Oregon Senators call on FDA to update hemp regulations

Oregon Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today urged FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to ease regulations on hemp production to make it easier for farmers to grow and distribute the newly legalized crop.

The 2018 Farm Bill, included provisions from Wyden and Merkley that legalized production of hemp, fully removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.

But “outdated regulations, however, limit producers from taking full advantage of the industrial hemp market,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Gottlieb. They referenced, for example, a stipulation that prevents hemp-derived CBD products from being sold in interstate commerce.

“We will be closely engaged in the ongoing implementation of our legislation, as it was Congress’ intent to ensure that both U.S. producers and consumers have access to a full range of hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived cannabinoids,” Wyden and Merkley wrote.

The lawmakers noted that FDA is operating with reduced staff due to the partial government shutdown, and requested the agency respond to six questions about updating regulations within 30 days after the government is reopened.