CBD/Hemp

CBD Food Bill Would Create National Regulatory Framework

Lack of federal regulation has put consumers at risk, left businesses ‘looking for clarity’
Marijuana plant and gavel
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHIGNTON A a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives has introduced a bill that would create a national regulatory framework for hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) in food and beverages.

The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act of 2021 would establish standards for hemp-derived CBD in food and direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue regulations for labeling, packaging requirements and conditions of use.

The bill, which would require the FDA to set a maximum amount of CBD-containing food per serving, was introduced by Reps. Kathleen Rice, (D-N.Y.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).

“CBD products are exploding in popularity, but the lack of federal regulation surrounding them has put consumers at risk and left businesses looking for clarity,” Rice said. The bill “will establish the clear regulatory framework needed to provide stability for business and ensure unsafe products stay off shelves.”

The FDA has said U.S. law forbids adding CBD to conventional food, or marketing the cannabis-derived compound in dietary supplements, because it was first studied as a drug, according to a report by National Products Insider. But by failing to establish national rules, critics of the FDA maintain, the agency has constrained the sector’s growth and failed to adequately protect consumers from unsafe and mislabeled products, said the report. Those in favor of a national framework also have complained that a patchwork of state regulations is unduly burdensome for businesses.

“Demand for CBD products has surged, but Food and Drug Administration regulations do not reflect this new reality,” Griffith said. “As a result, adulterated or unsafe products are available that threaten consumer health. The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would require the FDA to address the issue and ensure more certainty in the CBD marketplace.”

The bill drew the support of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and Consumer Brands Association. Betsy Booren, senior vice president of regulatory and technical with the Consumer Brands Association, called the bill “a welcome step toward giving consumers consistency and promoting safety that goes across state lines.”

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