Warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against making medical claims regarding CBD have become commonplace in the burgeoning CBD industry.
However, more federal agencies are also focusing on the mainstream industry, as was reflected by the flurry of warning letters the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dropped earlier this week. The agency checks unfair and deceptive advertising.
Three undisclosed companies were the recipients of the warnings, being cautioned for (among other accusations):
- Stating products infused with CBD “works like magic” on a website.
- Dubbing CBD as a cure-all “miracle pain remedy.”
- Promoting a CBD cream can be a arthritis pain relief remedy.
- Partnering with researchers from Harvard University to claim CBD’s clinically proven abilities to treat cancer, cigarette addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, colitis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
The warnings came with a 15-day ultimatum for the companies to review all claims and establish backing by scientific research.
Despite actions beyond warning letters being rare, like the FDA, the FTC reserves the mandate to fine companies guilty of making baseless medical claims.
The warnings should serve the following lessons for operators in the CBD industry:
The Federal Agencies are Vigilant
The recent letters aren’t the first that the agency has sent to companies that cross the set business thresholds.
Nonetheless, the FDA has been sterner with CBD products. The FTC letters imply that the industry is growing and warranting the attention of more federal agencies. The CBD is more of a regulated industry than many presume.
The FDA Holds the Real Power
The FDA reinforced the fact that the FDA still sets the pace for the government regarding regulation of the CBD industry. Apart from having power to fine – like the FTC – the FDA can remove products from the market.
If the FDA allows a company to advertise or make certain claims, the FTC and other federal agencies will concur. Hence, a company that complies with FDA guidelines is safe.
Ensure Full Compliance
If a company has social media marketing strategies in its employ, it should make sure that the content posted in its credit complies with the federal rules.
Vigilance doesn’t Need to Be too Stern
Although a company should watch claims made concerning their products, the federal agencies can't be too hard on the company when the content isn’t written by the company itself. Timely checks on medical claims are, however, necessary.