Congress Urges USDA & FDA To Resolve ‘Hot’ Hemp Difficulties, Addresses CBD Advertising, Veterans & Cannabis Research, Psychedelics


Congressional lawmakers updated Several spending bills and reports dealing with important issues in the cannabis and hemp industries. New documents published by the House Appropriations Committee address hemp manufacturing problemsCBD advertising, home loan benefits for veterans employed in legal marijuana markets, research into medical cannabis for veterans, and alternative treatments for PTSD such as psychedelics.

‘Hot’ Hemp Challenges

In the report serving as an explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2023, the discussed committee the ongoing problem hemp farmers are often facing – “hot hemp,” which is when it contains more than 0.3% of THC, illegal under the federal law.

Regulators recognized the problems of the extraction process, which is known to temporarily raise the THC content. The committee advised the USDA to cooperate directly with the DEA to provide the industry with necessary guidance and information.

“Hemp Extract Regulation.—The Committee is concerned about the inconsistencies in the regulation of the production of hemp by USDA and DEA. Congress vested primary regulatory authority in USDA and expects other regulatory actions to align with it. Congress intentionally expanded the definition of hemp to include derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids in an effort to avoid the criminalization of hemp processing. Committee understands that in-process hemp extract may temporarily exceed the delta-9 THC concentration of 0.3 percent before being packaged and sold as a finished product for consumption. Therefore the Committee directs USDA to coordinate directly with the DEA to present the industry with guidance and information on in-process extracted material.”

CBD Advertising

The committee also notes concern over the “proliferation of foods and dietary supplements marketed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), including products containing derivatives of the cannabis plant. The Committee is aware that non-FFDCA-compliant products pose potential health and safety risks to consumers through misleading, unsubstantiated, and false claims that cannabis and cannabis derivatives can treat serious and life-threatening diseases and conditions, including COVID–19. Such products may also be contaminated with harmful substances.”

While the industry has often criticized FDA For the lack of rules and guidelines around advertising CBD products, the committee praised all that the agency has done so far, such as research, consumer education, guidelines around cannabis-based drug product developments, and actions against wrongdoers.

“The Committee expects the FDA to proceed in a manner that preserves the public health, which may include limits in finished products on CBD and THC in total concentration levels and in recommended daily servings. The Committee also expects the FDA to preserve the integrity of its drug development and approval processes, which ensures that products marketed as drugs have undergone a rigorous scientific evaluation to assure that they are safe, effective, pure and potent.”

Home Loans For Veterans Working In Cannabis Industry

The report offered an explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. The committee tackled the issue of home loans for military veterans working in legal cannabis markets.

“Home Loan Income Verification.—The Committee understands that as directed by House Report 116–63, VA has clarified that nothing in VA statutes or specifically prohibits a veteran whose income is derived from state-legalized cannabis activities from obtaining a certificate of eligibility for VA home loan benefits. The Committee understands that VA is working to improve communication with eligible lending institutions to reduce confusion among lenders and borrowers on this matter and looks forward to receiving the report to the Committee requested in House Report 117–81.”

Marijuana Research, Psychedelics For PTSD

The recognized committee Veterans Affairs’ progress on marijuana research, but also encouraged further investigation into new ways to treat PTSD, “including neuromodulation, family-inclusive therapies,

and alternative treatments, such as those recommended by the Creating Options for Veterans’ Expedited Recovery (COVER) Commission.

Based on a report from 2020 by a federal commission, these alternative treatments could include certain psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA, in addition to cannabis, reporeted Marijuana Moment.

These bills are expected to head to the House floor next.

Photo: Courtesy of Diyahna Lewis on Unsplash

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