Federal regulations critical in ensuring safety of CBD products – Consumer Brands

USA – The Consumer Brands Association has renewed its call for urgent government action on cannabidiol (CBD) regulation, asserting that federal engagement is critical to ensuring consumer safety.  

The call comes after a new report from Consumer Brands showed that the lack of a clear federal law on CBD use in foods was putting the safety of consumers using the product at risk.  

The report noted that absent of a regulatory framework, consumers cannot have confidence their products are being manufactured in compliance with existing and applicable manufacturing, processing, distributing, and claim requirements. 

Additionally, the study revealed that currently, product manufacturing facilities are not inspected in some states and many states cannot verify if products contain CBD at advertised levels due to lack of testing rigor, bringing the safety of these products into question. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) routinely send warning letters to these companies, who claim their products can treat or cure serious diseases and health conditions, including cancer, autism or, most recently, COVID-19.  

To date, 81 warning letters have been sent since 2015, exposing just how much risk the consumer is exposed to while the federal government drags its feet. 

All this is happening at a time when the market is expanding throughout the United States. According to CBA, nearly three-in-ten (28%) of Americans have used CBD, a number that is poised to grow.  

Furthermore, Grand View Research reported that the global cannabidiol market was valued at US$2.8 billion in 2020 and forecasts the annual growth rate will be 21.2% from 2021 to 2028. 

“It is time for the federal government to engage more meaningfully on regulating CBD, given the continued expansion of a ‘Wild West’ CBD market,” said Betsy Booren, Consumer Brands’ senior vice president of regulatory and technical affairs.   

Smart, clearly articulated regulations are essential to providing consumers assurance a product is safe regardless of which state it was purchased in and gives them the information they need to make informed choices.” 

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Absence of a clearly defined regulatory framework has also become a major constraining factor that is preventing the CBD market from achieving its utmost potential. 

Consumer Brands notes that the lack of clear federal regulations has led to a labyrinth of state approaches that has wreaked havoc on the market’s potential, creating conditions that allow bad actors to emerge and keep established, trusted brands on the sidelines. 

The association says it found that there are more than 135 CBD proposals moving through 38 states right now, the inconsistency of which opens up room for confusion. 

Consumer Brands’ call for swift action is not about being for or against CBD. It is about being pro-consumer,” concluded Booren.   

“The desire for safe, innovative products will drive market growth, but continuing to grapple with misinformation, misconceptions, and misunderstandings will cripple CBD’s potential before it can prove its value.”  

 In creating a legal framework for use of CBD products in food and beverage, the United States will not only enhance consumer safety but also create a new opportunity to collect more revenue.

Canada which legalized the commercial sale of Marijuana in 2018 is estimated to receive US$200 million in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana every year, revenue that wouldn’t have existed if the commodity still remained prohibited.  

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