His letter also blasts the proliferation of delta-8 THC.
US House Representative James Comer (R-KY) has called for a committee-level hearing with the US Food and Drug Administration to address its failure to establish regulations for the sale of hemp-derived extracts including CBD.
Comer, a ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, asked for the hearing via a letter to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). At the hearing, the FDA would explain how it plans to bring order to an unregulated market in which products may be mislabeled or packaged in a way that appeals to children, reports Marijuana Moment.
“Across the United States, inauthentic products are sold under the likeness of legal hemp but are improperly labeled, contaminated with harmful chemicals, and marketed to children,” Comer wrote. “We must hear directly from the FDA to ensure the agency has a plan to institute a regulatory solution that can effectively monitor the sale of hemp products and protect the health of children.”
“We must hear directly from the FDA to ensure the agency has a plan to institute a regulatory solution that can effectively monitor the sale of hemp products and protect the health of children.”
— US House Representative James Comer (R-KY)
The letter is dated April 14, about three weeks before the FDA sent warning letters to five retailers it said were selling hemp-derived delta-8 THC in ways that violated the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The US Hemp Roundtable tweeted about Comer’s letter hours after the FDA warnings were issued, saying, “Longtime #hemp champion + Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight & Reform @JamesComer is calling for a hearing in his committee to examine @US_FDA's failure to develop a regulatory regime overseeing sales of hemp-derived extracts such as #CBD.”
In his letter, Comer noted that legalizing hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill had assigned oversight of consumable hemp products to the FDA.
The FDA has since maintained it needs more time to research public health implications before approving new products for general retail.
Comer flipped that, saying the FDA’s reluctance to set regulations had allowed unregulated sales of delta-8, a hemp-derived THC isomer made from CBD, to flourish.
“The FDA’s failure to establish a regulatory regime for hemp is enabling mislabeled products that contain more THC than the legal limit to be sold,” Comer wrote, later adding, “The production and sale of Delta-8 THC undermines the congressional intent of the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill was intended to legalize non-intoxicating hemp products, not a synthetic alternative to marijuana.”
Two bills before Congress would spur the FDA to regulate hemp extracts:
HR 841 would require the FDA to regulate hemp extracts as dietary supplements. It has 39 cosponsors with bipartisan support.
HR 6134 would authorize federal regulation of CBD in food. It has seven sponsors with bipartisan support.
The US Hemp Roundtable wrote, “Like Rep. Comer, many in Congress have had enough. […] Unfortunately, progress of these bills is waning without the prospect of a Congressional hearing that would give farmers, consumers, and small businesses a chance to testify to the urgent need for regulation, and for FDA to explain its inaction.”