Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

On March 28, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in sending warning letters to three companies that market products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), which the companies claim can treat a variety of serious physical and mental disorders.

CBD can be added to foods and beverages, and can be synthesized, or derived from either hemp (which is legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill) or marijuana (which is illegal as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act). The FDA has not yet approved CBD as a food additive, and products containing CBD are currently deemed unsafe under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has cited deceptive marketing practices as its main concern with respect to products that contain CBD, and has taken the position that selling products that contain CBD through unapproved therapeutic claims is illegal. Between 2015 and 2018, the FDA issued 18 warning letters regarding products containing CBD.  Each of the letters was triggered by drug claims. Ten of the warning letters also challenged adding CBD to dietary supplements, and one warning letter also challenged adding CBD to food. Despite the warning letters, the FDA has not yet undertaken a single enforcement action against a CBD product.
Continue Reading FTC Joins FDA in Sending Warning Letters to Companies Advertising and Selling Products Containing Cannabidiol (CBD) Claiming to Treat Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and Other Diseases