Lawmakers reintroduce CBD bills for food and supplements

Josh Long, Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider

March 20, 2023

3 Min Read
Lawmakers reintroduce CBD bills for food and supplements

Representatives in the U.S. Congress last week reintroduced two pieces of legislation to create lawful pathways to market for CBD in dietary supplements and conventional food.

One of the bills would make hemp-derived ingredients, including CBD, lawful for use as a dietary supplement. That’s despite a provision in the law that excludes an ingredient or “article” from a dietary supplement if it was first studied or approved as a drug.

Under the “Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2023,” CBD would be lawful for use as an ingredient in a dietary supplement. However, the dietary supplement would need to comply with various provisions applicable to such products in the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA), including requirements for supplements containing a new dietary ingredient.

The “CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act of 2023” would direct FDA to set regulations for CBD in food, including a maximum amount of cannabidiol derived from hemp per serving, labeling and packaging requirements, and conditions of intended use.

Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) introduced the bills, which seem to be at odds with recent determinations by FDA that the current frameworks for supplements and food are not appropriate for CBD. FDA announced its conclusions in combination with its denial of three citizen petitions, which had requested the agency create a pathway to market for CBD in dietary supplements.

Related:FDA denies CBD dietary supplement petitions, looks to Congress for new pathway

The prospect of a lawsuit against FDA grew following denial of the petitions, though some trade groups said their focus is on a legislative solution.

“The FDA’s existing foods and dietary supplement authorities provide only limited tools for managing many of the risks associated with CBD products,” FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., proclaimed in a Jan. 26 statement.

Based on evidence reviewed by FDA, Woodcock said, “it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives.”

“For example, we have not found adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm,” she added. “Therefore, we do not intend to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in dietary supplements or conventional foods.”

FDA critics have contended the agency has ample authority to regulate CBD but has failed to do so.

“The Food and Drug Administration has dragged its feet in properly regulating CBD and hemp-derived products on the market, creating confusion about its legal uses,” Griffith said in a March 17 press release announcing the two bills. “Americans need better guidance and that is why I have introduced these two pieces of legislation, which will create a pathway for regulation in both the food and dietary supplement spaces.”

Related:Suing FDA over CBD would face procedural, substantive hurdles

Several trade groups announced their support for the bills in a press release issued by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. Some of them include the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association (ICIA), Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH), Midwest Hemp Council and Association of Western Hemp Professionals (AWHP).

“The FDA has made it clear that legislative action by Congress is needed to solve its CBD regulatory problem and these two bi-partisan bills re-introduced by Reps. Griffith and Craig serve as the solution,” Miller said. “The FDA’s inaction over the past four years has had a devastating impact on U.S. hemp growers and has left thousands of unregulated products on the marketplace, raising health and safety concerns for consumers.”

FDA declined to comment on pending legislation.




About the Author(s)

Josh Long

Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition

Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.

He has moderated and/or presented at industry trade shows, including SupplySide East, SupplySide West, Natural Products Expo West, NBJ Summit and the annual Dietary Supplement Regulatory Summit.

Connect with Josh on LinkedIn and ping him with story ideas at [email protected]

Education and previous experience

Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.

Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like