United States: A coalition of major brands wants its share of CBD

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The Consumer Brands Association, which counts companies like Kellogg, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo among its members, is lobbying US federal regulators to issue rules intended to guide the nascent cannabidiol (CBD) industry because “a significant part” of its members is “curious about CBD”.

In letters sent last week to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency responsible for developing rules for CBD products, the association said “federal commitment is essential to ensure consumer safety” when it comes to CBD.

She claims that the current US policy on CBD “doesn’t work” because CBD is not allowed in foods, drinks and dietary supplements, but these products are nonetheless commonly sold by companies that ignore the regulations. of the FDA.

“The FDA’s inaction translates into a market full of CBD-containing products manufactured in facilities that are exempt from FDA regulation,” the group writes.

A pending federal bill

A bill to bypass the FDA and allow the free sale of CBD is pending in the US Senate, but has not been heard. The FDA has been reviewing the CBD policy since 2019 without any resolutions being passed.

The Consumer Brands Association stepped up its efforts around CBD in early 2020, first by forming an internal CBD advisory board, then forming a Coalition for CBD Regulation with other associations, such as the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Jen Daulby, the association’s senior vice president of government affairs, believes the rise in CBD consumption amid a continued lack of regulation makes it clear that perhaps it is time for lawmakers to ‘s’ engage more on this issue ”.

The adoption of the Farm Bill 2018 legalized hemp to less than 0.3% THC. Responsible for developing regulations for CBD products, the FDA officially opened a public comment period on CBD in 2019, and extended it “indefinitely” in March 2020, after the first window closed in July 2019.

“The fact that the FDA has gone so long without intervening with a framework and more safety studies, and that this unregulated market continues, is really what drives our increased engagement and support for efforts with lawmakers, because that more and more it looks like we’re going to have to ask the legislative branch to step in to get a resolution on the matter, ”Daulby continued.

An interested coalition

Some of the association’s members identified themselves as “curious about CBD”, particularly in the beverage industry, and some in topical products.

But some of the member companies seem to be more than ‘curious’. Molson Coors Beverage Company, member of the association, is part of the national group Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation, for example, and independently lobby cannabis. Another member, Amazon, is newly registered to lobby for cannabis. Finally, Recess, an existing CBD drink company, is also a member.

The association also released a report and poll this month. The survey of 1,000 American adults, published in collaboration with Ipsos, found that consumers don’t know much about CBD. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, respondents rated their ‘knowledge of CBD’ at 3.3, and nearly three in four (74%) ‘mistakenly assumed’ that CBD products. CBD were regulated by the federal government.

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