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Consumer Alert

Consumer Protection Unit Warns Consumers About Unregulated CBD Oil

(Anchorage, AK) — The Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit is warning the public about marketing of a variety of industrial hemp-derived products that are currently not authorized for sale in Alaska. Products containing Cannabadiol (CBD) oil and extracts are being widely sold throughout Alaska but are unregulated and untested in the state at this time. Due to their lack of traceability, many of these products are of unknown origin. CBD is a derivative of the industrial hemp plant. CBD oil may also be derived from marijuana, resulting in oil which exceeds the legal limit of .3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold expected in an industrial hemp derived product.

On April 13, 2018, a new law in Alaska authorized the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to create an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to research the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp. DNR is in the process of creating the program, which will include the testing of products, but has not yet registered any grower, processor, or marketer of industrial hemp in Alaska.

The CBD oil and products are widely available at many retail locations statewide, and CBD oil is even incorporated into products such as lotions, pet treats and consumables. These products have not been tested for purity or THC content. Claims relating to the benefits or effects of the CBD oil and products in providing a variety of health or wellness benefits may not have been evaluated by any state or federal agency, including the FDA. This is especially true with any foreign products imported into the State.

“Claiming that a product provides pain or anxiety relief or some other health benefit without side effects is a sure way to sell a lot of product,” said Assistant Attorney General Cindy Franklin. “Alaskans should be careful about what they ingest. Before putting anything in or on your body that claims it will help you, think carefully. Don’t assume that something is safe or will work just because it is trendy. Currently, these products are not an FDA approved food source and a large portion of these products may contain THC in unknown amounts.”

Alaska Department of Natural Resources is working to provide a regulatory framework that would provide for some of these safeguards as soon as possible and thus provide Alaskans greater certainty in the near term. Consumers with questions about the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program may contact Rob Carter at the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture at (907) 745-8127 or [email protected]

The Consumer Protection Unit investigates unfair or deceptive business practices in Alaska. Go to the Consumer Protection Alerts page for more information.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Franklin at [email protected] or 269-5200; if unavailable, contact Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at [email protected] or 465-2132.

Consumer Protection Unit
November 2018

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The Attorney General and Department of Law staff may not provide legal advice to private citizens or organizations. Please contact an attorney if you need legal advice. The Alaska Lawyer Referral Service or your local bar association may be able to assist you in locating a lawyer.

Alaska Department of Law