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State ag officials seek expeditious hemp rules

State ag officials seek expeditious hemp rules
Consistency will be key factor for development of emerging hemp industry.

As federal agencies work on a new regulatory process for producing hemp products, state agricultural officials, the industry’s longtime leaders and co-regulatory partners on industrial hemp called on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to expeditiously create a clear regulatory framework for hemp products. Their comments outlined how federal agencies must be proactive in writing the rules to help foster success for the budding industry.

In comments sent to FDA, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) emphasized the immediate need for a system that all states can follow.

“Hemp will only become economically viable to American farmers and ranchers in the United States if a well-defined regulatory framework for its products is developed. Consistency will be a key factor for the development of a market for this emerging industry,” the comments said.

NASDA also reminded FDA of the new industry’s grand potential and the costs of missing the mark on a consistent regulatory system. “If no federal action is taken, states will be forced to develop regulatory structures for the products, and the result will be a patchwork and an inability to potentially sell across state lines,” the organization warned.

On the consumer front, NASDA noted that there is increasing confusion in the retail aisles about hemp products and the terms that describe them. “Another confusion in the marketplace is amongst the understanding of ‘hemp oil,’ ‘CBD extract,’ ‘hemp extract’ and others,” the comments said. “NASDA encourages the development of standards and definitions for these products so consumers can better understand what they are purchasing.”

NASDA encouraged the agencies to work with NASDA members when writing the new framework. At NASDA’s 2019 annual meeting in September, members will continue discussions on how to bring consistency to nationwide hemp regulations. Learn more about NASDA’s engagement on hemp at www.nasda.org/hemp.

TAGS: Policy
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