Lawmakers are trying to bring more clarity to regulations for food and beverages containing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), with the goal of allowing for interstate sales.
On December 2, 2021, a bipartisan effort by the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would require FDA to establish regulations regarding CBD. Under the legislation, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), FDA would develop rules regarding the maximum amount of CBD that could be added to a food item or beverage per serving. The bill would also set rules on labeling and packaging requirements and the “conditions of intended use” of the product.
If passed, the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would make it legal for companies to add cannabinoids like CBD to foods and beverages, a regulatory gap that those in the hemp industry have been advocating for ever since the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and its derivatives legal.
Jason Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of HempFusion Wellness Inc., noted that companies would still be required to prove that what was being added was safe for human consumption. “This would require a whole host of toxicological and safety evaluations that are outlined in the FDA RedBook 2000 guidelines related to genotoxicity,” he tells Food Quality & Safety. “Essentially, you will have to confirm that what you are adding to the food product is in fact GRAS [generally recognized as safe].”
The bill also would make it illegal to produce food and beverages with CBD that don’t meet the FDA-established regulation.
While cannabis-infused products have gained a strong reputation in different countries, here in the U.S., FDA has, so far, been against the practice
Rep. Griffith says that, while demand for CBD products has surged, and FDA has not embraced this “new reality.”
“As a result, adulterated or unsafe products are available that threaten consumer health, and businesses lack clarity,” Rep. Griffith said in a statement. “The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would require the FDA to address the issue and ensure more certainty in the CBD marketplace.”
Industry groups including the Consumer Brands Association and U.S. Hemp Roundtable have expressed support for the bill.