As the pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals nears the finish line with its synthetic forms of cannabis, including CBD, federal regulatory lawyers predict they’ll be pressuring the government to help them monopolize the market. The question is, will the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prevent the supplement industry from selling this healing plant compound to the millions of people who benefit from it?
“I think the market will stand as it is until GW has a commercially viable product, at which point FDA will start sampling at the border and they will shut down the trade,” Marc Ullman, a New York-based attorney told Natural Product Insider.
Many CBD producers in the supplement space have already felt the heat and experienced hurdles. We know of five companies off hand who have been dropped by their merchant processor, leaving them unable to do business or get this natural medicine to the people.
Here at HoneyColony, we will be referring to 2017 as the Year Of Playing Whack-A-Mole. After four years of hard work building this company from scratch, we were starting to see the fruits of our efforts. But instead of doubling our business, we have experienced more than 200k of losses indirectly because of the politics of CBD and it’s impacts on the CBD Supplement Industry.
First thing that happened in January of 2017 was that Facebook shut down our ads and took all our proprietary data over the past three years.Then PayPal shut us down and froze our money. HoneyColony went to another processor, Stripe, which also shut them down after causing HoneyColony to lose two weeks’ worth of sales — about $30,000, not counting lost auto-ship orders and disgruntled customers. A third product card processor, Square, got aboard then jumped off shortly later. Next up was QuickBooks. Same results.
“Many cannabis businesses have been subject to social media and bank closures, as well as ongoing, underreported law enforcement raids,” adds Martin A Lee Director, founder of Project CBD and Author of Smoke Signals.
Eventually, we had to stop selling the hemp oil product on HoneyColony altogether despite it being a perfectly legal dietary supplement made from industrialized hemp. We were forced to create a whole new website Simply Transformative and find a ‘high-risk’ merchant processor just to carry our Superior CBD, which is a highly sought after product. Unfortunately, the first processor we found arguably witheld tens of thousands of dollars, further putting strains on our operations.
Because freedom of speech, the right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction — is still allowed ( I think?), we’ve continued to publish solid content about full spectrum hemp oil on HoneyColony.
CBD Supplement Industry: Big Pharma VS Mother Nature
In January 2017 when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) inexplicably classified CeeBeeDee from marijuana extracts (we carry oil from industrialized hemp with less than .3 THC), as a Schedule 1 substance – in the same category as heroin. And yet in 2003, the government also patented cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
Some lawyers contend FDA’s position is erroneous. Garrett Graff, an associate in Denver with the Hoban Law Group, which specializes in cannabis law, has challenged a marijuana extract rule by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that affects CBD. He argues there’s an exception in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) to the exclusionary clause that applies to CBD.
“Hemp oil and cannabinoid-rich hemp oil, along with CBD specifically, was marketed prior to the GW Pharma application,” Graff said in a podcast interview with Natural Products INSIDER.
However, Lee states that Project CBD has spoken with several attorneys and hemp activists and that none are able to back up this claim.
Graff also disputed other aspects of FDA’s conclusions.
“While the FDA claims that they have made public the substantial clinical investigations that they’ve conducted, according to the GW Pharma application, we … respectfully disagree with that conclusion and do not believe that those results, and the substantial nature of them, have been conducted and/or disclosed,” Graff declared.
According to Natural Product Insider, GW declined to comment specifically on FDA’s opinion that CBD cannot be sold in a dietary supplement. They do maintain however those patients who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy need a drug that is consistent with the “hallmarks of a medicine.”
So does that mean that a faux compound is more effective than mother nature because Big Pharma says so? Or is it because they have invested about half a billion dollars into getting their drug to market, and expect to make many billion more?
A press release from the Hemp Business Journal states that the hemp-derived CBD market in the United States grew to US $90 million in 2015 for consumer sales of CBD products. Insiders predict it will eventually be as profitable as the NFL at around 13 billion.
Incidentally, it’s important to note that humans have a endocannabinoid system that has been recently recognized as an important modulatory system in the function of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues. It appears to play a very important regulatory role in the secretion of hormones related to reproductive functions and response to stress. So, in fact, CBD interfaces with our body.
The Connection Between Bees And Bud
In 2011, GW Pharmaceuticals entered into a partnership with Bayer for the distribution of Sativex in the UK. Bayer CropScience is the maker of systemic pesticides that are killing bees worldwide at the core of colony collapse. Interesting that Bayer amd are are both involved with colonies and cannabis.
According to GW, most of the products marketed as CBD oils pale in comparison in efficacy and contend that FDA has tested several CBD products and discovered some didn’t even contain any cannabinoids.
The supplement Industry is mostly made up of mom and pop stores that tend to chronically ill patients. And unfortunately, many who have jumped on the cbd bandwagon in the supplemental space do make an inferior product, giving the industry a bad name. Consumers must do their research and ask questions about extraction methods, bioavailability, and sourcing.
We personally cater to hundreds of customers who are dealing with autoimmunity issues, anxiety, inflammation, insomnia. Sandy Miles of North Carolina for instance, swears by our cbd formula, stating that it’s the only one on the market that works for her.
Despite all the politics, the agency has not moved to shut down the CBD industry. In 2015 and 2016, FDA issued warning letters to a select number of companies, but that was in regards to health claims that their said products could treat diseases. We now have a solid merchant processor, a solid product, and hundreds of customers.
“It is not an industry for the faint of heart,” Will Woodlee has told the press. Woodlee is a partner in Washington with Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker LLP who has studied the regulatory issues surrounding CBD.
It absolutely isn’t. We are cbd crusaders on the front lines. As a result of this experience we are partnering with other groups and launching a full-team investigation into potential collusion between FDA, DEA, and Big Pharma. We ask for your support to
1) Investigate the full story, connections, etc.
2) Unite the independent industry of plant medicine and companies that were unfairly taken down.
3) Unite the people who have been refused medicine in this manner and suffered consequences.
You can join our fight here: