WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is seeking temporary rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to govern the sale of hemp-derived CBD products.
McConnell has introduced the idea of including CBD regulatory language in the Senate appropriations bill that would require the FDA to keep Congress informed on its progress in drafting a CBD “enforcement discretion” policy.
With regulations in place, CBD makers and hemp farmers could operate and expand their operations without fear of federal prosecution. It would also put pressure on the remaining states, such as South Dakota, that outlaw hemp and CBD altogether, to abandon their prohibition stance.
McConnell may not strike some as the likeliest person to push for clarity on CBD, but his home state of Kentucky has a long history when it comes to agriculture and hemp farming.
Although the FDA has said it no longer views hemp and its derivatives (if products do not exceed 0.3 percent THC) as a banned substance and prohibits CBD infused edibles and beverages, it has not announced a clear set of CBD regulations beyond those areas. Currently, there is no definitive timetable for when the FDA will issue detailed rules on hemp and CBD sales.
McConnell’s plan would require the FDA to report to Congress within 90 days and have an enforcement policy implemented within 120 days. These regulations would serve as the law of the land until the FDA finalized permanent regulations.
John Huemoeller, chief executive officer for AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc., like many others, has grown frustrated with the legal limbo created since the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 was passed in December.
“Last year, hemp and CBD were legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill. A few months ago, the DEA requested an increase in the amount of cannabis grown in the U.S. for research,” Huemoeller said in a statement “Now it’s time for the FDA to recognize that cannabis and CBD products aren’t just a fad, but, because of their many wellness benefits, they are here to stay. We look forward to understanding how these new regulations may help the industry grow by setting needed safety standards and provide consumers with an overall improved level of trust in CBD and other cannabis products.”
Jenelle Kim, founder and chief formulator at JBK Wellness Labs, praised the plan by McConnell.
“Mitch McConnell’s move to call on the FDA is certainly a progressive and important move, which will help to open the doors for more people to reap the incredible benefits of CBD,” Kim said. “It is vital to remember that hemp is one of the fifty Fundamental Herbs in Chinese Medicine and its healing properties date back 4,000 years. For a medicinal herb that has been used responsibly for thousands of years as a treatment for pain and fatigue, among other conditions, to be given a larger opportunity is certainly a winning situation for all involved.”