AG asks feds to help protect consumers from CBD false claims

Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho. (PNC file photo)

Attorney General Leevin Camacho has joined a coalition of 37 state and territorial attorneys general urging federal cooperation to protect consumers from false advertising and harms to their health resulting from products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD).

In a public comment filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the AGs highlighted the need for research into the potential benefits and risks of cannabinoid products to inform consumers and assist in state-level regulation. They also encourage the FDA to continue partnering with state consumer protection authorities as it considers guidelines for this emerging market.

According to AG Camacho, Guam consumers need to know that any CBD products they are drinking, eating or putting on their bodies are safe and are being marketed accurately.

The Farm Bill, passed in December 2018, removed cannabis products containing less than .3 percent of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, from the Schedule I list of drugs prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act.

As a result, companies across the country have started to manufacture and sell varieties of cannabis commonly classified as “hemp” that contains little THC but large amounts of CBD, a compound that has been touted by some to treat a wide variety of health concerns.

The Farm Bill permits states to come up with their own “Comprehensive Regulatory Plan” to regulate the CBD industry within their borders. Those plans will be reviewed by the federal government for approval.

In the interim, however, the CBD industry has expanded in the last six months and businesses are operating throughout the country without much oversight.

Earlier, Camacho said that although the 2018 Farm Bill and recent local law have given some the impression that CBD has been completely decriminalized and that CBD sales are now legal everywhere decriminalization does not mean there will be no regulation.

As an example, Camacho said, CBD is still considered a drug, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate products containing it.

To keep consumers safe and help them make informed decisions, the coalition of AGs is encouraging the FDA to study how cannabis compounds work, in particular, and how they interact with drugs and dietary supplements.

They also emphasize the need for an assessment of the risks these products pose to vulnerable populations, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.