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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 22, 2021 09:54 AM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hemp Food Bill
I will shortly re-introduce Senate Bill 335, which is modeled on a recent Colorado law to protect promising opportunities for growth in hemp production in Pennsylvania.

On December 12, 2018 the US Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill which includes language from the bicameral Hemp Farming Act of 2018 removing hemp from the federal controlled substance list, allowing full commercialization which could create a hemp renaissance within the United States and our Commonwealth, benefitting our farmers and manufacturers. There are sure to be many complex issues as we navigate the regulations and establish oversight of this new industry.

Hemp, under both the Farm Bill and current Commonwealth legislation, is defined as all parts of the plant containing less than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis. This permits the processing of hemp to extract cannabidiol (CBD) a compound from the hemp plant which has purported nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic uses. Yet even with the passage of the Farm Bill, there are concerns that the Federal Drug Administration will assert its position that CBD can’t be sold as a dietary supplement because the compound has been the subject of investigational new drug (IND) applications that have taken effect and CBD was not marketed in foods prior.

My legislation would recognize industrial hemp, including CBD, as an allowable cosmetic ingredient, food, food additive and herb if it’s below 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it will be regulated just as any other food ingredient or food commodity. The legislation would mirror a bill (HB1295) that was signed into law in Colorado and only applies to products made and sold in Pennsylvania. Once a national leader in industrial hemp production, it is my hope that this legislation will position Pennsylvania to again be at the forefront of the resurgence of growing, processing and marketing hemp.