Denver, CO--USDA and FDA officials were on hand to share important information with companies selling hemp-CBD in dietary supplements at the two-dayAmerican Herbal Products Association(AHPA) Hemp-CBD (cannabidiol) Supplement Congress, which took place in Denver earlier this month.

“The overwhelming turnout for the first AHPA Hemp-CBD Supplement Congress demonstrates this emerging industry’s commitment to becoming a well-regulated industry in order to meet growing consumer demand for legal, safe and high-quality products,” said AHPA president Michael McGuffin, in a press release. “The industry must navigate rapidly evolving legal, regulatory and financial landscapes and AHPA is taking what it has learned from the well-established herbal industry to provide companies with the expertise and resources needed to ensure the long-term success of this emerging sector of the herbal industry.”

A few highlights from the speakers, according to the release:
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis gave the keynote address, calling for action for an easier hemp licensing application process. "We know what's worked to grow our agricultural sectors, and it's no different for hemp," Polis said to a crowd of more than 200 hemp farmers, manufacturers, producers, retailers, and industry professionals. "It's a big part of our rural economic initiative. You came to the right place to learn about an industry that is very much, even in Colorado, still in our early days, but more mature than in other states.” AHPA noted that Polis outlined Colorado's newest public-private initiative called CHAMP (Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan), which was created to provide in-depth knowledge and information about CBD to other governmental agencies.
  • FDA's Acting Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Policy Legislation & International Affairs, Cara Welch, told attendees that the FDA has well-established frameworks and regulatory tools for evaluating products under its jurisdiction, and that those frameworks and tools are being applied to hemp. Welch stressed, "We’re trying to be as transparent and informative as possible on these issues, and to resolve open questions quickly, efficiently, but also thoughtfully."
  • USDA Hemp Program Chief Bill Richmond also spoke, telling the audience: “Our goal is to provide a consistent, easy-to-follow regulatory framework around hemp production. He explained that federal authorities are working to provide farmers and state and local regulators with a solution that simplifies interstate hemp commerce. He also noted that USDA is working with the Farm Bill's requirement for a national THC testing protocol.

Related: AHPA Adopts Guidance Policy for Products Containing Hemp or CBD AHPA Provides Resources for Handling Regulatory Landscape for Hemp, CBD CRN on DSHEA at 25: The Industry is at a Crossroads

Half-day workshops were also part of the event, with more than 100 attendees participating. Topics included current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements for dietary supplements and regulations for new dietary ingredients (NDIs) and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredients for food and supplements.