AHPA President Michael McGuffin on Friday provided an overview of federal legal issues for hemp and hemp-derived products at the World of Hemp Forum held at the annual SOHO Expo in Orlando, FL.
McGuffin was one of four panelist that helped attendees understand current federal regulations for hemp, the data that supports the drive for legalization, a retail perspective at the state level and a current view of the farming of hemp. The other panelists were Josh Hendrix from CV Sciences, Devin Alvarez from Straight Hemp, and Tim Hitt from Fiesta Nutrition.
McGuffin noted that hemp is currently controlled at the federal level by both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but passage of the Farm Bill, which is expected to include a provision to decriminalize hemp, would remove DEA oversight.
FDA has stated its opinion that the popular hemp-derived constituent cannabidiol (CBD) does not fit the definition of a dietary ingredient under the provision of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) that excludes any article authorized for investigation as a new drug prior to marketing that same article as or in a food or a dietary supplement.
McGuffin stated that there are good arguments against this opinion, but suggested that the best option could be to request the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) use his authority to exempt CBD from that statutory provision after the Hemp Farming Act passes as part of the Farm Bill.
“If the Hemp Farming Act passes, there would be a readily available and legal raw material for the manufacture of CBD products,” McGuffin said. “Once that occurs, I hope FDA, and in particular the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, will give serious consideration to recommending that the HHS Secretary apply this discretion as authorized under the law.”
McGuffin stressed that ensuring that CBD supplements are legally available would support the industry and FDA’s longstanding shared goals of protecting consumers, ensuring product integrity, and promoting informed decision-making by consumers.
The annual SOHO Expo is the third largest natural products show featuring supplements, foods, pet products, home and garden, health and beauty and more from leading manufacturing companies in the industry. The event is produced by SENPA, which works to support the natural products industry through education, networking and advocacy for the right to buy and sell natural products by empowering healthy choices and business development.