Congressional Leaders Pressure FDA to Act Quickly on CBD Regulation

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Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to include report language in the FY 2020 spending bill that would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to hasten its progress towards regulating the market for cannabidiol products (CBD). If enacted as part of the annual spending bill, the language would:

  • Require the FDA to provide a report to Congress within 90 days that includes details on the agency’s progress towards formulating an enforcement discretion policy;
  • Require the FDA to implement an enforcement discretion policy within 120 days, which would remain in effect until a formal regulatory policy is promulgated; and
  • Allow CBD manufacturers to share safety data about their products through an existing FDA notification procedure while complying with federal law and policy.

This language was passed out of Committee on September 19, 2019, and will receive a floor vote in the coming weeks as part of a short-term funding package. This appropriations bill also includes $2 million in funding for the FDA to support the research and regulation of hemp-derived CBD products. In the House of Representatives, Reps. Pingree (D-ME) and Comer (R-KY) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter that urges the FDA to exercise enforcement discretion on companies that are selling products that are compliant with recent changes in federal law. While pressure continues to mount on the FDA to address this issue, the agency has been slow to respond.

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