Shook Partners Greg Wu, Katie Gates Calderon and Mike Barnett, with Associate Emily Sellers, participated in a roundtable for Corporate Disputes on cannabis-infused products and their labeling, regulation and potential liabilities. “It is safe to say that the growth of cannabis-infused products in the past few years is nothing short of extraordinary,” Wu told the magazine. “Their popularity has become sufficiently mainstream in the US to be sold in national retail outlets despite legal uncertainty.”
Sellers explained the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) stance on cannabidiol (CBD) and noted a wide range in state rules and enforcement. “There are a number of concerns over quality metrics because CBD is not uniformly regulated,” Sellers stated. “Under federal law, it is illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement, and the FDA has repeatedly warned consumers of the ‘unknown quality’ of the products on the market.” Gates Calderon noted that FDA has approved some cannabis-derived ingredients, “including hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil,” that can be used in food, subject to some limitations.
Barnett focused on risk management, explaining, “Cannabis products, including CBD products, create, and in many instances amplify, many of the same risks as other consumer products. Manufacturers and sellers should especially consider the use of marketing statements, especially those related to potential health benefits.”