State AGs Call on FDA to Take Larger Role in Regulating Cannabis Marketing

A coalition of 37 attorneys general, as the primary enforcers of their respective state consumer protection laws, has called on the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to help protect consumers from false advertising and potential harms from products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds.

In a public comment filed with the FDA, the attorneys general emphasized the need for more research into the risks and benefits of cannabis-based products to help better inform consumers and assist in regulation at the state level. The attorneys general encouraged the FDA to study how cannabis compounds work and how they interact with other drugs and dietary supplements, with particular concern for vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Fearing that aggressive marketing, left unchecked, will lead to deceptive and misleading advertising and unsubstantiated product claims by unscrupulous businesses, the attorneys general urged the FDA to continue partnering with state consumer protection regulators as it formulates regulatory guidelines in this area.

Cannabis products are subject to a complex web of overlapping state and federal marketing and advertising regulations. To minimize exposure to regulatory enforcement actions, businesses should consult with counsel regarding the legal requirements they must satisfy before producing and marketing these products to consumers.