Hemp and CBD would get new attention by federal agencies under a 2021 budget plan released this week by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s proposal asks for an additional $5 million next fiscal year for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD.
The president also asked for more money to oversee hemp farmers.
The budget requests come soon after legislation was introduced in Congress to require federal food and agriculture regulators to treat hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement. That proposal came in response to the increasing popularity of the product and the FDA’s year-long delay in developing regulations.
The FDA started work last May reviewing federal regulations for hemp-derived CBD after the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and its derivatives. The review has yet to go public.
The $5 million boost in Trump’s budget would help advance the FDA’s regulations for products containing CBD while allowing the agency to enforce the law against making unsubstantiated medical claims about their products, the FDA said in a statement.
“FDA is seeing a significant increase in activity relating to the marketing of unlawful cannabis-derived products, especially those containing cannabidiol since the Farm Bill passed,” the agency said.
The $5 million would be divided across different FDA departments including:
- The Office of Regulatory Affairs ($2 million)
- The Center for Veterinary Medicine ($500,000)
- The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition ($2 million)
- FDA headquarters ($500,000)
The agency says it would use the money to:
- Regulate cannabis-derived substances, such as CBD, in FDA-regulated products including dietary supplements and when used as an additive in unapproved products like food.
- Develop policy
- Process product review applications
- Conduct inspections and enforcement
- Carry out research.
“FDA must support oversight of increasing numbers of marketed FDA-regulated products containing cannabis-derived substances that may put the public at risk,” the agency stated in the budget’s executive summary.
The money would “indirectly increase capacity of FDA’s dietary supplement and food ingredient review programs,” the agency added.
Agriculture money, too
The FY 2021 budget also allocates $17 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nationwide hemp production program.
The agriculture department says it would use the money to:
- Regulate licensed farmers under the USDA plans
- Approve state and tribal production plans
As legal commodity producers, hemp would also see impacts from new funding for USDA programs such as crop insurance, farm loans, conservation programs and research.
The overall 2021 USDA budget includes:
- Nearly $1 billion for rural connectivity
- $200 million to reduce agricultural trade barriers
- $8.8 billion for federal crop insurance
- $79 million for farm loans
- Nearly $4.5 billion for conservation programs and grants
- $1 billion for agricultural pest and disease programs.
The final federal spending plan for 2021 must be approved by Congress.
Laura Drotleff can be reached at [email protected]