry, he was viewed favorably and he seemed to have a thorough understanding of the challenges facing the CBD supplement industry.
He was willing to working with various trade associations to find common ground. On multiple occasions, Gottlieb discussed creating a “pathway” for CBD to be used as a dietary ingredient. With his impending departure next month, many in the industry are questioning whether this will stall progress, or even end it completely.
President of the American Herbal Products Association Michael McGuffin described Gottlieb as the “most engaged commissioner” he’s had the pleasure of collaborating with in the decades he spent working for the supplements industry. “No other commissioner has embraced the agency, and his public role, anywhere near as effectively as Scott Gottlieb,” McGuffin said.
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In his resignation letter, Gottlieb wrote: “I’m fortunate for the opportunity that the President of the United States afforded me to lead this outstanding team, at this time, in this period of wonderful scientific advances. There’s perhaps nothing that could pull me away from this role other than the challenge of being apart from my family for these past two years and missing my wife and three young children.” He also made sure to thank them for their sacrifices over the last couple of years while he was on the job.
While Gottlieb was making progress towards this cause, a new commissioner might take a very different approach and not be willing to work with the CBD and cannabis industry at all. Needless to say, this is a huge concern for everyone involved – businesses, patients, and consumers alike.
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