On December 2, 2021, U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Angie Craig (MN-02), and Dan Crenshaw (TX-02) announced a bipartisan bill that aims to establish federal standards for CBD food and beverage products. The intent of the bill is to protect consumers and provide marketplace stability for farmers, producers, and retailers. 

“CBD products are exploding in popularity, but the lack of federal regulation surrounding them has put consumers at risk and left businesses looking for clarity,” said Representative Rice. “The bipartisan CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act will establish the clear regulatory framework needed to provide stability for business and ensure unsafe products stay off the shelves. Thank you to my bipartisan colleagues for joining me in introducing this important legislation.”  

“Demand for CBD products has surged, but Food and Drug Administration regulations do not reflect this new reality,” said Representative Griffith. “As a result, adulterated or unsafe products are available that threaten consumer health, and businesses lack clarity. The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would require the FDA to address the issue and ensure more certainty in the CBD marketplace. I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort.” 

“Years after CBD was decriminalized, a lack of clear federal standards in the CBD industry has left businesses guessing and customers at risk. It’s clear that this growing industry needs regulatory clarity in order to continue selling their products safely and effectively,” said Representative Craig. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to create enforceable safeguards and ensure accountability in the industry.” 

The Consumer Brands Association and U.S. Hemp Roundtable are also in support of the bill's introduction, and both organizations have issued statements.

“The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act is a welcome step toward giving consumers consistency and promoting safety that goes across state lines,” said Betsy Booren, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Technical, Consumer Brands Association. “74 percent of consumers incorrectly believe that CBD is federally regulated, stressing the urgency of the action Representatives Rice, Griffith, Craig and Crenshaw are taking with this important legislation.” 

“The hemp industry is grateful to Reps. Kathleen Rice, Morgan Griffith, Angie Craig, and Dan Crenshaw for their introduction of the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act. We strongly support requiring the FDA to regulate hemp extracts like CBD as food and beverage ingredients,” said Jonathan Miller, General Counsel, U.S. Hemp Roundtable, the hemp industry’s national advocacy organization.  

While the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act, it did not make changes to existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law or regulatory policies governing its use in FDA-regulated products. Since then, the market for CBD products has exploded, and CBD is ubiquitously available to consumers in oils, cosmetics, supplements, and foods, and it is even marketed in products for pets. The discrepancy between the Controlled Substances Act and FDA law has created a regulatory gray area in which CBD is widely available but unregulated—and considered illegal—by FDA. 

The bipartisan CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act would allow FDA to regulate CBD as it would any other food ingredient and subject these products to enforceable safeguards to ensure accountability. It also charges the agency with establishing CBD content limits and packaging and labeling requirements, and determining in which categories of food CBD is appropriate for use. This bill will help distinguish responsible companies from companies that ignore federal requirements for quality, manufacturing, labeling, and claims, and it will bring safety and clarity to the market. 

The full text of the legislation can be found here.