FDA Under Pressure by Lawmakers to Allow CBD-Infused Foods

Bipartisan lawmakers have sent a letter to the FDA urging the agency to allow CBD-infused foods. This letter comes on the heels of New York, Ohio, and Maine banning the sale of CBD products. In the letter, lawmakers ask if the FDA had anything to do with the bans in these states. The senators from Oregon sent a similar letter to the FDA last month. The Oregon senators told the FDA that the Farm Bill intended to allow for hemp producers and consumers to have access to hemp-derived products.

Lawmakers Send Letter to FDA About CBD-Infused Products

Led by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), a group of bipartisan lawmakers has sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to formulate “legal pathways” for CBD food products.

Citing the recent bans on CBD products in New York City, Ohio, and Maine—state health departments mentioned FDA regulations as a reason for the bans—the members of Congress stated, “These actions have spurred a tremendous amount of confusion among product manufacturers, hemp farmers, and consumers of these products.”

Currently, FDA regulations do not allow for food, beverage, or supplements to contain CBD or the interstate commerce of such products.

However, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (better known as the Farm Bill) legalized hemp and its derivatives, leading hemp producers and consumers to believe CBD products were removed from legal purgatory.

To clear up the confusion, the lawmakers are, “calling on FDA to swiftly provide guidance on lawful pathways for food products with CBD.”

In addition to this request, they also asked for the FDA to respond to the following three questions:

  • When will FDA provide guidance on lawful pathways for food products with CBD? For example, it would seem the GRAS Notification Program would be one such pathway.
  • Has FDA advised states—such as New York, Maine or Ohio—that have recently taken enforcement actions against food products with CBD?
  • When will FDA hold a public hearing on the regulation of products containing CBD?

In a statement after President Trump signed, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA would hold a public hearing but has yet to do so.

Pressure Mounting on the FDA

This is not the first letter sent to a federal agency addressing hemp and its derivatives.

Most recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) petitioned the Department of Agriculture to implement regulations on hemp quickly.

Last month, Senator Wyden and his fellow Oregonian Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) co-wrote a letter urging the FDA to update its “outdated regulations” on CBD and allow the interstate commerce of CBD food products.

This latest letter asks for a response from the FDA by the end of the week on February 22.

The other lawmakers who signed this letter include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Don Young (R-AK).

h/t Marijuana Moment

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