Breakdown of U.S. Rules for CBD Cosmetics by L.A. Cannabis Business Lawyer
Although it didn’t get a lot of splashy coverage when it first passed, the gargantuan appropriations bill signed by the president at the end of last year contained a piece of legislation that has some significant potential for expansion of the cannabis cosmetics industry.
The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (better known as MOCRA), it’s the first time cosmetic rules have been updated by Congress through the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetics Act since it was passed in 1938. Other aspects of the law have been updated many times over as we’ve seen evolutions of technology, science, product safety, and responsible resourcing advocacy. Still, none of those expressly addressed makeup laws until MOCRA.
Prior to these changes, makeup companies didn’t legally have to test their products or the individual ingredients to ensure safety. Businesses didn’t have to register their production facilities with the FDA, abide by good manufacturing practice rules, or notify the government when there are adverse reactions (even life-threatening ones). Additionally, the FDA didn’t have the power to recall cosmetic products – even those that could be deadly. MOCRA rectifies all this and grants the FDA authority to oversee regulation of makeup products. (Small businesses may be exempt from certain requirements, depending on the specific circumstances.)
Cosmetics are defined not just as makeup, but those products intended for application to human bodies for cleaning, beautifying, altering appearance, or promoting attractiveness. Any product that promises to treat or prevent a condition or disease or alters some bodily function is classified as a “drug” by the FDA. It’s worth noting that CBD products can fall into both categories, but we’re specifically here just talking about CBD-infused cosmetics – though many do promise anti-inflammatory properties. These can include products like:
- Lip balm and lip gloss
- Under eye serums
- Hair creams
- Scalp oil
- Skin cleansers
- Face masks
- Concealer/color corrector