Hemp-Based CBD Promoted as Dietary Supplement in Bipartisan Bill

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Democrats and Republicans are uniting to promote hemp-derived CBD in new House legislation that would pave the way for the substance to be marketed as a dietary supplement instead of a drug.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) sponsored the legislation (H.R. 5587), and found support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“I think I’m the only member of Congress that said in a committee hearing that I take CBD oil,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), a co-sponsor, said in a telephone interview. “After the meeting, members in Congress from both parties started coming up to me, whispering in my ear they take CBD oil, too.”

Chris Greenberg/Bloomberg
House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)

The new legislation, introduced Monday, calls for amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to change the way the Food and Drug Administration regulates the product.

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While rules for CBD are necessary, the measure would prevent the substance being over-regulated the way hemp is under the 2018 update to farm policies (Public Law 115-334), said Comer, an Agriculture Committee member whose state is home to hemp farms.

“Some of these burdensome regulations are lobbied for by big corporations,” with the intention of putting smaller farms out of business, he said.

Under Peterson’s new legislation, the Agriculture Department would be required to study “regulatory and market barriers” for hemp farmers, according to a press release by the chairman.

Peterson and Comer were joined by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) in backing the bill.

Comer described the issue of CBD as “uniquely bipartisan,” because liberals support the hemp industry for offering environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic while conservatives want to limit government control of private businesses.

“This is an issue where conservatives and liberals come together,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan U. Boyanton in Washington at mboyanton@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at phendrie@bgov.com; Robin Meszoly at rmeszoly@bgov.com

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