H.R. 5587, A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, seeks to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to classify hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement.
If it passes, it would force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat CBD as a supplement rather than a drug, making it far easier to cultivate, manufacture, sell, and access hemp-derived CBD products in the country.
Hemp was made legal in the U.S. by the 2018 Farm Bill, resulting in considerable growth of the American CBD industry. However, the FDA’s continued refusal to consider hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement has created barriers to further growth, frustrating industry insiders and consumers alike.
The FDA’s current stance is that CBD is a potentially harmful substance that is illegal to add to food or label as a dietary supplement. Additionally, the only CBD product currently approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical drug for treating two rare types of epilepsy.
This explains why we have yet to see CBD-infused foods and beverages appear on store shelves across the U.S. and why it remains difficult to market and sell CBD products in general.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Collin Peterson, who is also the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
According to Peterson, the bill “will allow FDA to regulate CBD that comes from hemp as a dietary supplement, providing a pathway forward for hemp-derived products. It would also identify barriers to success for hemp farmers, informing growers and policy makers of the challenges facing this new industry.”
His bill was supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, signaling strong support and highlighting concerns about the difficulties faced by hemp farmers and businesses selling hemp-derived CBD products.
It also shows that legislators are frustrated with the FDA’s slow and uncooperative stance towards easing restrictions surrounding the hemp & CBD industry. The FDA has previously stated that it would take approximately five years to develop guidelines for allowing hemp-derived CBD in supplements, foods, and beverages.
Aside from the reclassification, the bill would also require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and report on the barriers faced by farmers who grow hemp.
The bill is also great news for consumers, as it would make it easier to access CBD products. All in all, given the pressure from hemp industry stakeholders and bipartisan support from lawmakers, the bill stands a good chance of becoming law.
You can read the full bill here.