DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update federal regulations governing the use of certain hemp-derived ingredients in food, beverages or dietary supplements.
Congress legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp and hemp derivatives, including hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), when it passed Wyden and Merkley’s Hemp Farming Act as a provision included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Outdated regulations, however, limit producers from taking full advantage of the industrial hemp market by, for example, prohibiting food products containing CBD from being sold across state lines.
In a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Wyden and Merkley requested the FDA update its regulations and give U.S. producers more flexibility in the production, consumption, and sale of hemp products.
“Farmers in Oregon and nationwide are poised to make real economic gains for their communities once these regulations are updated,” Wyden and Merkley wrote. “We will be closely engaged in the ongoing implementation of our legislation, as it was Congress’ intent to ensure that both U.S producers and consumers have access to a full range of hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived cannabinoids.”
As the FDA is operating with limited staff due to the Trump shutdown, Wyden and Merkley requested a response and answer to the following questions within 30 calendar days of the government reopening.
- What steps are the agency advancing to clarify to the public the authority the agency has in the production and marketing of hemp, specifically Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives?
- What lawful pathways are currently available for those who seek approval to introduce Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives as a food, beverages or dietary supplement, including into interstate commerce?
- Are there circumstances in which Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives may be permitted as a food, beverages or dietary supplement by the agency?
- Will the agency consider issuing a regulation, or pursing a process, that would allow Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives in food, beverages or dietary supplements that cross state lines?
A full copy of the letter can be found here.