A recently introduced piece of legislation has the CBD and hemp industries excited that there might soon be a legal pathway for marketing CBD and other hemp-derived products. The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Protection Act of 2021 was reintroduced last week by Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Morgan Griffith, R-Va., with 17 co-sponsors.
The legislation, which had been introduced in the previous Congress, would direct the Food and Drug Administration to outline a clear federal regulatory framework for hemp and hemp-derived products. The legislation, if passed, would allow CBD and other cannabinoids to be lawfully marketed as dietary supplements and require manufacturers to comply with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.
CBD and similar hemp-derived substances have been in something of a regulatory limbo since the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, with industry associations calling on the FDA to allow CBD to be marketed as a dietary supplement and be regulated as such.
“During this time, the CBD marketplace has experienced heightened consumer interest, increased sales and expanded product innovation, all with no action taken by the agency to legalize this ingredient in dietary supplements,” said Julia Gustafson, vice president of government relations at the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
The Trump administration made it as far as planning a draft guidance on cannabidiol enforcement that has been withdrawn amid a wider review of new and pending rules being undertaken by the Biden administration. Industry proponents of the bill said that it would help ensure product safety.
“We’re encouraged that this legislation was re-introduced so early in the new Congress and hope it remains a priority for lawmakers given the intense consumer demand and commercial interest in CBD-containing products,” said Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “The continued lack of regulatory clarity along with insufficient oversight around hemp and hemp-derived CBD has led to bad actors entering the marketplace, exposing consumers to potentially unsafe products that may lack consistency in product quality.”
CHPA and CRN are among a broader network of farmers, industry and trade associations who have backed the bill, including the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, American Herbal Products Association, Alliance for Natural Health, Citizens for United Health, Hemp Alliance of Tennessee, Hemp Industries Association. Midwest Hemp Council, National Cannabis Industry Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Grocers Association, Texas Hemp Coalition, United Natural Products Alliance. U.S. Hemp Authority, U.S. Hemp Building Association, Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, and We Are For Better Alternatives.
“Products containing hemp-derived CBD have been proliferating in the marketplace. Due to continued FDA inaction, more consumers are at risk every day of unsafe or illegal products that are poorly manufactured, incorrectly labeled, or illegally deliver THC or other adulterants,” CRN’s Gustafson said. “Concurrently, responsible CBD companies that adhere to federal regulations and produce and market safe and beneficial CBD dietary supplements are forced to share the shelf with disreputable companies that compromise public safety for profit. For the benefit of FDA, industry, retailers, and ultimately consumers, CRN urges Congress to pass this legislation and open the marketplace to CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoid dietary supplements.”