New Hemp-Derived CBD Bill Could Open Pathway For Hemp Products

A bipartisan bill to allow hemp-derived CBD to be marketed as a dietary supplement has the potential to resolve the stall in federal CBD regulations.

A bipartisan bill could be the key to unlocking federal guidelines to hemp marketing and regulation. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced legislation this week to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the ability to allow hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) to be marketed as dietary supplements.

“The last two Farm Bills were landmark successes for hemp, but we are still very early in this process, and growers need regulatory certainty,” stated Peterson in a press release. “This bill will allow FDA to regulate CBD that comes from hemp as a dietary supplement, providing a pathway forward for hemp-derived products. It would also identify barriers to success for hemp farmers, informing growers and policy makers of the challenges facing this new industry.”

In May 2019, the FDA held a public hearing on hemp and the following July the agency pledged to expedite the regulation process. However, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated during an event televised by C-SPAN that the regulatory process would take several years.

Peterson, who serves as Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, may have found a way to potentially force the FDA’s hand in establishing regulations. Peterson’s bill amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to include CBD in the definition of dietary supplements.

The bill, H.R. 5587 also mandates a study and report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that oversees the production of hemp, on the regulatory and market barriers for farmers engaged in hemp production.

CBD is an all-natural compound found in the cannabis plant that interacts with the body’s native systems to promote balance and wellness. CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana but is completely non-intoxicating.

Bipartisan Support for CBD Regulation

In a Hemp Industry Daily report, Eric Steenstra who serves as president of advocacy group Vote Hemp suggested that bipartisan support is a strong indicator that lawmakers are tired of waiting for the FDA to make a definitive move on hemp-derived products. The bill’s co-sponsors are Thomas Massie (R-KY), James Comer (R-KY) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME).

“I think it’s an acknowledgment of the reality that in failing to act, the FDA is leaving what has become a largely unregulated marketplace,” Steenstra told Hemp Industry Daily.

“The FDA had a hearing more than eight months ago. They received over 4,000 comments, all overwhelmingly positive, and they have yet to step up and acknowledge that products are out there everywhere and that they should be overseeing the companies that are making them and making sure that they’re following existing guidelines for dietary supplements and foods.”

More on Hemp

Hemp was removed from the list of federally controlled substances with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The act officially legalized the commercial production of hemp and tasked the FDA with regulating hemp-derived products.

The FDA is responsible for regulating any product marketed as having natural effects. As many CBD oil products are purchased for health and well-being, it’s up to the FDA to establish rules on regulations on those products.

Hemp in the News

Follow our cannabis politics news feed to learn more about developing policies on hemp and marijuana. To read more about the latest news in cannabis business and scientific research, visit our cannabis news page.