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US (OH): Hemp farmers want CBD regulation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced food products infused with CBD don't meet federal safety standards and is asking Congress to intervene. The announcement comes five years after the federal government legalized the cultivation of hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill.

The federal agency is particularly concerned about its potential to harm the liver, the male reproductive organ, and its effect on children or pregnant people. "Given the available evidence, it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives," said Janet Woodcock, the FDA's principal deputy commissioner, in a statement.

Justin Helt, one of the co-founders of the Ohio Hemp Company, a farm in New Carlisle, said the federal ruling is disappointing. "We were all hopeful the FDA would give an approval here. But their non-decision is not necessarily surprising," Helt said. "And at the moment, we don't really see it changing a whole lot for farmers or most of the industry. It just doesn't move the industry forward."

Helt, along with his business partner, Trevor Richardson, designed their business model early on in 2019, anticipating their primary customers to be CBD food and beverage manufacturers. "That was a big hot topic at the time, and there was a huge belief that there was going to be some great framework and safety measures put up to allow us to start to create these products and these services. And it just never came." Richardson said.


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