Bipartisan Bill Would Clear Path For CBD Supplements

A bipartisan group of representatives has introduced a bill that would provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate CBD as a dietary supplement in the wake of calls for the federal agency to provide clarity regarding regulation of the hemp-derived product.

The bill, introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), would explicitly include hemp-derived CBD in the definition of a dietary supplement. Cosponsoring the measure are Reps.James  (R-Ky.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

It also would create an exception for CBD to a “prohibited act” in Section 301(ll) of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA), which essentially bars the introduction into interstate commerce of a food (including a dietary supplement ingredient) that was first studied as a pharmaceutical drug.

The FDA has cited the FDCA as the reason it cannot declare hemp CBD as a legal dietary ingredient—and thus has done little to regulate the booming market other than sending out warning letters to companies making inflated disease claims around products.

According to Peterson, “This bill will allow FDA to regulate CBD that comes from hemp as a dietary supplement, providing a pathway forward for hemp-derived products.”

Peterson’s bill would also require a study and report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the production of hemp, on the regulatory and market barriers for farmers engaged in hemp production.

If passed into law, HB 5587 could avoid quell disputes between industry and regulators over the compound’s legality. However, FDA has raised growing concerns and unanswered questions about the safety of CBD.

FDA has been exploring whether to create a legal pathway for CBD in food and supplements, but it has not begun formal rulemaking.

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