Believe it or not, not everyone likes to play by the rules. And when rules are broken — there are consequences. Societies like the tidiness of law and order!
This applies to kids at home, athletes on the field, and businesses in the marketplace. Including CBD producers, promoters, and peddlers.
Keep reading to see:
In this article, we’re only discussing federally-legal CBD used for non-medical purposes. And we’re only talking about the consumer-facing CBD products and activities (not the supply chain/agricultural aspects of CBD).
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) that contains 0.3% or less THC. After passing this law, oversight for manufacturing and sales of CBD was handed off to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the individual states. Let’s take a mini-tour of the regulatory landscape.
The FDA is tasked with regulating the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of CBD products according to the provisions of the under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and Public Health Service Act (PHS Act).(1) Its oversight allows it to do stuff like:(2)
It may seem — based on the broad mandate and powers the FDA has — that the regulations are numerous, specific, all-encompassing, etc. This isn’t really the case, though.
A lot of the FDA rules are still being sorted out.(3) There are lots of gaps, which makes for many murky grey areas. But, hey, it takes time and no one every accused bureaucracy of moving at lightning speeds, right?
When it comes to enforcement, the FDA gets help from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).(4)
And, of course, the federal laws are evolving. The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act of 2021 — introed in December — is the newest one on Congress’s docket. This means the scope and/or nature of the FDA’s oversight may change over time.
While governments below the federal level need to observe the statues and rules dictated by the FDA, they can establish their own, additional laws and guidelines for within their jurisdiction.
At the state — and sometimes municipal or tribal reservation — level, CBD is overseen by some sort of government agency. Usually, it’s a state’s department of agriculture or food, or whatever their version of a state liquor/cannabis board is. It varies quite a bit.
The Farm Bill is often more of a framework of dos and don’ts that FDA and local governments need to figure out how to implement. For example:
To be sure, the FDA does have plenty of black-and-white rules that CBD producers and sellers must follow. The biggies are that CBD companies:(5)
States are a crazy quilt of all kinds of rules. You really have to examine each jurisdiction’s books to know what you can and can’t do and in what way. That said, it’s worth knowing that:
It’s a total mixed bag.(8)
The FDA has several enforcement options at its disposal, including:
Warning letters are the action of choice, being the most frequently leveraged weapon in the FDA & Team’s armory. Mandatory recalls and confiscations of products are less common. And going through the legal system for injunctions and civil or criminal punishments is also a less traveled path.
According to a December 2021 review, nearly all warning letters issued by the FDA were for violations made on a CBD company’s website and/or social media accounts. Of these infringements, most were related to marketing the CBD-including product as a new (as-yet-unapproved) drug and falsely making claims about CBD’s therapeutic abilities.(10) Other companies run afoul by not having their actual product contents (like amount of THC or CBD) match what’s indicated on the label.
CBD companies that stray from the straight and narrow also run the risk of being sued by consumers, competitors, and other entities.
Simply put, only deal with reputable retailers. You’ll be able to tell if you’re engaging with a reputable CBD company if:
Needless to say, Pure Craft is all these things. We take being an industry leader — and hopefully a role model, too — very seriously. More importantly, we want you to have the best possible CBD products and feel confident using them.
Several regulating bodies craft and administer the laws and guidelines for CBD manufacturing and sales. At the federal level, the FDA is the main overseer. At the state and more local levels, it’ll be a governmental agency.
Most CBD companies that break the rules do so by making inappropriate health or product claims or failing to label their products correctly and accurately. Violators face a number of possible punitive actions, the most common of which is a warning letter from the FDA.
Pure Craft meets or exceeds all applicable laws and best practices. The proof’s in our products, certificates of analysis, reviews, etc. So you know you’re getting superior products from a reliable CBD producer and retailer.
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