Washington, D.C.—Representative Collin Peterson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced legislation today that would provide FDA with the flexibility to allow hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) to be marketed in dietary supplements, according to a press release. The bill would also require a study and report from USDA, which oversees the production of hemp, on the regulatory and market barriers for farmers engaged in hemp production.
“The last two Farm Bills were landmark successes for hemp, but we are still very early in this process, and growers need regulatory certainty,” said Peterson. “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.”
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This bill comes after Congress failed in December to pass legislation that would appropriate $100,000 for FDA to perform a Health Hazard Evaluation on CBD; Congress instead created a conference report directing funding for research, policy evaluation, market surveillance, and enforcement discretion related to CBD. The absence of clear federal guidance is creating country-wide confusion: In May, a North Carolina woman prescribed CBD by her doctor was arrested in Florida; In December, a retailer in Iowa was arrested for selling CBD; and the New Jersey Senate in November passed a resolution asking Congress for safe CBD legislation. Consumers are equally confused, according to a poll from the Natural Products Association which found that 51% of Americans don’t know CBD is illegal.