FTC’s Operation CBDeceit Brings Action Against CBD Companies

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

It should come as no surprise to read of today’s FTC crackdown on CBD companies making deceptive claims. Of the 3000+ CBD companies the FTC chose six to make a clear statement that ongoing noncompliance can be costly.

So Why Did They Choose These Six? What Happened?

An FTC official once told me their enforcement actions are a shot across the bow as a warning to the entire industry. This is a clear Marketer Beware Signal as hundreds of CBD companies are still making similar claims.

The FDA or FTC look at the 10,000-foot view of an entire website and socials. One claim may not attract a letter or enforcement action, but a disease claim in a video, a claim hashtag on socials, and a testimonial claim can elevate your risk. The authorities piece them all together for one big picture of non-compliance. They like to make examples out of companies not following rules, especially in areas they want to highlight which is what we saw today. Lately they have been focusing on COVID, Alzheimer’s, opiate reduction claims, social media posts, and claims made on videos to name a few.

In all six complaints there are quite egregious claims and many fall into the vulnerable population category. This is in line with previous enforcement action, another reason to follow FDA/FTC trends.

There are many common mistakes referenced in this enforcement action. I review many of these in a recent blog post Warning Letter Review: What went wrong and how to avoid.