Last week, the Center for Food Safety (a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization) released the results of a recent study that identified some disturbing findings about the CBD industry. According to the study, nearly half of the 40 companies surveyed received failing or near-failing grades (Ds and Fs) for “their production and processing methods, testing protocols, and transparency to consumers.” Only four of the 40 companies surveyed received an “A” from the Center. The release of this study comes on the heels of the FTC’s recent warning letters issued to three anonymous CBD companies for making unsubstantiated health claims about their CBD products, which we wrote about here.
The study also comes as legislators continue to seek ways to provide order to the CBD industry. According to U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of hemp companies (and as reported by Law360), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has submitted a proposal to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture that would require the FDA to set an enforcement policy on CBD within 120 days. While many expect a full regulatory framework from the FDA will likely take years to get in place, McConnell’s plan aims to serve as a stopgap in the interim. Under the proposal, the FDA would have 90 days to submit a report to the subcommittee about its progress on creating an enforcement policy against CBD companies that violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Then in another 30 days, the FDA would have to issue that enforcement policy, which would remain in effect until a formal regulatory process for evaluating and approving individual CBD products is put in to place. While it may not be perfect, we applaud the move to speed up the timeline for effective FDA oversight over CBD products.
We’ll continue to monitor Senator McConnell’s proposal as it is considered by the subcommittee, so be sure to check back in on Locke Lord’s blog for further updates.