Feds Whack Florida Company Selling CBD for Babies

The FTC has admonished a company hawking a line of CBD products for teething babies and pregnant mothers.EXPAND
The FTC has admonished a company hawking a line of CBD products for teething babies and pregnant mothers.
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CBD might be the buzziest ingredient of 2019. Just about everyone is looking to cash in, from ice-cream parlors to yoga studios to multilevel marketing operations.

But one Florida company apparently took the CBD trend a bit too far. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) admonished a Naples company hawking a line of CBD products for teething babies and pregnant mothers. The commission's letter, written in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says Rooted Apothecary violated federal law by marketing its CBD products for medical and therapeutic purposes without reliable scientific evidence, including human clinical studies.

"The use of untested drugs can have unpredictable and unintended consequences, especially in vulnerable populations," the letter stated. "For example, infants and children may be at greater risk for adverse reactions associated with certain drug products due to differences in the ability of infants and children to absorb, metabolize, distribute, or excrete such drug products or their metabolites."

Rooted Apothecary did not respond to requests for comment from New Times, nor did Cade Copeland, a Naples chiropractor who was addressed in the warning letter.

An official with the FTC could not confirm whether the company had responded to the warning letter, as it was required to do.

The Instagram account for Rooted Apothecary shows an image of a mother and toddler looking happy and healthy while cuddling on a couch. The caption reads, "But what about CBD & kids: is it safe? The short answer is yes! CBD is very safe to use for all ages."

Another post includes a photo of a mom kissing her infant's feet and talks about "tummy and teething rollers," which the company claims are designed to "help ease the pains that come during the infant stage while promoting better rest." The same post goes on to suggest that new mothers would benefit from the company's full-spectrum hemp oil to "lessen the anxiety and stress that often come with the first years of mothering."

Richard Cleland is the assistant director of the FTC's Division of Advertising Practices. Though he could not comment about the particulars of the letter to Rooted Apothecary, he said the missive was only the seventh the FTC has sent to a CBD company and the fourth penned in conjunction with the FDA. The other three were sent by the FTC alone.

Cleland likens the burgeoning hemp and CBD industries to the Wild West. He says it's difficult for consumers to know whether many companies are selling actual CBD oil in their tinctures and creams.

"A lot of these entrepreneurs are ignorant both from the standpoint of the FDA and the FTC," Cleland says. "There are a lot of small-scale entrepreneurs out there that saw that with the passage of the Farm Bill last year that CBD was no longer considered a Schedule 1 substance. They interpreted that to mean [they] can go out there now and sell CBD and make any claim."

Cleland says the FTC has been rooting out bad companies through simple internet searches for CBD products.

The letter to Rooted Apothecary ends by saying, "You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited in this letter. Failure to promptly correct violations may result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and/or injunction."

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