WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Representatives Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) on September 4 introduced the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020, or H.R. 8179. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If approved, the bipartisan legislation would make hemp and “other hemp-derived products lawful for use unless otherwise directed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” including CBD derived from hemp.
“Hemp was historically an important crop for Virginia farmers, and dietary supplements made from it do not possess dangerous addictive qualities,” said Congressman Griffith. “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.”
Trade organization National Grocers Association (NGA) said it supports the legislation.
“NGA supports common sense FDA regulation of CBD products,” said NGA President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Ferrara. “We appreciate efforts by Congressmen Griffith and Schrader to establish a clear regulatory framework for CBD and urge for swift passage so that Main Street grocers can continue to serve their communities across the nation.”
Hemp advocates also urged Congress to take swift action to approve the legislation. Trade coalition the U.S. Hemp Roundtable issued a press release, in which their general counsel Jonathan Morgan said:
“Enabling CBD to be lawfully marketed as dietary supplements and mandating that manufacturers comply with the entire existing regulatory framework for dietary supplements, would create immense confidence in hemp and CBD products, and would provide great opportunity for hemp farmers across the nation.”
The legislation is also supported by several other organizations including the American Herbal Products Association, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and United Natural Products Alliance, according to NaturalProductInsider.com.
Opponents have said the legislation is unlikely to “protect” consumers because CBD product producers may argue that hemp products are not subject to regulation under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), since hemp products have been marketed prior to 1994. DSHEA provisions impose increased safety standards for new ingredients used in supplements.
Some legislators and opponents have argued that the FDA has been lax in applying DSHEA regulation, while others criticize the agency for continued confusion regarding hemp regulation, since hemp cultivation was legalized by the Farm Act of 2018.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has no psychoactive effect and is typically derived from hemp. By law, hemp products must contain less than 0.3mg of THC, the cannabinoid that produces the “high” effect.