Yesterday, July 28th, at 10 AM EDT, the first-ever congressional hearing on the current and future state of CBD regulation took place at the behest of the House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research.
The hearing, entitled “An Examination of the USDA’s Hemp Production Program,” saw the testimony of five prominent witnesses across multiple facets of the CBD industry, including the following:
- Dr. Brandy Phipps, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural & Life Sciences, Central State University, Cedarville, OH
- Mr. Marcus Grignon, Executive Director, Hempstead Project Heart, Green Bay, WI
- Mr. Eric Wang, Chief Executive Officer, Ecofibre, representing the U.S. Hemp Roundtable
- Dr. Ryan F. Quarles, Ph.D., Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Agriculture
- Ms. Kate Greenberg, Commissioner, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Broomfield, CO
As chairwoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) explained at the beginning of the hearing, the purpose was to provide, “An overview of the hemp industry and insights towards the 2023 Farm Bill.”
Before the experts took the floor to provide their insights on how congress should approach CBD regulation in the 2023 Farm Bill, Committee Ranking Members like Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN) and Glen Thompson (R-PA) laid the context by calling out some of the major stumbling blocks affecting the industry to date.
“I am disappointed we’re having another hearing where USDA—and in this case, the FDA too—are missing in action,” said Thompson, and as Baird stated, “It’s important to note that we have many challenges leading to a significant decline in the number of hemp acres planted since 2019.”
But the witnesses did not disappoint in their offerings of hemp-based solutions to these woes, intended to benefit all sides of the industry while promoting economic growth in a sustainable manner.
As Dr. Brandy Phipps, Ph.D. stated, “In order to become a stable component of the agricultural economy, the nascent U.S. hemp market needs diversification and a robust establishment of the grain sector.”
Hempstead Project Heart Executive Director presented an optimistic outlook on the viability of hemp production in the United States, explaining that “Three-fourths of the land in the US can grow hemp. Hemp grows well with crop rotations. Hemp’s long taproot penetrates the soil and loosens the undersoil layers.”
Representing the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, Mr. Wang justified his “disproportionate investment” into the U.S. industrial hemp market with the bipartisan support he sees powering the industry forward, going on to say that the hemp industry in the states could achieve “net zero carbon solution” if properly maintained and regulated.
Specifically, Wang and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable are asking the committee to co-opt language from HR 841 into the 2023 Farm Bill that would see CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids regulated as dietary supplements.
The hearing can be viewed in its entirety here: