The Hemp and Hemp Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020 was proposed on Sept. 4, 2020, with support from U.S. Congress members Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set a clear regulatory framework for hemp and hemp-derived CBD use in the U.S.
The U.S. is currently a patchwork of state regulation, some of which allow hemp and CBD, some of which specifically do not, and some that more of less turn a blind eye to some sales and usage. Since the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill that allowed states to legalize hemp products the hemp industry has called on congress to provide wide-ranging FDA statutory authority for hemp regulation.
The market for CBD and hemp supplements grew rapidly in 2018-2019, but many products, especially food consumables, are viewed as illegal by the FDA and many states.
“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.”
According to Nutraceuticals World, four dietary supplement industry trade associations — the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) — have all expressed support for new legislation.
The industry is seeking legislation that would ensure that products derived from industrial hemp have a clear regulatory pathway to market, and that consumer-grade food and dietary supplement products can be sold with FDA approval.
This year CBD sales are projected to grow 14% compared to 2019 for a total of $4.7 billion in sales according to Brightfield Group, a CBD and cannabis comprehensive data company based in Illinois.
Trade organizers say the hemp/CBD boom is being stifled by the regulatory uncertainty.
“While the 2018 Farm Bill changed the law to allow hemp farming, regulatory uncertainty remains about the inclusion of hemp and hemp-derived CBD in dietary supplements,” the trade organizations said in a statement. “This lack of regulatory clarity along with insufficient oversight around hemp and hemp-derived CBD exposes consumers to potentially unsafe products and lack of consistency in product quality.”
Champion Hemp Farms in Champion, Penn., has seen a 240% increase in online sales since the COVID pandemic began according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The FDA this year also reopened a public comment period on CBD regulation, and draft enforement guidelines have been submitted to the White House.
The new hemp legislation would mandate that “cannabidiol derived from hemp, and any other ingredient derived from hemp shall be lawful under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement.”