The ethics code administrator of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) has determined members should not be selling CBD in nutritional supplements and other products that can be digested by animals or humans.
In a memo first reported by Direct Selling News, Jared Blum concluded, “The present sale of ingestible CBD products is illegal under federal law and hence violates the DSA Code of Ethics.”
Blum is an attorney who administers DSA’s ethics code and previously worked in FTC’s Office of General Counsel.
In reaching a conclusion about CBD, he cited statements by FDA officials, disclosures during a May 31 public hearing hosted by the agency, and a DSA panel discussion at its annual meeting in June.
“This office is well aware and appreciates the fact that the legal status of CBD ingestible products may be in flux as the FDA considers its options in regulating these products,” Blum wrote in the memo shared by Direct Selling News. “Consequently, for the next 90 days, DSA companies presently selling CBD-infused ingestible products will not be cited for DSA Code of Ethics violations for that sale.”
If FDA does not deem CBD products legal within 90 days, and DSA members continue to sell them in interstate commerce, Blum said a company may be considered in violation of DSA’s ethics code. Failure to correct the violation could lead to Blum’s office notifying DSA’s board of directors of the continuing violation.
An FDA official, Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., recently stated in testimony on Capitol Hill that a formal rulemaking authorizing CBD in food and supplements could take three to five years to complete, though she said FDA “is exploring options to reach a resolution more quickly and efficiently.”
A trade association based in Washington, DSA represents companies that market products and services directly to consumers through an independent salesforce. Its board of directors work for some of the nation’s largest and most prominent nutritional supplement companies, including Amway, Herbalife Nutrition and Nu Skin Enterprises.
Members of DSA agree to follow a code of ethics as a condition of membership.
Asked to comment on Blum’s memo, DSA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Adolfo Franco, said in an email that the document “comes from our independent code administrator so [it] speaks for itself.”