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Hemp Industry Calls on House Energy & Commerce Leaders to Hold Crucial Hearing on FDA Regulation

In a significant move to address the challenges faced by the U.S. hemp industry, 28 non-profit organizations – representing every element of the hemp food chain and every region of the nation – as well as four leading national dietary supplement organizations – sent this compelling letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, urging the committee to expedite a hearing on the FDA’s regulation, or lack thereof, of the rapidly growing hemp market, including products such as CBD.

Despite the legalization of hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill over five years ago, the FDA has taken no meaningful steps toward regulating hemp products, causing significant challenges for the industry. The repercussions of FDA inaction extend beyond consumer confusion. U.S. farmers, a crucial part of the hemp industry, have suffered economically with commodity prices dropping by more than 90 percent.

The coalition letter commends the House Energy and Commerce Committee for joining the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee in issuing a Request for Information last summer. But while other committees have held hearings on the matter – namely House Agriculture and House Oversight – Energy and Commerce Committee has not yet acted to bring the RFI ideas to public light through a hearing. This hearing would provide an opportunity for committee members to weigh in on crucial issues for the survival of the hemp industry and the protection of health and public safety.

“It is no small task to unite today’s hemp industry around a shared goal. But this letter, and the accompanying 28 organizations, have all agreed we need FDA action to regulate hemp products, and we need it now,” said Jonathan Miller, General Counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. “The fate of the entire industry – hemp extracts, fiber, seed, etc. – depend on regulatory oversight, and we urge House Energy & Commerce to take swift action to address these issues through a hearing in the near future.”

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