Friends, back in May, I wrote about a news report of the Consumer Brands Association, a trade association for the food industry, urging further oversight and research of hemp-derived CBD products. (link) A number of other consumer groups jumped into the CBD fray over the past few days with positions of their own that are noteworthy.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued a statement last week noting its having submitted a petition to the FDA to regulate CBD as a dietary supplement. (link) Per the press release, the group is urging the FDA to “act quickly” to protect consumers.
On the same day, health and consumer advocacy groups (Consumer Reports, Public Health Institute, Consumer Federation of America, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest) sent a letter to Congress urging that governing body to not force the FDA to regulate too quickly, or itself legislate regulation, but instead to allow the FDA time to study CBD before making law. The groups recommend that Congress provide the FDA with adequate resources to make an informed judgment. (link)
To me, these dueling narratives point to two converging themes. First, both statements note the need for thoughtful and proper regulation to protect consumer safety, with proper resources devoted to study of risks and benefits. At heart, these groups agree on the need, but disagree on the timing. (On a related note, a number of federal courts have recently stayed (put on hold) consumer class action lawsuits over CBD product claims until the FDA issues rulemaking, reasoning that the FDA has “primary jurisdiction” over CBD regulation.) Second, the fact that more consumer trade groups are working their way into the narrative is a strong example of the observation I made last week about CBD becoming more integrated into the broader consumer products supply channel. (link) Even with the overhang of FDA regulation, perhaps we are starting to see macro shift in the CBD industry.