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.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has made no public statements on CBD regulation since his confirmation on December 9, 2019. In 2019 the agency created a CBD Task Force, but there has been no status report of the work of the task force or other information about their activity.
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.
CDA is working with like-minded associations and companies to support common sense legislation that will lead to a clear regulatory path for CBD containing products.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
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.
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. 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.