Chair of the USA’s House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson has sponsored a bipartisan bill that would enable the FDA to allow marketing of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) dietary supplements.
At present it’s illegal to market CBD by labeling it as a dietary supplement according to the FDA’s interpretation of federal law. The FDA has concluded CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under a provision in a section of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
“Under that provision, if a substance (such as THC or CBD) is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], or has been authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public, then products containing that substance are excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement,” states the FDA.
The FDA has approved only one CBD product to date, a prescription drug called Epidiolex – but there are a number of clinical investigations involving cannabidiol either under way or completed.
While the FDA is “excited” about the potential of cannabidiol, its progress on creating new regulations has been very slow, and the lack of regulations has rattled many U.S consumers. However, what the FDA has done is publish a revised consumer update on CBD that seems to have a goal of discouraging consumers from using it.
Rep. Peterson’s bipartisan bill would also require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to undertake a study and publish a report on the regulatory and market barriers for farmers engaged in hemp production.
“The last two Farm Bills were landmark successes for hemp, but we are still very early in this process, and growers need regulatory certainty,” said Rep. Peterson, who has acknowledged using CBD oil himself. “This bill will allow FDA to regulate CBD that comes from hemp as a dietary supplement, providing a pathway forward for hemp-derived products. It would also identify barriers to success for hemp farmers, informing growers and policy makers of the challenges facing this new industry.”
At the time of writing, the text of the bill – H.R. 5587 – wasn’t yet available, but further details can be found here, along with the full text when available. Bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress a day or two after they are introduced on the floor of the House.