By Nicolas Jose Rodriguez

President Joe Biden is nominating former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert M. Califf, to lead the agency, once again. Califf, 70, a cardiologist and clinical trial specialist, served as FDA commissioner for the last 11 months of President Barack Obama’s second term. Before that, he spent more than 35 years as a researcher at Duke University, where he helped design studies for many of the world’s biggest drugmakers, reported AP.

“As the FDA considers many consequential decisions around vaccine approvals and more, it is mission-critical that we have a steady, independent hand to guide the FDA,” Biden said in a statement.

marijuana farm

Photo by Jeremy Poland/Getty Images

Califf was among the first FDA officials to publicly acknowledge missteps in the agency’s oversight of painkillers like OxyContin, which is widely blamed for sparking the ongoing opioid epidemic, now driven by heroin and fentanyl.

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The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) lauded the nomination as a needed step toward new leadership at the agency given oversight of consumed hemp products.

“Senate-confirmed leadership at the FDA will enhance consumer safety for cannabidiol and prime the pump to grow a hemp economy that works for everyone,” NIHC spokesman Larry Farnsworth told Hemp Industry Daily.

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If confirmed by the Senate, Califf would oversee decisions that will impact the cannabis industry.

Califf has said nothing publicly about cannabinoids such as CBD.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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