Senators in the U.S. Congress grow impatient at lack of hemp clarity from FDA

Senators in the U.S. Congress grow impatient at lack of hemp clarity from FDA

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Early in 2018, a group of concerned legislators pleaded with regulators at the Food and Drug Administration for clear rules on cannabidiol, or CBD.

The tremendously popular non-psychoactive compound from hemp and cannabis has resulted in misled crackdowns and confusion, largely coming from unclear guidelines at the FDA. In the time since the start of the year, a harvest season has started and an FDA commissioner has left office.

Meanwhile, more legislators want answers.

In February, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, led a group of U.S. Representatives in signing a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb asking for clear answers on which products are legal, which are regulated and which are freely allowed. [1]

Betty McCollum, Tulsi Gabbard, Earl Blumenauer, Ed Perlmutter, Don Young, Mark Pocan, and Peter Welch all signed onto the letter. [1]

The move was largely prompted by police seizures of CBD products in states like New York and Maine. In subsequent actions, those transporting CBD have been stopped by highway police in contradiction of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture guidance, and other overreaches have been prevalent.

In the time since, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb left his post for a private industry venture, but said legislation is better to solve the CBD question, as FDA guidance could take years to become clear.

According to the Boston Globe, a number of senators have signed on to a more recent letter sent to the FDA Sept. 23. [3]

“Hemp growers, manufacturers, food producers, and most important, consumers, all deserve a regulatory framework that will set rules for classification, labeling, marketing, quality, and other important features so that we stop the Wild West claims and make available products that are truly helpful and beneficial to consumers,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

“The treatment of pain, anxiety, inflammation, other kinds of maladies may be aided by CBD, and consumers deserve the benefits of those treatments but they also deserve to know the truth about the oils, lotions, gummies, and other products that are out there.”

The letter to the FDA from September “implores” the FDA to come up with a systematic and clear set of rules for CBD from hemp.

Patrick Leahy, Tammy Duckworth, Jon Tester, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand all signed on to the September letter reaffirming the need for CBD clarity and consistently.

The letter addresses the fact that industry will boom if entrepreneurs have a clearer idea of what they can expect from law enforcement and state governments.