Demarkius Medley, an urban farmer in Galesburg, Illinois, decided not to grow hemp last year, a crop that was at one point the most profitable part of his business.
Part of the reason for that is the lack of clarity around federal regulations for the hemp product cannabidiol, or CBD. He was hoping it might help if regulations were established this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“I had business opportunities that I could have been a part of, if food products could be infused with CBD that I’ve grown on my farm,” said Medley.
However, the FDA recently decided that it will not regulate the hemp product CBD as a dietary supplement or food additive. Instead it will work with Congress to develop a new stronger framework for regulation.
The announcement comes five years after hemp was legalized by the Farm Bill in 2018. Since then, stores have been selling CBD-infused lotions, gummies, beverages and more in the U.S. without regulation.
“From a farmer’s perspective, this really isn’t the best news because we don’t have the clarity that we’ve been asking for since, you know, the last five years,” said Justin Swanson, president of the Midwest Hemp Council.
Hemp growers and CBD sellers were hoping the FDA would regulate CBD as a dietary supplement to stabilize a challenging and competitive industry and give customers confidence in their products.
“You could go to the gas station and get similar products that say CBD on…
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