Hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has still not finalized a process to allow derivatives such as CBD to be used in consumable products like foods, drinks and dietary supplements. A new Senate bill introduced on Wednesday seeks to change that, however.
The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act, filed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would exempt “hemp, hemp-derived cannabidiol, or a substance containing any other ingredient derived from hemp” from certain restrictions that have blocked the emergence of legal consumable hemp products while the FDA has slow-walked regulations.
The bill also says federal officials may “establish labeling and packaging requirements” for hemp-derived products.
“CBD products are legally being used and produced across the nation. Yet because the FDA has failed to update its regulations, consumers and producers remain in a regulatory gray zone,” Wyden said in a press release. “It’s been more than two years since I worked with colleagues to have Congress legalize hemp and hemp-derived products. It’s long past time for the FDA to get with the program, for the sake of American consumers and farmers.”
Paul said that “hemp-derived CBD products and businesses have earned their recognition in the marketplace, but the FDA, unfortunately, hasn’t treated them like any other food additive or dietary supplement,” adding that the new bill “provides a huge relief to hemp farmers, processors, and merchants.”
Merkley, for his part, noted that “every day that the FDA drags its feet to update its CBD regulations, hemp farmers are left guessing about how their products will be regulated, and real economic gains for workers and business owners in Oregon and across the country are left on the table.”
“Hemp-derived CBD products are already widely available, and we all need FDA to issue clear regulations for them just like they do for other foods, drinks, and dietary supplements,” he said.
Published: May 19, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News