The Hemp Beverage Alliance responded to Congress’ request for information about regulating CBD as a food and dietary supplement by stating that low-dose, hemp-derived THC beverages should be regulated by the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
The HBA suggests two separate pathways for hemp-derived CBD and THC:
- CBD is a non-impairing compound and should be allowed to be incorporated into food and dietary supplements and be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- THC has the potential to impair. Beverages containing potentially impairing levels of THC legally derived from hemp should be regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
THC Beverages in High Demand
While CBD is a valuable cannabinoid with tremendous potential, it is the low-dose, hemp-derived delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and full spectrum products that truly are in demand by the American consumer.
“Consumers increasingly are choosing hemp-based beverages as an alternative to alcoholic beverage consumption,” said Miles McKirdy, founder of Golden Hour and Hemp Beverage Alliance member, in a statement. “This is an exploding category that requires an agency that already has a framework in place, like TTB.”
Since its legalization in the 2018 Farm Bill, low-dose hemp-derived full spectrum beverages have been embraced by adult consumers seeking relaxation. This is where the hemp marketplace is poised for significant growth, and this is where Congress has the opportunity to support farmers, small businesses, veterans, seniors, and countless others who benefit from the production, distribution, sale and consumption of regulated, hemp-derived products.
Paving the Way for Safer Hemp-Derived Products
The HBA also encourages Congress to:
- Appropriate funding to TTB to develop a regulatory framework for beverages infused with THC derived from legal hemp.
- Appropriate funding to TTB to develop programs to educate distributors, retailers, state regulators and the general public about hemp-derived THC beverages. Educational programs should emphasize safety, responsible consumption, and the restriction of products to adults aged 21 years or older.
- Develop a framework to tax hemp-derived THC beverages in a manner similar to alcohol. This will benefit taxpayers and provide funding for market regulation and oversight.
- Encourage uniformity in labeling requirements among the states. This will empower consumers and free beverage companies from onerous, state-by-state requirements.
- Work with the hemp beverage industry to create a sensible, thriving, safe industry.
“Adult consumers throughout the country want low-dose THC products that are safe, effective, age-restricted, and available where they buy alcohol,” said Christopher Lackner, executive director, Hemp Beverage Alliance, in a statement. “We look forward to working with Congress and TTB to create a strong hemp beverage marketplace that protects children, creates jobs, stimulates local economies, and provides high quality products for adults to enjoy.”