Regulation of Products Containing CBD Derived from Hemp • SNAP
Regulation of Products Containing Cannabadiol (CBD) Derived from Hemp
BACKGROUND: Hemp-derived ingredients are found in products including food, beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetics.
The 2018 Farm Bill excluded hemp containing less than 0.3% THC from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. This alleviates many of the DEA-related concerns regarding hemp-derived ingredients but does not provide much-needed clarity around the legality and regulation of products containing CBD. The federal prohibition on the sale of food or beverages containing CBD remains in effect, and state regulatory schemes vary widely.
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn made no public comments during his tenure at the agency. In 2019, the agency created a CBD Task Force, and in February 2023, the agency announced that "after careful review, the FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is needed that balances individuals’ desire for access to CBD products with the regulatory oversight needed to manage risks. The agency is prepared to work with Congress on this matter. Today, [the agency is] also denying three citizen petitions that had asked the agency to conduct rulemaking to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements.”
CDA has been very active on issues related to hemp-derived CBD, leading an association sign on letter with the Grocery Manufacturers and the Retail Industry Leaders Association to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging inclusion of funding for CBD regulation and research in the FY20 Appropriations process. The language was ultimately included in the bill.
In the fall of 2021, Sens. Paul, Wyden and Merkely introduced a bill to regulate CBD like other legal products used in dietary supplements, foods and beverages. The “Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act” would create a clear regulatory path for CBD. Similar bills are expected to be introduced in this Congress and the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill will also provide opportunities to address gaps in the regulations of products containing hemp-derived CBD.
CDA will continue to look for opportunities to engage on issues related to hemp-derived through the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill and separate actions that may arise in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee.
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
BACKGROUND: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a food assistance program giving millions of low-income Americans access to food across all retail channels, including small format stores, including convenience stores. Convenience stores provide critical access to food for many SNAP beneficiaries who may live in “food deserts” with limited access to larger food retailers.
STATUS: In August 2021 Secretary of Agriculture Tim Vilsack announced a 25% increase in SNAP benefits, the largest increase in the program’s history. This will result in the average monthly per-person benefits rising from $121 to $157. Reforms to the SNAP program have been proposed over the last several Congresses, with some legislators interested in limiting the types of food and the types of retailers who can accept SNAP benefits. A bill to end state flexibility for work requirements and to expand the definition of “able-bodied adults without dependents” to age 65 was introduced in early 2023.
SNAP is authorized through the Farm Bill, the legislative package considered every five years to fund hunger, nutrition and farm programs. The current Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334) expires in 2023 and these proposed reforms will be part of that debate.