FOOD & BEVERAGE

Background

Hemp food and hemp beverage law is complex, but it does not have to be. A purpose of the FDA is to protect the public health by generally requiring that foods are safe, sanitary and properly labeled. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has jurisdiction over meat from livestock, poultry and some egg products.

Oil from the crushed hemp seed is used in soap, shampoo, lotions, bath gels, and cosmetics. Regulations and laws surrounding these products are relatively more settled than other facets of the cannabis industry.

The legal landscape is evolving quickly, and Robison Law is here to answer your questions and consider compliance matters, local, state and federal. Whatever you do, import/export or manufacture, we can assist your legal needs.

Legal, Regulatory, and Policy Considerations

Hemp food and hemp extract products are now ubiquitous. The benefits of the FDA regulating these products now greatly outweigh the harms caused by further delay, even if these delays are sincere and aligned with core FDA principles. The FDA has stated that its approach to hemp food and hemp supplements is not sustainable – “[w]e’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products, because...even if you did, it’s a fool’s game.”

Robison Law agrees and would like to help you understand the FDA's core goals of preventing the introduction of adulterated and misbranded hemp-based food products into the stream of U.S. Commerce. The FDA’s current policies are preventing the growth of a safe industry. Simply put, without an FDA regulatory program, the hemp foods and extracts market will continue to grow throughout our country while subject to only an inconsistent patchwork of state compliance rules, exacerbating health and wellness risks. Robison Law will help you mitigate and understand these risks.

Hemp food and hemp beverage manufacturers, like any other food industry, should have the primary responsibility and competencies to make food and supplements that are safe. We understand and deeply respect FDA’s role in establishing standards and regulations for food safety, providing oversight, and ensuring stakeholder compliance. We are here to help you do the same.

Hemp and Nutrition

Hemp is one of the most misunderstood plants in the United States if not in the world. As hemp, CBD and other cannabinoid products enter mainstream markets, stakeholders must understand the differences between hemp and marijuana and the respective legal landscapes. Hemp contains compounds and essential nutrients that have been lawful for decades. but applicable regulations for hemp and specific compounds, arguably, have become more nuanced. Depending on the use of the hemp different laws and regulations apply to stakeholder activities and products.

Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)

The FDA has recently completed the evaluation of three GRAS notices for hemp seed-derived food ingredients. The FDA’s GRAS conclusions may apply to ingredients from other stakeholders, if the products are manufactured in a way that is consistent with the GRAS notices and they meet the specifications listed by the FDA. Some of the intended uses for these ingredients include adding them as source of protein, carbohydrates, oil, and other nutrients to beverages, foods and condiments.

Robison Law Group works with all types of stakeholders, each having nuanced legal challenges. Its services include:

  • Labeling best practices
  • Identifying prohibited and restricted ingredients
  • Responding to state and federal agencies
  • State and Federal Differences
  • Organic claims
  • GMO Claims
  • Diet Related Claims
  • Warning statements
  • FDA Importation and Exportation Processes
  • USDA role
  • Exports Generally
  • Advertising best practices
  • Responding to warning letters and avoiding getting them