Area and Spatial Setup Regulation on Herbal and Natural Dietary Supplements in Virginia and Maryland

The Committee has asked me to discuss the state of dietary supplements in the United States, as we approach a 10 year landmark for legislation that regulates these various products, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, DSHEA, amended the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish a unique regulatory framework for these supplements, in an effort to strike a proper balance between providing consumers with access to dietary supplements they can choose to use to maintain and enhance their health, and giving FDA the regulatory power to act on supplements or supplements ingredients that pose safety problems, make false or misleading claims, or are otherwise adulterated or misbranded.

FDA regulates dietary supplements through a set of regulations distinct from the regulations covering conventional foods and drugs. FDA regulates dietary supplements safety primarily by postmarket assessment to determine whether the product is adulterated, in accordance with provisions in Federal food. FDA has also expressed concerns that    products might be contaminated with heavy metals or Salmonella, and that marketers are making misleading health claims. As the herbal supplement    has surged in popularity across the United States, safety concerns have led the FDA to caution consumers about using, and to crack down on companies making fraudulent health claims.

Herbal and Natural Dietary Supplements in Virginia and Maryland

The herbal supplement    is believed to work like a stimulant in small doses, and has opioid-like painkilling effects and sedative properties at higher dosages. Six states–Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin–and the District of Columbia have even taken steps to ban the supplement. In fact, the DEA went so far as to temporarily classify the herbal supplement    as a Schedule 1 controlled substance in 2016 — a classification meaning that it has no accepted medical uses and high potential for abuse — only to reverse its decision following a public outcry and targeted petition efforts by advocates. In 2018, the herbal supplement, was linked to a multistate salmonella outbreak, triggering a mandatory recall from the Food and Drug Administration.

Although food additives are not considered foods and ingredients in West Virginia, a law passed on July 1, 2014, to exempt foods and ingredients also applies to dietary additives. Code SS 82.08.0293 provides for food and food ingredient exempt status, and also defines which items are included as food and food ingredients. SS 67-6-228 provides a distinction between a lower tax rate and a higher rate on food products.

Texas does not count vitamins or food additives as food products, but instead considers them to be medical supplies, which are exempt from sales tax. Other dietary supplements sold as medicines, tonics, or as liquids, powders, granulars, tablets, capsules, lozenges, and pills are not considered food products and are subject to sales tax. Some states treat supplements as food items, as they typically bear nutrition facts labels instead of supplements facts or medication facts labels. It should be noted that supplements were exempted before 2005, when South Dakota ended the exemption.

If you are receiving food assistance, you also may be eligible for participation in SNAP-Ed or Maines food assistance employment and training programs. Food Supplement (also known as SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help lower-income families buy nutritionally sound foods. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Maine can now shop for eligible grocery items online from participating retailers using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. In response to COVID-19 and related legislation, the Office of Family Independence has made several temporary changes to safety net programs, including the Food Supplement.

Due to a lack of federal guidelines on CBD products, states are developing their own regulations to govern the labelling and sales of products within their borders. In general, state regulations include requirements for lab standards like ISO 17015, QR codes on labels linking to critical product information, including THC content, and strong third-party testing requirements.

Of course, the below list is meant to be a general guide, and you will always want to consult with the state tax office or an experienced sales tax specialist if you have any specific questions regarding your products taxability. To help guide our discussion, the Subcommittee will hear testimony from the FDA, Dietary Supplement Industry Leaders, health professionals, and policy researchers regarding the implications of this legislation within the U.S. Hemp-CBD marketers also need to seek advice from the dietary supplement industry for how to market products effectively and avoid drawing attention from FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, or plaintiffs’ attorneys. Hiring a dietary supplement industry expert on staff or as a consultant can help to identify and simplify common quality-related gaps, including developing product specifications and properly investigating customer complaints.

While healthcare providers are sometimes sceptical of the supplements value, the VITAL Trial represents a gold-standard study. There is only limited current evidence to suggest some supplements do provide the benefits mentioned above for humans.

Alongside these treatments, diabetics have tried a number of herbs and supplements in order to improve their diabetes. These alternative treatments are supposed to help manage blood sugar levels, decrease resistance to insulin, and prevent complications related to diabetes. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are more likely to use supplements than nondiabetics.

Vitamins and supplements would be classified as tangible personal property, taxable, except under further guidance. Asa Waldstein is also the Principal of consulting firm The Supplement Advisory Group, and its regulatory education series platform hosts regular, free events for the community.