Senate Agriculture Committee to Address Industrial Hemp Production

Members of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hear expert testimony next week regarding the production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived products.

The Senate hearing, titled “Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill,” is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 25, at 9:30am est.

Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture, the US Food & Drug Administration, and the National Hemp Association are among those who will testify at next week’s hearing.

In December, Congress enacted legislation removing industrial hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC) and products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Under the law, states that wish to license commercial hemp cultivation must submit their plan to the USDA. Last month, the agency filed a notice in the Federal Register indicating its intention to finalize regulations governing the licensed production of industrial hemp by late August.

Separately, the US FDA is discussing options regarding the regulation of hemp-derived CBD products, which it currently states may not legally be marketed as either nutritional supplements or food additives. In May, NORML provided written testimony to the FDA calling on the agency to clarify confusion among both consumers and regulators with regard to the legality of certain CBD products. NORML further recommended that the FDA move expeditiously to provide regulatory guidelines governing the products’ manufacturing, standardization, and quality.