State ag officials call on FDA for consistency to help hemp industry flourish
ARLINGTON, Va. — As federal agencies work on filling out a new regulatory process for producing hemp products, state agricultural officials, the industry’s long-time leaders and co-regulatory partners on industrial hemp, has called upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expeditiously create a clear regulatory framework for hemp products. The comments outlined how federal agencies must be proactive in writing the rules to help foster success for the budding industry.
In comments sent to FDA, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture emphasized the immediate need for a system that all states can follow. “Hemp will only become economically viable to American farmers and ranchers in the United States if a well-defined regulatory framework for its products is developed. Consistency will be a key factor for the development of a market for this emerging industry.”
NASDA also reminded FDA of the new industry’s grand potential and the costs of missing the mark on a consistent regulatory system. “If no federal action is taken, states will be forced to develop regulatory structures for the products, and the result will be a patchwork and an inability to potentially sell across state lines.”
On the front for consumers, NASDA also voiced that there is increasing confusion in the retail aisles about hemp products and the terms that describe them. “Another confusion in the marketplace is amongst the understanding of ‘hemp oil,’ ‘CBD extract,’ ‘hemp extract,’ and others,” the comments read. “NASDA encourages the development of standards and definitions for these products, so consumers can better understand what they are purchasing.”
NASDA encourages the agencies to work with NASDA members when writing the new framework. At NASDA’s 2019 annual meeting in September, members will continue discussions on just how to bring consistency to nationwide hemp regulations. Learn more about NASDA’s engagement on hemp at www.nasda.org/hemp.