CBA Calls on FDA to Regulate CBD Products
In letters to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock and Senator Ron Wyden (D – OR), the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) renewed its call for government action on cannabidiol (CBD) regulation in order to ensure consumer safety. CBA endorsed Senator Wyden’s Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act to establish uniform CBD regulations and argued that a federal regulatory framework should empower federal regulators to:
Identify data that is needed to support the safe marketing of foods and dietary ingredients that contain CBD;
Establish the infrastructure and processes to review safety data and allow the lawful marketing of CBD-containing ingredients that are safe;
Ensure products are made in full compliance with existing and applicable manufacturing, processing, distributing, and product claim requirements;
Provide guidelines to protect trademark and intellectual property;
Align on how the current marketplace will transition to meet the requirements established through the new federal regulatory framework, in partnership with stakeholders.
CBA also advocated for federal funding of federal regulators to establish such a system. CBA proposed a two-prong approach for Congress to clarify the CBD marketplace: (1) Congress should ensure adequate funding for federal research on the health and safety of CBD products in order to allow regulators to make informed decisions; and (2) Congress should ensure that FDA has the resources to engage in market surveillance and undertake enforcement activities. CBA expressed support for the House Appropriation Subcommittee’s decision to allocate an additional $5 million to FDA’s CBD enforcement capacity in FDA’s 2021 budget.
CBA recently published the report “Unregulated and Exploding: How the CBD Market Is Growing Amid a Labyrinth of State Approaches and Rampant Consumer Confusion,” which explores consumers’ lack of understanding of the CBD market. For instance, the report found that on a scale of one to ten, consumers regarded their knowledge of CBD at an average of 3.3. Additionally, while 28% of Americans have used CBD, 74% of consumers were unsure if CBD is federally regulated. CBA asserts that while FDA’s use of warning letters may curb bad actors, a clear regulatory framework is needed to address consumer confusion created by the multitude of state approaches.