SAM and partners have been urging action;
FDA sends warning letters to four companies today
(Alexandria, Va., November 1, 2017) – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was sending warning letters to companies illegally selling marijuana products with unsubstantiated medical claims. SAM and its partners have written to FDA numerous times over the past few years urging action, and applaud this latest move.
“Seriously ill people deserve access to regulated, safe medications that are properly labeled, dosed, and do not contain harsh additives or unadvertised components, let alone false promises” said Kevin Sabet, President and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “We applaud FDA for taking action and protecting public health.”
In a press release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “Substances that contain components of marijuana will be treated like any other products that make unproven claims to shrink cancer tumors. We don’t let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “There are a growing number of effective therapies for many cancers. When people are allowed to illegally market agents that deliver no established benefit they may steer patients away from products that have proven, anti-tumor effects that could extend lives.”
The claims made by these companies include:
- “Combats tumor and cancer cells;”
- “CBD makes cancer cells commit ‘suicide’ without killing other cells;”
- “CBD … [has] anti-proliferative properties that inhibit cell division and growth in certain types of cancer, not allowing the tumor to grow;” and
- “Non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) may be effective in treating tumors from cancer – including breast cancer.”
The companies targeted are Greenroads Health, Natural Alchemist, That’s Natural! Marketing and Consulting, and Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC.
“This is hopefully just the tip of the iceberg,” said Sabet. “We should absolutely support medical research into the components of marijuana and find legal pathways for seriously ill people to access products reviewed by FDA, but these companies and others like them refuse to go the FDA route and should therefore be shut down. We encourage the FDA to continue to protect public health.”