Welcome to our weekly roundup of CBD and hemp-related legal and regulatory news:

CBD

Congressional report offers overview of CBD/hemp market, policy challenges

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report which says there are “three leading markets for hemp, each based on the part of the plant used: fiber, seed/grain, and flower.” However, CRS notes some observers suggest “a separate, marketable category exists for the plant’s extracted compounds” such as CBD oil. CRS described the wide range of uses for hemp, including “fabrics and textiles, yarns and spun fibers, paper, carpeting, home furnishings, construction and insulation materials, and biocomposites.” The category that’s generated the most interest is cannabinoid-infused dietary supplements and food items – primarily CBD products marketed for a variety of health purposes. The FDA has jurisdiction over the area and hasn’t developed rules allowing for CBD products in the food supply. The report doesn’t weigh in on delta-8-THC, which can be derived from legal hemp but isn’t regulated under federal statute.  Marijuana Moment

Hemp

CBD/hemp-related bills advance in Congress

House lawmakers approved spending bills on a wide range of cannabis-related policy issues. Provisions on hemp and its derivatives like CBD appeared in a spending bill along with an attached report that covers funding for the USDA and FDA. In the report, lawmakers took issue with the 2018 Farm Bill’s 0.3% THC cap for lawful hemp products and directed USDA to work with HHS and the DEA on a study of whether that threshold is scientifically backed. The committee also flagged another problem hemp industry stakeholders have raised concerning the hemp extraction process. While hemp is defined under federal statute as containing no more than 0.3% THC, those levels can temporarily increase when extracts are being processed, and businesses have expressed concern they may be liable to enforcement action in the interim period because of a lapse in regulatory guidance. The report notes the USDA must work with the DEA to provide direction.  Marijuana Moment

Hemp gets $160K in Pa. agriculture grant awards

Hemp gets high priority in projects funded by Pa. aimed at supporting specialty crops. Roughly $160,000 of $460,000 in a recent round of funding went to two hemp research projects. Penn State University received approximately $126,000 for a project aimed at optimizing genotype selection and management practices for Pa. hemp production and Franklin & Marshall College was awarded $36,000 to establish a baseline assessment of oomycete pathogen pressure on hemp plants.  Hemp Today

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