One hemp industry organization is hopeful that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) most recent hire could lead the federal agency to regulate CBD.

FDA named Norman Birenbaum as senior public health advisor at the agency’s Center for Regulatory Programs Sept. 26.

U.S. Hemp Roundtable (USHR) General Counsel Jonathan Miller said that the FDA’s appointment of Birenbaum leads the USHR to be hopeful that it “signals a positive step forward for the regulation of hemp-derived cannabinoids such as CBD.”

From 2016 to 2019, Birenbaum acted as the “Cannabis Czar” for Rhode Island, where he oversaw the state’s medical cannabis and hemp programs, as well as created the state’s Office of Cannabis Regulation. In December 2019, he was appointed as the director of Cannabis Programs for New York State, where he supervised the regulation and policy development of the state’s medical cannabis and hemp programs.

Birenbaum is also the founding president of the Cannabis Regulators Association, which is a non-profit national organization of cannabis regulators “that provides policymakers and regulatory agencies with the resources to make informed decisions when considering whether and how to legalize and regulate cannabis.”

Miller said the USHR enjoyed working with Birenbaum on developing the regulatory framework for New York’s hemp program and that the organization looks forward to “working closely with him on the development of regulatory framework for CBD products to ensure consumer safety and product quality across the country.”