CBD makers shouldn’t face liability claims until FDA acts, judge rules

A decision by a federal judge in Florida to put a CBD lawsuit on hold pending federal clarity on the extract signals the judiciary isn’t yet ready to start hearing class action claims against the industry.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled Jan. 3 that a CBD manufacturer shouldn’t face certain liability claims until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finishes work reviewing CBD policy. That FDA review was promised last year, but has yet to appear.

In the Florida case, the judge decided that the federal health agency’s current rules “provide little guidance with respect to whether CBD ingestibles, in all their variations are food supplements, nutrients or additives and what labeling standards are applicable.”

The ruling came in a labeling lawsuit against Green Roads, a CBD manufacturer in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Ungaro also dismissed an attempt to make the Green Roads case a class action lawsuit.

Green Roads is one of several CBD manufacturers facing liability claims based on labeling or branding. The FDA’s statements that CBD cannot be sold as a dietary supplement are underpinning all those cases.

Ungaro noted the FDA is planning to update its CBD guidelines.

The judge also acknowledged that the state of Florida recently started regulating CBD products, but she added in her order that “the court would benefit greatly from the FDA’s regulatory oversight.”

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