Law360 (April 21, 2020, 9:06 PM EDT) — A consumer advocacy organization has urged state attorneys general to take action against CBD manufacturers who hawk their wares using unsubstantiated claims that the popular hemp-derived compound can be used to combat COVID-19.
Consumers for Safe CBD, a new project launched by the National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of America and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, said in an open letter made public Monday that public fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 made robust enforcement against unscrupulous CBD sellers even more important.
“At a time when Americans are looking for any hope and solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are increasingly concerned about the deceptive practices some marketers can, have, and will employ,” the letter said.
The letter outlined particular practices that the attorneys general should address, such as CBD sellers not disclosing that their products can contain THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, or touting unsubstantiated health benefits to using their products. Similar allegations have been levied in multiple proposed consumer class actions that have hit the CBD industry in recent months.
“Unfortunately, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers CBD foods and supplements unlawful, these products are not subject to the same regulation and monitoring as other consumer goods,” the letter said. “As a result, CBD products are often marketed in ways that pose serious risks to consumers. Particularly as our states and communities work together to fight COVID-19, we know there is an increased risk of fraud and bad actors.”
The FDA had begun sending warning letters to CBD manufacturers at the beginning of the year, alleging violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The agency has advised both CBD sellers and the public that too little is known about the chemical to say it is safe for consumption.
Since then, the FDA has zeroed in on companies who have tried to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to push CBD sales.
Last week, the agency told U.K.-based Nova Botanix Ltd., which does business as CanaBD and sells its products in the U.S., to stop making misleading claims that its products prevent or treat COVID-19.
Published: April 21, 2020
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