A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill to ensure that cannabis-derived CBD products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but the same day Republican lawmakers announced they would hold hearings to investigate the agency’s refusal to regulate cannabinoids after cannabis legalization five years ago.
In 2018, Congress legalized hemp farming and commerce by passing the Farm Bill that year. Since then, however, the FDA has refused to regulate the use of hemp-derived CBD in food, beverages and dietary supplements, announcing in January it would not do so without additional legislation from Congress.
On July 20, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Markley, along with Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, introduced the Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act, a bill that would direct the FDA to regulate hemp-derived CBD as an ingredient in food, beverages and dietary supplements. In a joint statement, a bipartisan group of lawmakers characterized the development as “an essential action to protect consumer safety and treat hemp producers fairly.”
“Despite nearly five years of legal cultivation in the United States, hemp and hemp-derived CBD remain in a regulatory gray zone, endangering consumers and holding back producers.” Wyden said said in a joint statement by lawmakers. “FDA claims we need congressional action. We created legislation to ensure equal and safe access to hemp-derived CBD.”
Federal Law Restricts CBD Use
Currently, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits new nutritional ingredients, foods, or beverages from entering the market if they are studied or approved as drugs. The FDA has the power to exempt items from this ban, but has not yet exempted hemp-derived CBD, despite congressional moves to legalize the manufacture and sale of cannabinoids. By exempting hemp-derived CBD from the ban, the Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act will allow the FDA to regulate hemp-derived CBD like all other new dietary ingredients, foods and beverages.
If you pass law This will give hemp-derived CBD products the opportunity to be used in dietary supplements, foods and beverages under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The bill also includes provisions to prioritize consumer safety by requiring manufacturers to comply with all existing federal regulations for products containing CBD and to ensure that such products are properly labeled.
Paul, who spent more than 15 years as an ophthalmologist before being elected to the U.S. Senate, noted that many consumers are already using CBD products for their acclaimed health and wellness benefits.
“Hemp-derived CBD products and businesses have gained market recognition, but unfortunately the FDA does not treat them the same as other food additives and dietary supplements,” Paul said. “The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act directs the FDA to properly regulate hemp products and provides significant relief to hemp farmers, processors and sellers.”
This bipartisan bill is backed by stakeholders in the hemp and CBD industry, including the Oregon Farm Department, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association (WSWA), Ballot Hemp, Herbal Products Association of America (AHPA), Hemp Industry Association (HIA), National Hemp Growers Association, Realm of Caring, United States Hemp Administration (USHA), Veterinary Cannabis Association, Midwestern Hemp Council, Colorado Hemp Association, and Kentucky Hemp Association. , Georgia Hemp Association, iHemp Michigan, Virginia Hemp Coalition.
“This bill provides a much-needed pathway for the FDA to establish a clear and consistent framework for the production, marketing and sale of hemp-derived CBD to ensure consumer safety and promote the prosperity of regulated markets,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the US Hemp Roundtable, a trade group. “We look forward to supporting his efforts and thank him for his years of commitment to unlocking the full potential of the hemp industry.”
Michigan legislators to hold public hearings
Also on Thursday, Michigan Republican Rep. Lisa McClain, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health and Financial Services, scheduled a hearing to investigate the FDA’s refusal to regulate the use of CBD in dietary supplements, foods and beverages. The hearing, entitled “Hemp in the Modern World: Long Waiting for FDA Action,” will be held on Thursday, July 27, at the Rayburn House office building.
“For too long, the FDA has failed to meet its mandate to ensure the safety of legalized hemp-derived products.” Mr McCain said in a statement Thursday. “Without these regulations, safe and trustworthy CBD products could be prevented from reaching the market while dangerous products are on the market.