CRN opens membership to CBD companies

The Council for Responsible Nutrition is opening up its membership to a category set for big growth. The dietary supplement and functional food trade group’s board has voted to open up membership to companies marketing hemp-derived CBD and full-spectrum hemp extract in food and dietary supplements. Three companies — CV Sciences, Oleo and Demetrix, have been accepted for membership.

“Responsible marketers of hemp-derived CBD and whole spectrum hemp deserve to have a voice in the industry and in Washington, D.C., and CRN is proud to provide a platform for these companies to join us as we work to create a regulatory path forward to market CBD in food and dietary supplements,” said Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO.

The Food and Drug Administration has maintained that CBD in food or supplements is unlawful, even in light of the recently enacted Farm Bill, because of earlier clinical investigations of CBD as a drug. However, commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said the agency is focused mostly on CBD products making “over-the-line claims. CRN noted this still means manufacturers should adhere to manufacturing practices that comply with legal requirements for supplements and functional food.

“Nothing about FDA’s acknowledgment of enforcement discretion exempts a CBD manufacturer from good manufacturing practices, the prohibition on making disease claims, the requirement for claim substantiation, serious adverse event reporting, and all of the other aspects of our comprehensively regulated industry,” Mister said. “Our board sees wisdom in admitting as CRN members those CBD companies who are playing by those rules. Unfortunately, many companies marketing products as containing CBD are not observing these compliance obligations, to put it mildly. Pursuing membership in CRN not only demonstrates to consumers a commitment to bringing safe, quality products to the market, but also a commitment to being part of the responsible, mainstream dietary supplement marketplace.”

CRN said all potential CBD members would be subject to additional requirements that their products be derived only from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC.

CRN noted that it continues to urge the FDA to clarify a regulatory path forward for CBD. It expects to participate in the FDA’s planned May 31 public meeting on CBD and it has formed a CBD Task Force that meets frequently to discuss strategy and insights. CRN also is offering educational opportunities about CBD for members and non-members, including a recent webinar about the science behind CBD from hemp.