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Hemp Hearing Turns Up Heat On FDA

A historic hearing before the USA’s House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services concerning hemp and CBD occurred last Thursday.

The hearing, titled, “Hemp in the Modern World: The Years long Wait for FDA Action,” marked the first time Congress has formally delved into the impact of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) failure to develop a regulatory pathway for the sale of ingestible products containing cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp.

Coming under increasing pressure to implement cannabidiol regulations after years or resisting to do so, the FDA announced in February it’s not in position to and handballed the issue back to Congress. This followed Rep. James Comer, Chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, stating the FDA Commissioner would be brought before the Committee to be grilled over the agency’s lack of action.

“… even though we have more and more data available to regulators to make appropriate decisions about CBD in the marketplace, the FDA has taken no meaningful action to provide clear guidance and certainty in the market, refusing to regulate CBD products under existing lawful pathways,” said Rep. Comer last week.

Among the witnesses to provide testimony at the hearing was U.S. Hemp Roundtable General Counsel, Jonathan Miller.

“Unfortunately, the U.S. hemp industry has been struggling considerably in the last few years,” said Mr. Miller. “And this turmoil is due in large part to decisions made by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the FDA”.

Mr. Miller summarised the actions, or lack thereof, by the FDA since Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the sale of hemp and hemp derivatives such as CBD by removing them from the Controlled Substances Act. He also stated the lack of a federal regulatory framework has resulted in the proliferation of unregulated products, and this poses significant quality, safety, and other consumer protection concerns.

“Adding to these issues, surplus hemp CBD biomass is being chemically converted into impairing products, such as Delta-8 THC, which are being sold unregulated, sometimes to minors,” he said.

Mr. Miller’s full testimony and supporting data can be accessed here. A video of the hearing – nearly 2 hours of it – follows:

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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