The Group is passionate about cannabis and pets and animals. Mahatma Gandhi stated, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Multiple pathways exist to incorporate and sell hemp-derived compounds for use in animal food and supplement products. The regulatory hurdles and marketing restrictions accompanying these processes vary depending on the classification of the product as an “animal food,” “animal drug,” or “animal supplement” as well as state-level regulations.

The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Acts (FFDCA) governs food and drug law in the United States for humans and animals. The Food Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring producing consumed by people and animals is safe and properly labeled in accordance with Food Drug Administration regulatory safety standards. Within the Food Drug Administration, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is responsible for the regulation of human food products and, similarly, the Center for Veterinary Medicine is responsible for the regulation of animal feed, pet food, pet treats, food additives and animal drugs.

The federal and state regulatory regimes can be complex. Please contact the contact the Robison Law Group to discuss how it may assist you in the development and distribution of your pet and animal products.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) states the following:

Hemp production is increasing in the United States. In 2015 AAFCO asked the hemp industry to come forward and present information for the scientific review to establish definitions for animal foods made from the hemp plant. We expected information on hemp seed oil, hemp seed meal, and whole hemp seeds. To date, the industry has not provided any data showing that ingredients derived from the hemp plant are safe and useful in animal food. AAFCO is encouraging the industry to submit their data promptly. Regulatory members continue to ask for the information prior to distribution of hemp seed products in their state. To allow an entire industry to enter the market without the appropriate safety data is unfair to other ingredient manufacturers that are doing their due diligence. There are some potential safety concerns related to the presence of certain compounds, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), in parts of the hemp plant that must be addressed.

One thing has become clear as we have had discussions with the hemp industry, materials and products that are CBD infused need to be treated as drugs. There is no nutritional intended use for this compound. This means that several parts of the hemp plant will not be appropriate for animal feeding.

Quoting from the FDA and Marijuana website: “FDA has therefore concluded that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which cannabidiol has been added.”

While AAFCO’s words do not create regulatory authority, it regularly makes recommendations through drafting model bills and regulations for state legislatures and agencies to improve consistency and uniformity. That said, this comment is indicative of the complexities and hurdles facing stakeholders that would like to sell hemp and CBD products in the pet and animal industry.