Feds warn Florida CBD firm to stop making unfounded claims about products

Two federal agencies sent a joint warning letter to a Florida company for selling CBD products online while making unsubstantiated medical claims.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Naples, Florida-based Rooted Apothecary on Oct. 10 that, by making claims that its CBD products can treat medical conditions and then selling them online, the goods are considered “misbranded drugs” in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The FTC and FDA said the company used product web pages, its online store and social media accounts to make many health and efficacy claims about several of its CBD products, including:
  • Autism
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s

The federal agencies noted that they were particularly concerned about the company marketing “unapproved new drugs for uses in infants and children.”

Rooted Apothecary founder Cade Copeland posted the following statement on the company’s Facebook page Tuesday:

“CBD is not a cure, but the science is telling the story of critical importance in the optimal functioning of the human body as a whole. Don’t take it when you need it, take it to prevent a time of need.”

The company has 15 working days to notify the FTC and FDA of the specific steps it has taken to correct its violations, including an explanation for each step being taken to prevent recurring violations, along with documentation.

Companies that fail to heed warning letters can be fined, though further enforcement actions are rare.

However, there are broader lessons the CBD industry can learn from federal scrutiny.

To read the full FTC and FDA warning letter, click here.