FDA Targets Delta 8 Products

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has partnered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to send cease and desist letters to six companies selling edible products containing Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These products are being marketed in packaging that closely resembles popular snacks and candies that children commonly consume, such as Doritos, Cheetos, and Nerds. The FTC and FDA argue that this type of marketing is deceptive and poses health risks to children who may mistake these THC-infused products for regular food items.

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant but is not found in significant amounts in the cannabis plant. As a result, concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC are typically manufactured from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). 

The agencies have identified that the advertising and packaging of these Delta-8 THC products may potentially violate Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. The letters emphasize that protecting consumers, particularly children, from products that present unwarranted health or safety risks is a priority. The companies involved are urged to cease marketing these products in a manner that imitates non-THC-containing food items and to take swift action to protect consumers, especially young children, from these potentially misleading products.

The FDA also raised concerns that delta-8 is an unapproved food additive and isn’t Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).

The specific companies that received the cease and desist letters include Delta Munchies LLC, Exclusive Hemp Farms and Etienne-DuBois, LLC, North Carolina Hemp Exchange, LLC (dba NC Hemp Shoppe), Dr. Smoke, LLC (aka Dr. S, LLC), Nikte’s Wholesale, LLC, and The Haunted Vapor Room. An example of one of the letters can be found here.

The FTC has requested that each company respond within 15 days, detailing the actions taken to address the concerns raised in the letters. This joint effort by the FTC and FDA is reminiscent of their previous actions against sellers of cannabidiol (CBD) products in 2019, where similar warnings were issued regarding illegal health claims made by CBD sellers.

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Marc Sanchez

Marc Sanchez

Marc is dedicated to helping his clients navigate the complex world of FDA and USDA legislation. He represents FDA-regulated companies in the food, dietary supplement, beverage, cosmetic, medical device, and drug industries.

Marc is the author of two textbooks and a lecturer at Northeastern University. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the D.C. Bar Association.

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