By Food Marketing Institute
We wanted to make sure you saw that FMI has just released a CBD guide for the food retail industry. The guide includes best practices for food retailers and product suppliers regarding the marketing and sale of CBD products.
FMI understands that significant consumer interest in CBD, or cannabidiol, has resulted in many companies considering whether and how to enter this space, if they haven’t already done so. However, the absence of comprehensive federal guidance with regard to CBD products, coupled with a developing patchwork of state laws regulating the products, has created a lack of clarity for both retailers/wholesalers and customers. Therefore, FMI partnered with the law firm Baker Hostetler to develop a guide including useful background information and general recommendations to help ensure food retailers and suppliers understand the key regulatory issues pertaining to CBD products. We intend to update and build on this document as more clarity occurs, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or suggestions. We look forward to your feedback.
While FMI was finalizing this CBD guide, the FDA was busy sending warning letters to 15 businessesmanufacturing what FDA has determined to be unlawful CBD products. In addition to continuing to warn against making unsubstantiated health claims to market CBD products, FDA clearly reiterated its stance that it remains illegal to use CBD as an ingredient in human or animal food, even noting the agency doesn’t have evidence to conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The agency also issued a revised Consumer Update titled, “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD,” detailing ongoing safety concerns about CBD products, including a list of negative effects potentially associated with CBD and stressing the many gaps in research which must be addressed before FDA can confirm the safety of CBD and establish a pathway forward.
FDA has said that it will provide an update on its progress regarding the agency’s approach to CBD products in the coming weeks. In the meantime, FMI will continue urging FDA to expedite a pathway forward for the use of CBD in regulated products.