(Updated September 9, 2020) Washington, D.C.—Bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) is being both applauded and rejected by leading industry associations.
The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020 (H.R. 8179) would make hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp, and other hemp-derived products lawful for use unless otherwise directed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a press release from Griffith’s office. “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 statement. “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.”
AHPA, CHPA, CRN, UNPA Express Support
A joint statement issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) said the legislation, if enacted, directs the FDA to use its authority and resources to set a clear regulatory framework for hemp and hemp-derived CBD and assure consumer protection. The statement explained that the legislation would allow hemp and hemp-derived CBD to be legally marketed in dietary supplements so long as manufacturers comply with new dietary ingredient requirements and other Food and Drug Act dietary supplement policies. “This pathway for hemp and hemp-derived CBD products to be legally marketed, would put in place necessary safeguards to protect public health,” the groups stated. “A legal hemp and hemp-derived CBD pathway would also provide much needed certainty to hemp farmers.”
“CRN is grateful for the introduction of this bipartisan legislation,” said Julia Gustafson, Vice President, Government Relations, CRN, in a separate release. “It is critical that FDA allows a legal pathway to market for CBD dietary supplements for the benefit of the agency, industry, retailers, and ultimately, consumers. CRN will continue to work with the bill sponsors and other lawmakers to advance and help pass this critical legislation to ensure consumer safety to the 20 million Americans who use CBD dietary supplements.”
Gustafson added, “Over one year has passed since FDA held its public meeting to better understand hemp-derived substances, and almost two years have passed since the Farm Bill was enacted, legalizing hemp-derived CBD. During this time, the agency has taken no action to legalize this ingredient, facilitating an unregulated marketplace. CRN urges Congress to pass this critical legislation and open the marketplace to CBD dietary supplements, providing FDA enforcement authority over the category to assure consumers have access to safe and beneficial products to support their health and wellness.”
NPA Rejects the Legislation
The Natural Products Association (NPA) issued a a release outlining why it has rejected the legislation, explaining that it fails to set a safe level of daily consumption and “would do more to undermine public trust in the safety of supplement products and do nothing to promote public health.”
Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA, stated, “We support a science-based pathway to allowing CBD in food products, but this is not the right approach and will do more to undermine public trust in the safety of dietary supplements without promoting public health. The Food and Drug Administration already has the authority to regulate CBD products by setting a safe level of daily consumption. Setting a safe level of daily consumption is a better pathway and will do much more than introducing legislation to appease special interests.”
U.S. Hemp Roundtable Urges Action
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable said the bill would “help stabilize the hemp markets, open up a promising economic opportunity for U.S. agriculture and honor our commitment made to farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill,” and noted that the bill is receiving support from a growing list of organizations in hemp and dietary supplement industries, as well as major national retail and farming organizations.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable stressed that despite some opposing views, support for the bill overall is very strong: “The consensus of the hemp and dietary supplement industries is that H.R. 8179 is the right vehicle for ensuring the legal recognition and regulation of hemp-derived CBD,” stated Jonathan Miller, General Counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. “No piece of legislation will ever have unanimous support, but as evidenced by our industry letter to the bill’s sponsors, having the support of the 16 most prominent trade organizations in the space indicates there is broad and deep demand for its urgent passage.”
The Hemp Roundtable released a white paper on H.R. 8179 and issued an action alert, calling on hemp supporters to contact their U.S. Representative to urge lawmakers to co-sponsor the bill. The call to action states: Our online Action Center makes it super easy. Simply click here, fill out our form, and a message pops up with your Congressperson’s email address. Please contact your Representative TODAY. Together we can ensure that hemp farmers, small business, and CBD consumers can benefit from these amazing products.