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FTC officials weigh in on CBD crackdown on false ads, urge caution

Federal regulators that go after companies for false advertising recently weighed on sanctions against CBD companies, with one urging the agency to focus on opioid manufacturers and another warning against a chilling effect on legitimate cannabis research.

Rohit Chopra and Christine S. Wilson, two of five members on the Federal Trade Commission, recently published statements in response to enforcement action against six CBD sellers, Cannabis Wire reported. It was the first CBD enforcement that resulted in monetary judgments.

Chopra said in his statement that while he supports the actions taken against the CBD companies, “Going forward .. the FTC will need to refocus its efforts on health claims by targeting abuses in the substance use disorder treatment industry, shifting attention toward large businesses, and making more effective use of the FTC’s Penalty Offense Authority.”

He said he is “concerned that we have largely ignored Congressional concerns about unlawful opioid treatment practices.”

Wilson, meanwhile, said the FTC must be cautious with enforcement action so it doesn’t “chill” the new industry.

“The Commission should be careful to avoid imposing an unduly high standard of substantiation that risks denying consumers truthful, useful information, may diminish incentives to conduct research, and could chill manufacturer incentives to introduce new products to the market,” Wilson said.

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