SOURCE: From the NHA

The National Hemp Association (NHA) is currently in an active dialogue with the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), including the Division Director of the Division of Environmental Health & Sustainability, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), and the Colorado Governor’s office around hemp food products. 

The Cannabidiol (CBD) molecule

The Cannabidiol (CBD) molecule

On July 19th, NHA’s Political Director Samantha Walsh, and attorney Bob Hoban, an industrial hemp attorney with the law firm Hoban & Feola, had a productive meeting with senior representatives from  the CDPHE and the CDA. and the Governor’s office. CDPHE’s current position is: “industrial hemp seed (.3 THC) and any related oil, flour, etc from this seed is fine to use in food products.”

The issue at hand is the status of hemp extracts and parts of the plant that are not seeds, e.g. micro greens (sprouts) and if those parts qualify as food. Terms to be defined and agreed upon include what “adulterant” and “deleterious” ingredients mean under Colorado’s Food Safety Act and other safety regulations as it pertains to food that is created and sold in the state of Colorado.

FDA is considering that CBD (and other cannabinoids) are “adulterants” or controlled substances. Our position: CBD is not listed on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). To categorize CBD as a controlled substance falls outside the authority of the CDPHE, and is in direct contradiction to the 9th Circuit Court ruling (HIA vs. DEA, 2004). To date, all CBD recalls by the FDA have occurred solely on the basis because of medical claims labeling not approved by the FDA.

As a result of Amendment 64, Colorado has exempted the cannabis plant from the federal CSA. Therefore, our regulatory agencies should not use the CSA as a basis for enforcement when it comes to cannabis. We believe that as long as hemp food companies continue to comply with general food safety guidelines, obtain Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification for product quality and reproducibility, follow labeling regulations, specifically by not making unproven medical claims, etc., hemp food companies in Colorado should be fine. We are seeking a position of discretionary enforcement from CDPHE until we delve further into the issue. 

Moving forward, we will likely need a legislative and statutory solution, and we will seek one that safeguards the hemp industry as is is operating now, and offers the state guidelines in enforcement and regulation as well as protection from federal interference.  In the mean time, NHA is establishing hemp industry food standards, which the CDPHE acknowledged would be most helpful and beneficial to them as well as the industry. 

NHA members who are experienced in the hemp food sector and are interested in participating on a Committee for Hemp Food Products, including to establish best practices and standard operating procedures, may contact Zev Paiss, Zev@NationalHempAssociation.org or 303-413-8066.