FROM: Patricia and Peter, UNPA Senior Political Advisers
RE: Introduction of Bipartisan Senate CBD/Hemp Legislation
DATE: May 19, 2021
Today, action on CBD by the Federal government took a step forward with the introduction of bipartisan
Senate legislation that would regulate both dietary supplements and foods/beverages containing CBD
and other hemp derivatives. The “Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act,” which is very similar but not
identical to bipartisan House legislation introduced in February, was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden
(D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). At the end of this memo is a statement from Senator
Wyden on the introduction.
Key Bill Provisions:
The outlook for the bill’s chances of passage is uncertain. The bill will be referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Only Senator Paul sits on this Committee. As you know, there is also a similar bipartisan bill in the House, H.R. 841, led by Reps. Curt Schrader (D-CO) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA). Due to an extensive lobbying campaign by the DS and hemp industries, there
are now 26 sponsors on the bill. Their names may be found here.
In addition, while we have noted the challenges of foods containing CBD, we have no objection to the inclusion of foods in this bill, knowing this will continue to be a point of further discussion. The FDA has expressed reluctance to allow a pathway for foods containing CBD, given their concern about the uncertainties of exposure levels in food which may or may not raise safety issues.
Negotiation of any legislation which is enacted will involve close collaboration with the FDA given Congress’ unwillingness to override the agency on safety, and we would not want food coverage to hold up enactment of a DS bill.
UNPA members interested in this legislation should contact their members of the US Senate to urge co-sponsorship. UNPA is working with our coalition on two fronts: to try to increase co-sponsorship of both House and Senate bills, particularly with those members who sit on the Senate HELP and House Energy and Commerce Committees; and to see if the Committees would agree to hold a hearing on the legislation or topic. Presumably, a hearing with an HHS or FDA witness would allow us to get a better sense of where things stand in the Biden Administration.
We will continue to provide updates and analysis and are happy to answer any questions you may have.