Hemp Industry Calls for Congressional Hearing on FDA CBD Regulation Delay

FDA CBD Regulation: Navigating the Hemp Industry

Hey there, fellow cannabis enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the complex world of CBD regulation – specifically, the ongoing saga of FDA CBD Regulation. It’s a topic that’s been making waves in the hemp industry, and rightly so. We’ve got a lot to cover, so grab your favorite strain, kick back, and let’s get into it.

The State of CBD Regulation

First off, let’s get on the same page. You see, ever since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, there’s been this lingering question mark when it comes to CBD regulation. The FDA, our friendly Food and Drug Administration, has yet to set clear rules for products infused with CBD, leaving the industry in a bit of a haze.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” Well, my friends, it’s a big deal. We’re talking about the lawful marketing of hemp products for humans and animals. Five years have passed since the Farm Bill, and we’re still waiting for the FDA to make some moves.

The FDA’s Stand (or Lack Thereof)

The FDA’s stance on this matter has been pretty straightforward – they’re saying they don’t have the authority to regulate CBD products effectively. They’ve thrown the ball back into ’s court, claiming they need more legislative support to lay down the law.

In the meantime, a wild west of unregulated CBD products has flooded the . Good companies, bad companies – it’s like the Wild West out there, folks. This lack of regulation isn’t just causing consumer confusion; it’s also giving shady players an edge over those trying to do things right.

Congress Steps In (Kind Of)

Last summer, the Energy and Commerce and Senate HELP Committees decided to do something about this mess. They asked for expert opinions on how to regulate hemp and CBD through a Request for Information (RFI). Hundreds of experts chimed in with their two cents.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d say they’ve had plenty of time to go through those recommendations. It’s been months, folks, and we’re still waiting for some meaningful action.

The Call for a Hearing

That’s where things get interesting. A coalition of 28 and national hemp-focused organizations decided to take matters into their own hands. They sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, urging them to hold a hearing on the RFI ideas.

And you know what? They’re absolutely right. The FDA’s inaction is hurting not only farmers but also consumers. U.S. farmers are feeling the squeeze, with commodity prices plummeting by over 90%. This is causing problems for downstream hemp products like fiber, bioplastics, biofuels, and food ingredients. Plus, with potentially getting rescheduled, the lack of clarity for hemp is a ticking time bomb.

Who’s in on This?

This call to action isn’t coming from just a handful of folks. No, sir. It’s backed by some heavyweights in the hemp industry, including the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), National Association (NCIA), National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), and U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

These organizations are saying, “We need FDA action, and we need it now.” And you know what? They’re absolutely right. The entire hemp industry’s fate hangs in the balance.

Congressional Moves

Speaking of Congress, some lawmakers are stepping up. Senators Ron Wyden, Rand Paul, and Jeff Merkley, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, introduced legislation to remove the regulatory barriers that the FDA claims are stopping them from allowing hemp marketing. It’s a step in the right direction.

The THC Limit Conundrum

But wait, there’s more. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is also getting in on the action. They want Congress to up the THC for hemp, and honestly, it’s about time.

The 0.3 percent THC limit set by the 2018 Farm Bill has been a thorn in everyone’s side. Stakeholders and lawmakers have been complaining about it for ages. Plus, there’s some interesting history behind that limit – it’s time to reevaluate it.

Agreement on Raising the THC Limit

The Research Service (CRS) pointed out that industry stakeholders mostly agree on one thing – raising the THC limit to one percent for compliant hemp. It’s a proposal that’s gaining traction, and it’s high time we see some action on this front.

What’s Next for the Farm Bill?

Now, you might be wondering if Congress will tackle the Farm Bill this year. The 2018 version was set to expire, but it got a lifeline extension. There are a bunch of other hemp-related bills on the table too, so it’s going to be an interesting year for the industry.

Breaking Down Barriers

Let’s not forget about some other important bills in the mix. One bipartisan bill aims to end the discriminatory federal policy that blocks people with prior felony drug convictions from owning or leading legal hemp businesses. It’s time to level the playing field.

Another measure, with bipartisan support, seeks to reduce regulations on farmers growing industrial hemp for non-extraction purposes. It’s all about making it easier for those who want to contribute to the hemp boom.

USDA’s License Revocations

Now, here’s a wild one. USDA has been yanking hemp licenses from businesses that also hold state licenses for marijuana. That’s a curveball, right? It’s time to rethink these revocations and see if there’s a better way to manage this situation.

The Current State of the Hemp Industry

Despite all the regulatory hurdles and economic challenges, the hemp industry is still standing strong. Recent reports show that the hemp market in 2022 outpaced all state marijuana markets and rivaled craft beer sales nationally.

USDA Surveys

Lastly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on a quest to gather data about the hemp industry. They’re sending out surveys to hemp farmers across the country to get a better grasp of the industry’s status. It’s a step in the right direction to understand where we stand.

So, there you have it, folks. The FDA CBD Regulation saga continues, and the hemp industry is eagerly awaiting some clarity. It’s been a long time coming, and we can only hope that Congress and the FDA step up to the plate soon.

A big shoutout to Kyle Jaeger for keeping us in the loop with this crucial information. We’ll keep our eyes on the developments, and you should too. Stay tuned for more updates in the ever-evolving world of cannabis and hemp.

Until next time, stay lifted and educated!

Thanks to Kyle Jaeger for reporting on this important topic!

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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