1 in 7 adults use CBD products. Cannabidiol has countless mind and body benefits and it’s even helping individuals with rare forms of epilepsy. So, what’s the hold up? The law.
Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been exploring whether to create a legal pathway for CBD in food and supplements, the agency has not initiated a formal rulemaking. To get things moving, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), has taken a step with a simple, three-page bill that would explicitly include hemp-derived CBD in the definition of a dietary supplement.
Delay In Progress
The FDA has cited the FDCA (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) as the reason it cannot deem hemp-derived CBD a legal dietary ingredient, which is why the agency has done little to regulate the exploding market—little meaning an occasional send-out of a dozen or so warning letters to companies making arbitrary disease claims surrounding products.
Bill -> Law
If this bill, HB 5587 becomes a law, it could
- ü create an exception for CBD to a “prohibited act” in Section 301 (11) of the FDCA, “which essentially bars the introduction into interstate commerce of food (including a dietary supplement ingredient) that was first studied as a pharmaceutical drug.”
- ü condense a prolonged clash between industry and regulators regarding CBD’s legality. It might also help facilitate an industry quickly climbing to $20 billion.
- ü require the Agriculture Secretary, “in consultation with other relevant federal and state agencies,” to “complete a study on the market and regulatory barriers for producers operating under the domestic hemp production program specified” in USDA’s regulations.
Chairman of the National Hemp Association, Geoff Whaling reports “[The] FDA is saying, ‘We’re working within the laws and rules that Congress has given us. So >what do you do? You need to get Congress to change those rules. And that’s what this piece of legislation would do.”
Since Congress tells agencies what, when and how to enforce rules, Peterson and Mike Greene, a consultant with Greene GR Strategies, seasoned lobbyist and former senior vice president for government relations with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) said “it is [also Congress’] job to be as clear as possible in the legislative language so that [the agencies] understand it. That is why Greene and Tami Wahl, a strategic policy advisor with experience in the natural products industry, collaborated with Peterson to introduce HB 5587, a bill of clarity and coherence. Greene also claimed in an interview, “It’s our goal that this bill would be considered and Chairman Peterson would have a chance to testify or maybe even explain why he introduced the bill.”
The Cost of Getting Nowhere
There are plenty of hemp companies on the shelves and online today. But very few comprise the quality and safety offered by Stock CBD Supplements, whose hemp-derived CBD products are all third-party lab-tested and adhere to federal compliance. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of hemp companies and organizations urges, “Inaction by [the FDA] has led to a worst of all worlds: While a legal cloud hovers over commerce in safe, quality-assured, popular CBD products, unregulated bad actors continue to sell inferior products that give misleading information to consumers and potentially endanger public health and safety.”
The 2018 Farm Bill did in fact remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, but it did not resolve the definitional issues regarding CBD in food and supplements.
Chairman Peterson is hopeful that the new bill proposed “will allow [the] 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.”
With more educated lawmakers and an open channel of communication, dietary supplement companies will be able to widen its reach to benefit innumerable people waiting for safe, alternative methods of alleviating, improving and healing.