Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Compel FDA to Regulate CBD as Dietary Supplement

January 17, 2020 16:00:13

The new decade brings good tidings for the budding hemp/CBD sector. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would allow sellers to market hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp, classifying cannabis with less than 0.3% THC as legal hemp. Thus hemp and its extracts, including CBD, could be marketed and sold legally.

The THC limit, however, was the extent of regulation the sector received. Apart from that, sellers had no rules to go by, and by the time the FDA was taking notice, the sector was booming, with experts estimating it will hit $20 billion by 2024.

Soon, the runaway industry was flush with thousands of products, and regulatory authorities were stuck playing catch up. The FDA sent warning letters to CBD companies making outlandish therapeutic claims about their products, and former Commissioner Scott Gottlieb admitted that without Congressional action, it would take the FDA years to fully regulate the sector.

The bill, filed by Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, might hasten the process. It was sponsored by Reps. Thomas Massive, James Comer, and Chellie Pingree, among others.

“The last two Farm Bills were landmark successes for hemp, but we are still very early in this process, and growers need regulatory certainty. This bill will allow the FDA to regulate CBD that comes from hemp as a dietary supplement, providing a pathway forward for hemp-derived products,” said Peterson in a press release.

According to Rep. Massie, bipartisan allies in Congress have worked hard for many years to pave way for hemp legalization. “In its first year, Kentucky’s industrial hemp industry added hundreds of new jobs and $100 million to the state’s economy. I’m confident H.R 5587 will be another step in the right direction for industrial hemp.”

The industry’s state of uncertainty has increased the risk for hemp and CBD sellers, and in many cases, this has scared away service providers like banks and insurance companies.

Lawmakers interested in the hemp sector have in the past made it clear that Congress always intended to allow the marketing of CBD products. Back in September 2019, a bipartisan coalition of 26 House members sent a letter to the FDA, urging the agency to provide a path for CBD products to be marketed legally.

Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, an advocacy group for hemp, stated that the organization “supports this important new bill which will help provide clarity to the marketplace and ensure that CBD supplements can be marketed and sold nationwide.”

“We urge Congress to pass this legislation quickly and FDA to regulate hemp-derived CBD the same as any other supplement under existing regulations,” he added.

This bill is probably a piece of good news that CBD industry actors like MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC) would want to see become law so that the industry can have clearer rules to play by.

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