On September 10, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to 3 businesses that sold cannabidiol (CBD) solutions marketed with misleading claims that they could treat significant illnesses. The FTC aims to “protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices in the marketplace,” and accordingly has the duty of jointly overseeing marketing and marketing of solutions that fall below the U.S. Meals & Drug Administration’s handle. (In 2019, the FDA issued 4 warning letters, and publicly disclosed the names of the businesses in query. We previously discussed these letters in an earlier article.) According to its press release, the FTC warned 3 businesses that it is illegal to market place cures or preventative attributes of a solution without having supporting “competent and trustworthy scientific proof.” The FTC has not publicly identified the recipients of the letters.
The businesses in query sold a variety of solutions containing CBD, such as oils, tinctures, capsules, creams, and “gummies.” Each corporation asserted its CBD solution was capable to remedy or treat significant well being issues. One particular corporation claimed that its product could treat discomfort far better than opioids and that CBD was “clinically” established to treat a host of illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, and many sclerosis. That corporation cited to its participation in study with Harvard researchers. The other two businesses likewise produced related claims that their CBD solutions could treat discomfort and other circumstances (both physical and psychological), such as anxiousness, depression, fibromyalgia, heart illness, and autism.
In the letters, the FTC asked that the businesses assessment their advertising and marketing claims and back these claims with competent and reliable scientific proof. The businesses have 15 days inside receipt of the letter to respond to the FTC’s inquiry.
1. Rising government interest in the CBD space: There is developing government interest in regulating the CBD space, as evidenced by the FTC and FDA 2019 warning letters. This is additional underscored by the FDA’s 2019 Working Group public hearings and public comments. CBD businesses need to recognize and appreciate their potential risk exposure, which is largely governed by the Federal Meals, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). To make sure compliance with these laws, every single agency has its personal enforcement measures with warning letters only the tip of the iceberg. The FTC, for instance, may perhaps situation cease and desist orders and issue civil monetary penalties to violators. On the other hand, the FDA may perhaps seize solutions and situation injunctions.
two. Watch what you say: It comes as no surprise that the FTC has highlighted the significance of claim substantiation. As
the FDA Functioning Group has stated, having said that, there is insufficient information readily available surrounding the implications and effects of CBD. Accordingly, businesses promoting CBD-solutions need to be cautious in avoiding producing unsubstantiated claims. To decrease exposure, corporation advertising and marketing teams need to make sure that claims are adequately substantiated by sufficient and acceptable scientific proof. The FTC has previously explained that “‘competent and trustworthy scientific evidence’ means tests, analyses, study, or research that have been performed and evaluated in an objective manner by certified persons and are usually accepted in the profession to yield correct and trustworthy outcomes.” (Selection and Order, Mars Petcare US, Inc., FTC Dkt. No. C-4599 (Dec. 13, 2016).)