After domestic hemp production once again became legal in the U.S. with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was quick to step in to let people know that it would be retaining its regulatory role over the crop and that cannabidiol (CBD) would not be an approved dietary supplement or food additive until it could be proven safe and the proper regulations were implemented.
But with CBD’s continued popularity growth, its immense market potential, and the increasing number of companies that produce CBD-infused products, the need for a solution is urgent.
While the FDA is still developing regulations for CBD, lawmakers are stepping forward with new legislation to help solve the problem.
On Monday, January 13, 2020, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) filed House Resolution 5587 (HR 5587), which would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow companies to market CBD as a dietary supplement instead of a drug.
Representatives James Comer (R-KY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) are co-sponsors of the bill.
Under the bill, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be required to research regulatory and market barriers for hemp farmers and amend the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act to include an exemption for CBD.
CEO of Las Vegas-based Hemp Inc., Bruce Perlowin this week announced the company’s support for HR 5587, noting the new opportunities that the bill could bring for the hemp industry.
“This new legislation will be very beneficial to small hemp farmers because it will remove a lot of regulatory and market barriers that hemp farmers face,” said Hemp Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin in a press release. “It will also provide more regulatory certainty. This legislation provides clarity in the marketplace, creates a pathway for hemp-derived products, and more opportunities for hemp farmers.”
HR 5587 also includes a provision requiring the USDA to research the costs of destroying hemp with a THC content that exceeds the federal limit of 0.3 percent, as well as costs of implementing a hemp testing program.
The bill would require the USDA to research the required testing timeline’s feasibility and other known or potential challenges associated with the domestic hemp market as well.
According to estimates by the Brightfield Group, which projected the smokeable hemp market to be worth $11.5 million in 2018, the CBD market will grow to $23.7 billion by 2023.