Federal spending bill includes funding for FDA to develop CBD enforcement discretion policy

December 18, 2019

The House has passed a federal spending bill that includes $2 million for FDA to develop hemp-derived CBD enforcement discretion policy.

The House of Representatives passed a 2020 federal spending bill that includes funding for FDA to develop hemp-derived CBD enforcement discretion policy. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later this week. The bill provides $2 million for research, policy evaluation, market surveillance, issuance of an enforcement discretion policy, and appropriate regulatory activities with respect to products under the jurisdiction of the FDA which contain CBD and meet the definition of hemp. The legislation gives FDA 60 days to report the Agency’s progress toward obtaining and analyzing data that will help determine a policy of enforcement discretion and how CBD products meeting the definition of hemp will be evaluated for use in products. It also gives FDA 180 days to perform a sampling study of the current CBD marketplace to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Siver Springs, MD) points out that the language in the bill is a watered-down version of the bill introduced in the Senate in September which gave FDA 120 to actually issue a policy of enforcement discretion. The Natural Product Association (NPA; Washington, D.C.) criticizes the legislation for not going far enough to protect consumers. NPA, for its part, supported legislation introduced by Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA) that would appropriate $100,000 for FDA to perform a Health Hazard Evaluation of CBD to set a safe level of daily CBD consumption.

“While providing funding for testing is a positive first step, unfortunately, today’s action falls short of what is needed to protect consumers. The future of the U.S. hemp industry and the farmers and producers who provide it are directly tied to smart regulations for CBD, which includes FDA establishing a safe level of consumption so consumers are protected,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of NPA, in a press release. “We are concerned that if Congress fails to act next year then we could see another vaping-like public health crisis.”