Former Rhode Island, New York marijuana regulator tapped for FDA job

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Norman Birenbaum, a former head of marijuana programs in Rhode Island and New York, has taken a job as senior public health adviser for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Birenbaum will work with the Center for Regulatory Programs on projects involving cannabis research and marijuana regulations, NEC News Today reported.

From 2016 to 2019, Birenbaum worked as the top cannabis regulator in Rhode Island.

He then was appointed the first director of cannabis programs for New York state in December 2019.

While in the New York post, Birenbaum oversaw the implementation of regulations that allowed CBD and other cannabinoid hemp-derived products to be sold as a food, dietary supplements or beverages in the state.

That experience might help the FDA create rules to include CBD in foods or dietary supplements.

The agency is under fire from congressional members for being “deficient in the execution of responsibilities given to it by law.”