CBD Task Force Leader Resigns from FDA

Cannabis Plant
  • Dr. Amy Abernethy, who serves an important role for both the FDA and CBD Working Group, has announced she is leaving the FDA.
  • This move will likely further the delay for CBD regulation, as the agency is still waiting for President Biden’s new nomination for a permanent FDA commissioner.
  • Dr. Abernethy will be leaving the FDA in mid-to-late April.

The road to CBD regulation just got longer with the resignation of Dr. Amy Abernethy; Principal deputy commissioner and acting chief information officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as a CBD task force leader.

Abernethy has been working for the FDA since February 2019, and was the leader for the agency’s CBD Working Group, which was created to:

  • Address knowledge gaps surround CBD products
  • Create potential paths for CBD products to be marketed lawfully
  • Investigate the impact of CBD products on public health

In November of 2020, Dr. Abernethy announced that CBD research was a top priority for the FDA, and that the agency was “exploring how additional research can be quickly performed and do so efficiently in order to address critical questions of safety and effectiveness of CBD.”

Abernethy also mentioned the FDA is “committed to advancing hemp products with available regulatory pathways, and we are further exploring what additional steps may be appropriate for hemp products, such as those containing CBD, to protect patients and public health, foster innovation for safe products and promote consumer confidence.”

The FDA is currently working with an increased workload due to the pandemic, and President Biden has yet to nominate a permanent FDA commissioner. Therefore, Abernethy’s unfortunate exit means that CBD regulation will likely continue to be delayed.

Abernethy is officially leaving the FDA in mid- to late April.



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