- Many producers flooding the Colorado CBD market offering many CBD infused products
- Authorities are slowly getting involved with the situation with some proposing the likelihood of new regulations to regulate the situation
- The authorities are warning consumers against buying CBD from black market or unregistered sellers.
The recent surge of CBD products that have Americans buying almost anything that has CBD in it has hit Colorado hard. Everyone is either selling or buying, and this has its state officials worried. In Aurora, for instance, walking around its residential streets may feel as if you are getting ready for a garage sale, but in reality it is hemp and CBD oil adverts.
On further scrutiny, these advertisements do not display any licensed retail establishments, the sales are being conducted at peoples’ garages or yards, some without any state permits or licenses to even conduct such transactions. In a recent experiment by Westword, they tried calling a number that was on one of the adverts but did not receive any response from the seller.
Colorado’s director of Agriculture’s inspection and consumer services, Hollis Glenn, acknowledged the fact that it might be getting out of hand, stating,
“There’s a lot of concern, or growing concern, as we see a lot of the CBD market grow and grow. You see CBD being sold in places like gas stations, and the industry is so new that there’s no directive on how it should be manufactured.”
These advertisements in Aurora also provoked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct their own investigations into the legitimacy of these products. The department at the same time also warned the public by urging consumers in refraining from buying CBD products from the black market which might be potentially harmful and might not get the culprits accountable. Its director, Jeff Lawrence stated,
“We are currently in the process of doing an investigation on the seller. We inspect manufacturers of CBD products, oils, tinctures, extracts and food for compliance with the regulations to protect public health. When we become aware of non-compliant product or unapproved products, we take appropriate action, up to and including destruction of the product.”
As it stands, the market itself is currently oversaturated with licensed CBD manufacturers and distributors which authorities are having a hard time keeping them in check. With the black market, operators it is a complete headache. The public stand on CBD and cannabis products has softened over the last few years, while the CBD craze has really gained traction since hemp was approved by the federal government under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Current State of CBD
Now, CBD finds its ways in literally anything ingestible. From water to doughnuts and pet food, you can’t miss CBD infused products. This creates the illusion that CBD is regulated by the FDA, which currently is not the case.
While CDB might be approved for cosmetic or other purposes not related to foods, CBD for human or animal consumption is still against the law, except for one product, Epidiolex, a seizure prescription medication that was approved by the FDA in June 2018.
However, in Colorado, hemp-infused foods are legal and with this, these producers of ingestible CBD products like doughnuts and CBD infused water find a safe haven. Though at a federal level it is still illegal and this limits their trade only within Colorado and not across state lines.
The current situation is getting authorities concerned about when or how soon will the FDA regulate CBD for consumption. Colorado as a state is working to ensure that they have detailed and conclusive regulations. From labeling to testing standards, consumer education and ethical manufacturing are among the top priorities for the state. As a state, Colorado has commissioned an initiative, CHAMP Initiative, that will facilitate for this to be a reality and ensure the regulations are on par with FDA’s regulations.
Denver’s Food and Cannabis Supervisor at the Denver Department of Health and Public Environment, Kara Lavaux, in a statement exclaimed,
“Everyone is waiting to see what the FDA is going to do. The FDA could regulate CBD as a supplement, as a drug or as a food. But in the meantime, hemp and the CBD industry are just exploding.”
Glenn also insisted on the importance of Colorado as a state to enact policies that will facilitate CBD consumable products that will be produced in a conducive manner that is safe for Coloradoans. Proper labeling is an aspect he advocates for since not all CBD is created equally.
“We’re seeing CBD coming in from China or India, and sometimes disguised as coming through Canada. We don’t know if they have good, safe manufacturing procedures, and we’re still not sure if it’s an adulterated product.” Said Glenn.
“Everything is still new on the processing side. It’s a concern from the state as we begin to set up this industry to establish good manufacturing and labeling requirements.” He added.
According to Lavaux, she urges consumers to do in-depth research before consuming any CBD products. She believes that consumer enlightenment plays a very critical role in consumer behavior and this limits exploitation or the purchase of substandard products.
“Nothing has proved that CBD can cure all these ailments. At the end of the day, we don’t really know what’s in these products and their long-term effects, especially if they’re bought from a place that doesn’t look safe and doesn’t check if its products are safe.”
The fight for consumer enlightenment is a battle that Colorado takes a battlefront and it believes that more needs to be done to achieve a sustainable and quality CBD market. Though the market forces are favored by the current surge in demand over supply, tackling the issues head-on will prove way beneficiary.