Overheard at HIDC: Lawyers can bite even if FDA doesn’t

CBD manufacturers in the U.S. have more to worry about than confusing regulations about how the extract can be legally made and sold.

They’ve also got to keep an eye on the court dockets. That’s because plaintiffs’ attorneys are stepping in to challenge CBD companies in an absence of clear rules, according to Jonathan Havens,  head of the cannabis practice group at the Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr law firm in Baltimore and Washington DC.

Havens told entrepreneurs at the Hemp Industry Daily Conference Direct that enterprising attorneys who file claims can drive a nascent industry when government is slow to chart rules, as in the current landscape for CBD.

Havens warned CBD makers to be especially vigilant about labeling accuracy and making medical claims, which can prompt a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for unscrupulous companies.

“When you get a warning letter, it can mean a claims letter from a plaintiffs’ attorney shortly thereafter,” he said.

His tips for avoiding FDA letters included not mentioning a product to treat:

  • Pain and inflammation.
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia.
  • Breast and colon cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Opioid addiction.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Crohn’s disease.

To get more insights about the current legal landscape for hemp operators, click here.