Congress asks FDA for hemp-derived cannabinoid powers in spending bill

Wondering where hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal in the United States? Check out MJBizDaily‘s new delta-8 THC map.

An influential Republican-controlled House of Representatives committee passed a spending bill on Wednesday that addresses the proliferation of hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

In the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration bill approved in a markup hearing, the House Appropriations Committee directed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “to evaluate the safety implications of … products on the market that contain intoxicating cannabinoids” and prepare a report within six months on “the authorities needed to adequately regulate cannabinoid hemp products.”

The bill would need to pass the full House and be approved by the Senate before heading to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

What is Congress’ thought process?

While that’s no guarantee, the bill language does shed light on congressional priorities.

And the spending bill approved Wednesday suggests that federal lawmakers are taking seriously the proliferation of intoxicating hemp-derived products.

The bill funds several agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the FDA and Department of Agriculture. The USDA oversees hemp.

In addition to specific regulatory power to regulate hemp-derived cannabinoid products, the bill also asks the FDA to ramp up enforcement on products containing cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, that are marketed using unsupported medical claims.

“The Committee is concerned about the proliferation of products marketed in violation of the FFDCA (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938), including products containing derivatives of the cannabis plant,” one bill stipulates, in part.

The bill asks the FDA “to take enforcement action” against “the manufacturers of any cannabis products marketed with unlawful therapeutic claims,” which “may also be contaminated with harmful substances.”

More about the bill

The bill also:

  • Acknowledges a “need to study psychedelics and qualified plantbased (sic) alternative therapies” and encourage the FDA to conduct clinical trials.
  • Directs the FDA to “improve data sharing and coordination between state and federal authorities” on hemp.

The Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration spending bill is independent of any updates to a Farm Bill draft released in May by the Senate Agricultural Committee.

A House draft of the Farm Bill contains language that would ban hemp-derived cannabinoids.

The Senate has yet to consider its draft in a committee hearing.

Chris Roberts can be reached at

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