Reed Smith Client Alerts

Following the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) public hearing on May 31, 2019, regarding the safety and sale of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including hemp-based CBD, the House Appropriations Committee issued a report urging FDA to move forward on the regulation of CBD products. FDA, in turn, issued a statement on June 14, 2019, in the wake of its public hearing outlining FDA’s current position on hemp-based CBD products, questions that remain, and where FDA intends to go from here as it takes steps to craft rules and regulations for cannabis (including CBD) and its use in foods, drugs, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and the like. These recent developments at the federal level shed light into potential future rules and regulations regarding hemp-based CBD products.

The industry did not have to wait long to hear from Congress and FDA following the May 31, 2019 public hearing on the safety and sale of products containing industrial hemp-derived compounds, including CBD. First, on June 3, 2019, the House Appropriations Committee (the Committee) published a report to accompany its spending bill for fiscal 2020, expressing concerns about the proliferation of foods and dietary supplements “containing cannabis and cannabis-derived products marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA).”1 The Committee stated that such products pose potential health and safety risks to the public and noted FDA’s authority (as set forth in the 2018 Farm Bill) to take action regarding cannabis, including hemp and CBD.

The Committee urged FDA to “assert its commitment to identifying lawful federal regulatory pathways for CBD foods and dietary supplements if such pathways may include necessary public health and safety parameters that will protect the public health.” The Committee suggested FDA explore labeling requirements and limits on CBD and other cannabis-derived ingredients in products, based upon anticipated total exposure levels. The Committee further indicated that it expects FDA to preserve incentives to invest in research into CBD with the goal of better understanding CBD’s uses and potential benefits.