Creating a legal pathway for CBD

CRN has publicly called for FDA to act on CBD since 2018. Creating a legal pathway for CBD remains a policy priority in 2023. In addition, see CRN's work on drug preclusion.

AUGUST 2023: CRN responds to a Congressional RFI seeking comprehensive information from key industry stakeholders on CBD

JULY 2023: CRN Asks Congress to Demand FDA ‘Complete the Work’ to Allow CBD to be Marketed as a Dietary Supplement 

MAY 2023: CRN responds to FDA's Review of the Oral Toxicity of Cannabidiol (CBD)

MARCH 2023: CRN applauds introduction of the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2023

  • Hemp Roundtable statement included comment from CRN President & CEO Steve Mister saying, “Over four years ago, Congress purposefully removed hemp-derived CBD from the Controlled Substances List to jumpstart a market, yet FDA refuses to recognize that directive. While FDA delays, a sizable market has grown for CBD—legal or otherwise. Americans know these products are safe because they have been taking them for years. Consumers don’t need a new regulatory scheme that will potentially limit consumer choice.”

JANUARY 2023: FDA Response on CBD Fails Consumers and Industry and Highlights Agency’s Four Years of Inaction

CRN's Steve Mister: Don't Sell Out DSHEA for CBD

We all want an expedient solution to the stalemate with FDA over the legal status of cannabidiol (CBD), but the call to allow FDA to set a maximum safe level for CBD is antithetical to the law governing dietary supplements, DSHEA.


Steve appears with Charlotte's Web CEO Deanie Elsner responding to FDA's response to the company's NDI submission

FDA’s response to Charlotte's Web's new dietary ingredient (NDI) notification highlights the scope of regulatory hurdles facing the CBD industry, and according to many, the need for a legislative solution.

Statements and press:


CBDsq.jpgCRN has publicly called for FDA to act on CBD for more since 2018:

Following CRN's Citizen Petition filing, Steven Tave, former head of FDA's Office of Dietary Supplement Programs spoke on behalf of the agency at a legal, regulatory and compliance conference indicating that companies may be able to successfully argue that full spectrum hemp extract is not the same article as CBD isolate—indicating companies should bring forward arguments for FDA to evaluate. CRN President & CEO Steve Mister highlighted Tave’s statements a NutraIngredients-USA article. 

CRN works to promote legislation directing FDA to provide a legal pathway to market for dietary supplements containing hemp-derived CBD 

CRN has been vocal in its support of HR 841, the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021, which creates an important exception to the drug preclusion rule of the the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, allowing hemp-derived CBD to coexist in both the drug and dietary supplement spaces. Prior to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the FD&C Act created a race to market in which, as CRN President & CEO notes, "the dietary supplement industry had its shoelaces tied together because we couldn’t get to market, but the drug side of the industry was certainly free to investigate and commercialize CBD and other cannabinoids."

HR 841 continues to gain additional cosponsors on a bipartisan basis. CRN, along with other supporters of the legislation, have had numerous discussions with the staff of the Energy & Commerce Committee that has jurisdiction for the bill, who have indicated that a hearing on the bill could occur as soon as this summer. CRN continues to build support for HR 841 and to address objections that have been raised about the legislation. 

By directing FDA to establish a federal regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD to be lawfully marketed as dietary supplements, the recently-introduced Senate's Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act "promotes consumer safety while providing an economic boost to struggling farmers," as CRN's VP of Government Relations Julia Gustafson noted HBW Insight. The Senate bill, released by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) proposes decriminalizing marijuana and includes provisions relevant to CBD in dietary supplements.

In addition, the Senate discussion draft proposes implementing a set level of CBD per recommended serving. CRN has voiced opposition to this, with President & CEO Steve Mister noting in NutraIngredients-USA, "We absolutely believe FDA should not be setting a safe level up front. If a level is mandated we won't be able to go back and change it as safety data evolves." CRN is engaging with the Senate contacts to share industry insights and assist in the development of a final proposal. 

CBD – Frequently Asked Questions

Get "Frequently Asked Questions" answered about hemp-derived CBD.

Learn why FDA should permit CBD in dietary supplements, and more...

Past news

August 21, 2021: CRN Denounces FDA Rejection of New Dietary Ingredient Notifications for Hemp Extract Containing CBD, Urges Congress to Act

February 4, 2021: CRN Commends Bipartisan CBD Legislation that Protects Consumer Safety 

January 8, 2021: New FDA Announcement on CBD Signals Continued Agency Inaction

December 17, 2020: CRN Applauds FTC Announcement Against Illegal CBD Products—Reminder to all of need for legal pathway to market for CBD in dietary supplements

September 4, 2020: CRN Commends Bipartisan CBD Legislation that Promotes a Safer Dietary Supplement Marketplace

June 17, 2020: CRN Files Citizen Petition Calling on FDA to Regulate CBD as a Legal Dietary Supplement 

Feb. 18, 2020: CRN Applauds UK Food Standards Agency for Clear Path Forward for CBD; Calls On FDA to Recognize CBD as a Dietary Ingredient

Nov. 26, 2019: FDA Throws Shade at Entire CBD Industry Without Addressing Real Public Health Issues—Misguides Consumers and Undermines Business

Published articles by CRN experts

CBD-shutdown.jpgIf you repeat something often enough…even with CBD
by Steve Mister in Natural Products Insider, April 2021

As More Consumers Seek Supplements to Support Health During COVID-19 Pandemic, CBD Regulation Is More Critical Than Ever – Brian Wommack in Nutrition Industry Executive, May 2020

FDA’s Ongoing Review of CBD and its Impact on Class Action Litigation – Megan Olsen with Amin Talati Wasserman's Rend Al-Mondhiry in the Washington Legal Foundation's Legal Backgrounder, May 2020

Hey FDA, can you show a little CBD discretion – Steve Mister in Natural Product Insider's "Hemp/CBD Market Evolution" edition, February 2020

5 (actually, 10) things that should concern us about CBD – Steve Mister in Nutrition Business Journal's recently published "Hemp & CBD Guide 2.0," December 2019

CBD and the 2018 Farm Bill–the legal status of CBD supplements – Megan Olsen in Natural Products Insider, February 2019

Science, CBD and the prisoner's dilemma – Steve Mister in Natural Products Insider, February 2019

Will CBD Become a Shakespearean Tragedy? – Steve Mister in Nutrition Industry Executive, February 2019

Position Paper on Hemp/CBD State Legislation

Council for Responsible Nutrition Hemp-Derived CBD Dietary Supplement Position –  Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) regulations, even in the current absence of federal direction, should establish or maintain a regulatory framework consistent with the federal approach for dietary supplements. CRN members include manufacturers and suppliers that sell hemp-derived CBD dietary supplements around the country and therefore have a vested interest in having hemp-derived CBD dietary supplements consistently regulated by existing federal standards for dietary supplements. Particularly concerning is the possibility of inconsistent and perhaps conflicting state requirements on the regulation of hemp-derived CBD products, including dietary supplements, that contribute to a patchwork of state laws that make simultaneous compliance with anticipated federal regulations difficult if not impossible. Read our Position Paper to learn more.

Hemp-derived CBD regulations, even in the current absence of federal direction, should establish or maintain a regulatory framework consistent with the federal approach for dietary supplements.