WASHINGTON – During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer urged the Food and Drug Administration to issue guidance and allow producers to fully take advantage of the popular cannabidiol (CBD) market and protect consumers.
Schumer says even though CBD products have gained popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the farming, manufacturing, and selling of industrial hemp, the FDA has yet to set regulations or safety requirements for CBD derived from hemp.
According to Schumer, the lack of federal guidance and clarity is spreading chaos for both consumers and in the rapidly-emerging Upstate New York industrial hemp industry, which saw sales of CBD products surpass $200 million nationally in 2018.
“CBD is brimming with potential to be a billion-dollar industry across New York State, bringing along countless jobs and truly meaningful economic development with it,” said Schumer. “But before that can happen, farmers, growers, producers, consumers and vendors need to know exactly what the rules of the road are and right now they’ve got no idea.”
“That’s why I’m calling on the FDA to do its job in a timely manner and issue guidance related to CBD classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sales,” Schumer explained. “And once the feds spell out these ABC’s of CBD, the industry will seed and grow from one corner of the state to the other, many jobs will be created in the industrial hemp space, and farmers will be able to safely cash in on this cash crop.”
To address this lack of clarity, to protect consumers, and to allow the industrial hemp industry to maximize job creation from this cash crop, Schumer urged the FDA to expediently issue guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD products.
According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are currently just under 500 people, businesses, and organizations spread across New York State licensed to grow and process industrial hemp.
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