September 14, 2022

House Leaders Slam FDA Technical Assistance On Hemp Legislation

House Leaders Slam FDA Technical Assistance On Hemp Legislation

Lead sponsors of H.R. 6134, the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act, are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide answers as to why the agency has failed to establish a regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD.

A letter sent to FDA Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, from Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Angie Craig (D-ME), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) criticizes the FDA for a lack of thoughtful, applicable feedback provided within the technical assistance (TA) requested on behalf of H.R. 6134, calling it “a reformatting of a document provided to Congress over two years ago,” claiming that it, “does not address provisions of [the] bill drafted specifically to address product safety,” and, “a completely insufficient response at this moment when cannabidiol (CBD) products are proliferating around the country.”

“We worked hard to craft a bill that would provide the agency with tailored authorities to address the concerns FDA has raised in order to establish a workable, responsible framework for the regulation of hemp-derived CBD in conventional food products,” wrote bill sponsors.

Read the full letter here.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable applauds the response from Reps. Rice, Griffith, Craig, and Crenshaw which provides a clear, comprehensive critique of the FDA’s TA on H.R. 6134 and requests immediate action from the agency. We are hopeful that the letter prompts the FDA to take this issue more seriously and to move quickly with the establishment of a regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD products.

“When Congress removed hemp-derived CBD from the Controlled Substances Act in the 2018 Farm Bill, it explicitly left to FDA the authority to set clear federal standards for safe human consumption of CBD products,” states the letter. “FDA has refused to act on that authority, allowing a marketplace where dangerous products, like those containing delta-8 THC, are often indistinguishable from products that meet strict standards for quality, dosage, packaging, and sale established by state regulators who have stepped in to fill the regulatory void.”

The letter also mentions the recent testimony by Dr. Califf in which he shared his commitment to working with Congress on regulations for CBD products.

“In your testimony, you committed to working with Congress to “come up with something new” based on your view that “the current authorities [FDA has] on the food side and on the drug side do not necessarily give [FDA] what [you] need to have to get the right pathways moving forward.” We have been eagerly awaiting FDA’s response to our request for TA for some time in hopes that we could constructively engage with you, per your recent testimony, on an amenable path forward.”

It has now been more than four years since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized all hemp-derived products and gave the FDA authority to set clear federal standards for safe human consumption of CBD. Still, FDA has failed to move forward, even claiming that the agency is in a “stalemate position” and that Congress must act through legislation

H.R. 6134 aims to create a legal pathway for FDA to regulate CBD in foods and beverages, ensuring that these products meet strict standards for quality, dosage, packaging, and sale. The bill is exactly what the FDA says it needs to move forward with regulatory action, but when ask to provide feedback, the agency offered little to no assistance or support. The FDA continues to demonstrate its inability to initiate any sort of progress pertaining to the regulation of hemp-derived CBD, so now it’s up to Congress to hold the agency accountable.

We will continue to work closely with the sponsors of H.R. 6134 and supporting members of Congress to secure regulations on hemp-derived CBD, and in the meantime, we need your advocacy! Your elected officials DO listen to their constituents…. when they speak up!

Use this online portal today to send a quick message to your Members of Congress urging them to support H.R. 6134 and other bills in Congress that would regulate CBD now.


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