Stop Censoring CBD #freecbd
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Recently, CBD has been unjustly lumped into what is known as S.H.A.F.T. content, which is designated as content pertaining to sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco. This means companies are no longer allowed to use SMS messaging to promote their CBD products, despite CBD being a wellness aid with no intoxicating effects. CBD is effectively being classified in the same category as hate speech, alcohol, and guns, and is being censored by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), a non-profit trade organization that monitors S.H.A.F.T. content and reports violations, which can result in costly FCC fines and fees for brands categorized as S.H.A.F.T. that continue to market using SMS messaging.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp that has been shown to be a natural remedy beneficial for everything from promoting better sleep and reducing stress to helping keep skin healthy and well balanced. Though congress legalized hemp and hemp-derived products in 2018, the FDA has yet to develop any clear guidelines or policies regarding hemp-derived CBD, despite its relatively widespread availability. This, combined with the fact that CBD can also be found in marijuana, has created immense amounts of confusion and misinformation. That confusion and misinformation have led to restrictive and widely disparate policies crafted and implemented by independent private sector organizations like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Shopify, Twilio, and many more on how brands can market, communicate, and sell their hemp-derived CBD products.
One of the most glaring examples of this is the recent ban of CBD from SMS marketing. Text messaging is an invaluable form of direct communication for many hemp CBD wellness companies to help educate consumers about their brands, products, and the benefits of cannabidiol, as well as manage typical customer communication such as order information. While text message marketing is already heavily regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), brands that market or sell hemp-derived CBD products face additional scrutiny due to the fact that marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law due to high concentrations of THC, an intoxicating cannabinoid. CBD can be found in both plants but is not intoxicating like THC.
By censoring CBD, the CTIA is contributing to the misinformation surrounding CBD and limiting the education and exposure of consumers to this natural plant-derived ingredient that has been shown to have positive benefits for health and wellness. Because the FDA has failed to provide clarity around the regulation of hemp-derived CBD products, there are many ill-informed, unjust challenges and hurdles for communicating with consumers about CBD. The S.H.A.F.T. regulations create another legal hurdle in our mission to destigmatize CBD and educate consumers on its benefits as a healthy and safe ingredient.
As a coalition of brands, healers, advocates, and champions of hemp-derived CBD, we have organized this Stop Censoring CBD #freeCBD initiative to help bring awareness to the unjust inclusion of CBD in the S.H.A.F.T. guidelines and the overarching issue of CBD being poorly regulated. We’ve created this petition with the following goals:
To encourage lawmakers to co-sponsor and pass the S. 1698 Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act, which will establish legal and regulatory pathways for the nationwide sale of hemp-derived extract products like CBD supplements, creams, and balms.
To pressure the FDA to move forward with regulatory actions that would separate hemp-derived CBD from marijuana and create a regulatory framework for companies to ensure compliance and protect consumers with clear guidelines and standards for safety, labeling, potency, growing practices, manufacturing, and communications for all products.
To inspire CBD companies to work together in the interim to create a clearly defined set of universal criteria for all CBD products to make it easier for consumers to shop CBD products and ensure they are getting safe, high-quality CBD products that are grown, formulated, manufactured, and marketed responsibly and ethically.
By signing this petition, you will help us to advocate lawmakers, the FDA, and the FCC that CBD does not belong on a list of illicit substances or treated equally to hate speech, alcohol, and guns and pressure them to act to create federal regulations around CBD that will help better educate, inform, and protect consumers, while creating clear guidelines for the brands to follow in order to ensure their products comply, providing credibility for legitimate CBD brands and eradicating the bad actors with sub-par or fake CBD products. Federal standards and regulations mean safer and more efficacious CBD for all.
The CBD Brand Coalition is a group of CBD advocates, champions, and brands including Prima, Recess, Svn Space, Sweet Reason, Miss Grass, Foria Wellness, Fleur Marche, Juna, Looni, Muri Lelu, Cann, Apothecanna, Hivi, Onda Wellness and more on a mission to unlock the industry together and #FREECBD.
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