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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 19 May 2021

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today introduced legislation to ensure hemp-derived CBD products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like other legal products used in dietary supplements, foods and beverages – an action that is essential to protecting consumer safety and treating hemp producers fairly.

Long overdue

Currently, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act prohibits any new dietary ingredient, food, or beverage from entering the market if it has been studied or approved as a drug. The FDA has the authority to exempt items from this prohibition, but has yet to exempt hemp-derived CBD despite Congressional action to legalize its production and sale. Wyden, Paul and Merkley's Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act exempts hemp-derived CBD from this prohibition, allowing the FDA to regulate hemp-derived CBD like all other new dietary ingredients, foods, and beverages. 

“CBD products are legally being used and produced across the nation. Yet because the FDA has failed to update its regulations, consumers and producers remain in a regulatory gray zone,”

Wyden said. “It's been more than two years since I worked with colleagues to have Congress legalize hemp and hemp-derived products. It's long past time for the FDA to get with the program, for the sake of American consumers and farmers.”

“Hemp-derived CBD products and businesses have earned their recognition in the marketplace, but the FDA, unfortunately, hasn't treated them like any other food additive or dietary supplement,” Dr. Paul said. “The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act directs the FDA to regulate hemp products properly and provides a huge relief to hemp farmers, processors, and merchants.”

“Every day that the FDA drags its feet to update its CBD regulations, hemp farmers are left guessing about how their products will be regulated, and real economic gains for workers and business owners in Oregon and across the country are left on the table,” said Merkley. “Hemp-derived CBD products are already widely available, and we all need FDA to issue clear regulations for them just like they do for other foods, drinks, and dietary supplements.”

The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act:

  • Gives hemp-derived CBD products an opportunity to lawfully be used in dietary supplements, foods and beverages under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
  • Prioritizes consumer safety, requiring manufacturers to comply with all existing federal regulations for the products that contain CBD.
  • Ensures that these products are properly labeled. 

A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

A thankful response

Angi Bailey, President, Oregon Farm Bureau: “We are so thankful to both Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for their steadfast support for one of Oregon’s fastest growing agricultural crops. This important legislation will ensure consumers have access to non-intoxicating hemp and hemp derived ingredients in both food products and dietary supplements. Providing consumers with the assurance that the CBD products they are purchasing are safe and property labeled is of utmost importance to the industry.”

Courtney N. Moran, LL.M., Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association (OIHFA): “We are grateful for the continued leadership of Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Rand Paul (R-KY) in advancing hemp policy, creating economic opportunities and broadening protections for our industry stakeholders. This bill is an important step forward not only for the cannabinoid sector, but for the grain and fiber sectors investing in infrastructure to open the food, animal feed, and supplements markets.”

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