Congress Committee to Probe FDA Inaction on Regulating CBD

By | Updated on July 25, 2023

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On July 27 at 2 p.m., the U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services will host a public hearing titled “Hemp in the Modern World: The Yearslong Wait for FDA Action.”

The main topic on the table? The Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) failure to regulate CBD as a dietary supplement. 

Under the leadership of Rep. James Comer from Kentucky, the committee is on a mission to understand why the FDA has been slow in setting up regulations for hemp-derived CBD products. Comer has previously stated that he intends to grill the FDA on its lack of action.

It’s been nearly five years, and the dance between lawmakers and the FDA continues. The CBD market, which started booming in 2018 after the federal legalization of hemp, is still in a gray area because of the FDA’s refusal to regulate it as a supplement. 

That’s concerning for both producers and consumers. Rep. Lisa McClain, a committee member, voiced her concerns, stating that the lack of regulations could allow harmful products to hit the shelves. Conversely, genuine and safe CBD products might face unnecessary hurdles.

The hearing follows the FDA’s January announcement that the current regulatory standards for dietary supplements are insufficient for CBD and that a new framework needs to be set up. The agency suggested that Congress should step in and lay down the law for CBD products. However, many in the CBD community believe the existing dietary supplement and food regulations should suffice.

Currently, the FDA views CBD as a drug, which means it can’t be added to foods or marketed as a dietary supplement, even though that’s exactly how it’s been sold for years. 

The hearing will feature insights from Jonathan Miller of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, Rayetta Henderson from ToxStrategies, LLC, and Richard A. Badaracco, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

The committee may also delve into the topic of CBD-derived delta-8 THC, which has rapidly grown in popularity over the past three years while raising concerns about its safety, health effects, and legality. 

If you’re curious, the hearing will be streamed live on Youtube.