Congressmen on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation to allow cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp-derived products to be marketed and sold as dietary supplements — a change that would reinforce legal status for retailers across the country.
The proposal, sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), is one part of an ongoing effort by the federal government to find a alternative path for hemp and its derivatives after they were broadly legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
The new bill validates that Congress wants to see federally regulated CBD and other hemp products made available to American consumers.
“Hemp was historically an important crop for Virginia farmers, and dietary supplements made from it do not possess dangerous addictive qualities,” Griffith said in a press release. “Nevertheless, the current state of regulation creates confusion about its legal uses. I joined this bipartisan bill to provide certainty for hemp farmers that their crop may find legal uses.”
While the 2018 agricultural legislation allowed the production and sale of hemp under state-approved programs, the federal regulatory framework for products derived from the low-THC version of the cannabis plant has frustrating businesses and law enforcement. In a letter sent last year to the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lawmakers criticized that the agency’s current regulatory posture on CBD has created significant regulatory and legal uncertainty for participants in this quickly evolving industry.
Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020
The legislation, titled the ‘Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020’ would mandate that ‘cannabidiol derived from hemp, and any other ingredient derived from hemp shall be lawful under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act’ (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement.
Hemp-derived dietary products would still be required to comply with federal requirements on packaging and labeling under the proposal — as well as FDA rules regarding new dietary ingredients.
“Enabling CBD to be lawfully marketed as dietary supplements and mandating that manufacturers comply with the entire existing regulatory framework for dietary supplements would create immense confidence in hemp and CBD products, and would provide great opportunity for hemp farmers across the nation,” added Jonathan Miller, the organization’s general counsel. He predicted the market for products extracted from hemp would exceed $10 billion within a few years.
Separately on Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will reopen a public comment period on hemp production and testing, seeking additional feedback on topic areas such as interstate commerce, breeding, and testing methodology.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is confident that after the new comment period, USDA will arrive at a definitive rule that hemp farmers and industry can embrace.