Legality Of CBD
If you’ve visited the rest of our site, you know that CBD isn’t actually FDA-approved. In fact, most companies that are selling CBD are doing so illegally. State governments allow them to, and there is very little the FDA can do about it. That doesn’t mean it’s legal, though.
Until now, the FDA hasn’t really stepped in to stop companies from selling their products, but that recently changed in the beginning of December. Let’s look at what happened, and we’ll talk about how it affects you.
15 Companies Targeted
As we said, the FDA usually doesn’t have the power to do anything about illegal CBD sales. However, the agency recently issued very serious warnings to fifteen different companies.
The companies were doing what all CBD companies do. They were selling a large variety of common items infused with CBD oil. The products weren’t harming anyone, and they followed state guidelines. However, that wasn’t enough for the FDA.
The FDA chose to warn these companies that selling any more CBD products would result in them being shutdown, and the owners could be charged with several different federal crimes for blatantly ignoring FDA guidelines.
In the past, retailers wouldn’t have to take FDA warnings very seriously. After all, the FDA can’t march to every CBD store in the country to shut them down. It would have to work very closely with local law enforcement agencies to actually do anything.
Now, the FDA has received funding to help it regulate CBD more effectively. Some of that money will obviously go towards the agency’s research department, but there is speculation that the FDA will also use it to shutdown non-compliant businesses. This recent wave of warnings seems to confirm that.
How It Affects You
Since you’re probably not one of the people receiving warnings from the FDA, you might not be concerned about this. You should be concerned, though.
If the FDA manages to start shutting down non-compliant companies without state-level help, the fledgling industry might be stopped in its tracks. Fifteen companies might not sound like a lot when it comes to an industry made up of hundreds or even thousands of businesses, but more warnings are bound to be handed out.
Smaller startup companies are unlikely to want to pick a fight with the FDA. They just can’t win that type of legal battle. So, a lot of your favorite CBD stores would shutdown if the FDA started making valid threats against them. Obviously, that limits your ability to get your hands on your favorite products.
Bigger companies wouldn’t be much better off, either. The fines that the FDA can dish out are absolutely massive, and it can shutdown entire companies with very little effort. The only reason that didn’t happen in 2019 is because the FDA didn’t have a practical way to circumvent state-level authorities. Now, it has a little more power. We’re not saying that the FDA will be able to successfully shutdown every CBD retailer in the country, but it will be able to damage the industry quite a bit, and that’s never good for consumers.
If you’re a retailer, you have a lot to worry about. We’ve talked about what the FDA is doing quite a bit, but let’s look at some of the consequences you can face if you get busted by the FDA.
First, you will usually get a warning to tell you to stop selling your products. Then, you will likely be fined for every crime you commit after receiving the warning. After that, you can be shutdown. Your entire store can be taken from you, and you will not be compensated for products that you can no longer sell and other items you lose. The FDA still hasn’t been able to get around state-level authorities, and many states are still fighting against the FDA, but that can change very quickly now that the FDA is getting more funding.
What You Should Do
If you’re a consumer, you can help prevent the FDA from shutting down companies by supporting CBD companies and voting for officials who will fight for your CBD rights.
If you’re a retailer, you best bet is to avoid marketing your products as if they have therapeutic benefits. Every one of the fifteen companies that were warned were marketing products as if they were therapeutic. Some of them said that their products helped babies get through teething pains, and some of the claimed that their products helped people lose weight or calm down. The FDA is picking companies that are clearly breaking FDA guidelines. If you don’t go out of your way to make therapeutic claims, the FDA probably won’t worry about you. It just doesn’t have the power to target everyone.