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The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) yesterday announced the formation of coalition dedicated to advocating for stronger enforcement of the CBD industry.

In a press release, CBA said the group – which includes top law enforcement, retail and consumer watchdog organizations – would work to advocate for “uniform federal policies around cannabidiol.”

Some of the more notable participants include the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and the National Confectioners Association (NCA), among others.

“The coronavirus gave CBD bad actors yet another opportunity to peddle cure-alls devoid of scientific backing, crystallizing our need for greater research and federal oversight of the marketplace,” CBA president and CEO Geoff Freeman said via the release.

Indeed, the popularity of products containing CBD has swelled since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which decriminalized industrial hemp and opened up the door to a flood of businesses looking to incorporate hemp-derived CBD in their food, beverages, and health & beauty offerings.

Over-the-counter CBD items have been advertised as a way to help reduce anxiety and stress, and help those with joint pain, difficulty sleeping and even depression. However, those claims have been heavily scrutinized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and experts within the medical community.

Last year, the FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies it said were illegally selling products containing CBD. At the time, the FDA said there was a lack of scientific information to support some of the claims being made about CBD, and that it could not conclude whether CBD was “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” for use in human or animal food.

Currently, it is illegal to include CBD in any over-the-counter products other than cosmetics. Nevertheless, several brands have pushed forward and incorporated the compound in food, beverages, and supplements, while simultaneously touting its supposed wide-ranging benefits.

The proliferation of CBD brands currently on the market, and the lack of clear federal oversight, is what drove CBA to form the coalition.

In a press release, Housin Police Department chief Art Acevedo, who serves as the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said “the public deserves transparency and accountability about CBD products, and local law enforcement needs clear guidance.”

“The current regulatory patchwork puts us all at a disadvantage and without additional resources for enforcement and science, public safety and public health will continue to be adversely impacted,” he said.

A recent report from New Frontier Data, a global marijuana research firm based in Washington D.C., found that 18% of Americans have tried CBD and 86% of Americans know of the compound.

For its part, the CBA’s own research suggests that one-in-three Americans have used CBD and 76% believe CBD products are subject to federal regulation.

Meanwhile, 29% of Americans are likely to purchase CBD in the next six months, according to New Frontier.

The launch of the coalition comes about four months after the CBA established an advisory board to “guide the organization’s work to enhance safety and ensure appropriate oversight” in the CBD market.

That board included former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett; former Boston Police Department commissioner Edward Davis, Digital Citizens Alliance executive director Tom Galvin; former FDA administrator Karen Tandy; and former FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor.

The widespread acceptance of CBD is expected to lead to $20 billion in annual U.S. sales by 2024, according to BDSA, a Colorado-based research firm that tracks the cannabis market.

A press release with additional information is below.

Consumer Brands Launches Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Consumer Brands Association today announced the launch of the Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation, a cross-industry group committed to protecting consumer safety and advocating for necessary resources and uniform federal policies around cannabidiol (CBD).

The diverse coalition includes some of the country’s preeminent law enforcement organizations, the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition (NNOAC) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA); leading consumer watchdog group, the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA); and critical industry groups, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

“The coronavirus gave CBD bad actors yet another opportunity to peddle cure-alls devoid of scientific backing, crystallizing our need for greater research and federal oversight of the marketplace,” said Consumer Brands President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “We’re proud to have the support of this coalition in protecting consumer safety.”

“The NNOAC is pleased to join the Consumer Brands Association in this robust and diverse coalition to ensure that the CBD products purchased and used by American consumers are safe, effective and grounded in accepted and trusted science and clear regulatory processes,” said Bob Bushman, president, NNOAC. “Safety must be a priority.”

“The public deserves transparency and accountability about CBD products and local law enforcement needs clear guidance,” said Chief Art Acevedo, president, MCCA. “The current regulatory patchwork puts us all at a disadvantage and without additional resources for enforcement and science, public safety and public health will continue to be adversely impacted.”

Consumer Brands’ research shows that although one-in-three Americans report using CBD, the overwhelming majority (76%) assumes CBD products are subject to federal regulations, when in fact, few regulations exist. A recent investigation by DCA found that 70 percent of American CBD users were replacing medications for CBD for issues ranging from anxiety to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation is the next step in Consumer Brands’ advocacy campaign for clear, uniform guidance and federal leadership on CBD. In January, Consumer Brands formed its CBD Advisory Board and submitted its funding requests for research on the health and safety of CBD and more resources for market surveillance and enforcement to the U.S. House of Representatives. This week, Consumer Brands’ CBD Advisory Board and the NNOAC both sent letters of support for these appropriations requests to congressional leaders.

The Consumer Brands Association is also a member of the Attorney General Alliance industry working group on CBD, currently working with attorneys general across the country in stopping bad actors from continuing to market CBD as a treatment for coronavirus.

About

The Consumer Brands Association champions the industry whose products Americans depend on every day. From household and personal care to food and beverage products, the consumer packaged goods industry plays a vital role in powering the U.S. economy, contributing $2 trillion to U.S. GDP and supporting more than 20 million American jobs.

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