The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a warning letter to a Florida-based CBD company over claims made by the company that its product provides therapeutic benefits on its website and social media.
The federal agencies accused Rooted Apothecary of claiming its CBD products could treat symptoms for ADHD, autism, earaches and Parkinson’s disease. Rooted Apothecary also lists its products as dietary supplements, which is illegal under federal law. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, it is illegal to advertise a product can treat, prevent or cure a disease without scientific evidence.
“Cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds are subject to the same laws and requirements as FDA-regulated products that contain any other substance. We are working to protect Americans from companies marketing products with unsubstantiated claims that they prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure a number of diseases or conditions. This is especially concerning when companies are peddling unproven CBD products for use in vulnerable populations like infants and children,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D.
The FDA emphasized the only CBD product that is available to be prescribed is Epidiolex, which is used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The FDA is in the process of creating a set of rules that can allow for the lawful marketing of CBD.
“Clients come to us with claims all the time and want them on their packaging, and we say ‘no,’” said William Read, CEO and founder at CannaPlanners, a Burlington, Vermont-based creative and web design agency catering to the cannabis industry. “I wanted us to sort of set a bar with wading through the murky gray compliance waters.”
Rooted Apothecary has 15 days to correct the violations, the same amount of time given to other companies that have received warnings for their unsubstantiated medical claims and uses for CBD. Companies that don’t listen to the warnings are subject to fines, although further disciplinary actions are rare.