If you’re exploring opportunities to introduce new CBD products, you have a responsibility to understand the current regulations and laws surrounding CBD, as well as the research surrounding its effects. This includes understanding the FDA’s position on different types of products, as well as staying abreast of new and ever-evolving regulations.
There are also CBD legal implications to consider. If you’re introducing CBD products that contain THC—or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes users feel “high”—you need to be particularly careful. The laws about THC vary from state to state. While many states have legalized CBD containing 0.3% or less of THC, other states, like Texas, have not at the time of this writing. Even if you’re planning to steer clear of CBD with any amount of THC, you’ll still need a guarantee of this, as well as assurance about the CBD’s composition, consistency, purity, and quality.
Beyond your own responsibilities, you’ll need to rely heavily on your CBD supplier to ensure that you’re both operating in compliance with current regulations and laws. You can’t afford to make any assumptions, as doing so exposes you and your customers to unnecessary risks. You’ll want to consult with your legal and compliance experts to be certain you’re covering your bases, but here are five steps to get you started when vetting a CBD supplier.
Do these 5 things to ensure your CBD supplier is compliant
Check if they meet requirements for food-grade CBD. Industrial hemp suppliers must be able to prove their CBD comes from an approved source, meaning one that has the correct Shelf Stable Certification and/or is listed as a Manufactured Foods Approved Source. Additionally, many states require that CBD be sourced from a state that requires hemp facilities or program inspections. As standards become more rigorous, you’ll want to ensure that your supplier conforms to FDA standards, including following Current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Evaluate their testing capabilities. Suppliers that perform in-house testing, like nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), are able to retain more quality control over their CBD. Testing is also necessary to provide validation that CBD contains 0.3% or less of THC to be legal under federal regulations. Inquire about a supplier’s investment and use of testing equipment and third-party resources to gain assurance that they can guarantee the composition of their hemp derivatives and ensure quality, purity, and consistency.
Ensure they’re certified organic. Because hemp has natural properties that make it ideal for organic farming, it’s easy for suppliers to cut corners and make organic claims. But not all organic is equal. Certified organic farmers must be able to prove to regulatory bodies like USDA Organic that they aren’t using prohibited substances and are following all organic processes. Be sure to ask your supplier for proof of their adherence to organic farming practices.
Demand supply chain transparency. Your CBD supplier should be able to show you every step of their process, from seed to shelf. Transparency in your supply chain is key to ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations surrounding CBD. Beyond compliance, supply chain transparency gives you peace of mind that you’re receiving high-quality and safe ingredients and can even help you build brand trust and loyalty. Ask a potential CBD supplier about their ability to provide end-to-end transparency.
Tour their operation. There’s much wisdom in the old adage that seeing is believing. While a potential supplier’s answers to the previous questions will provide much of what you need to know, there’s no substitute for seeing their operation for yourself. When you can experience firsthand how they run their business, you’ll gain insights you simply can’t glean from a slick website or brochure.
If you’re interested in using CBD in your products, you need to have a high level of assurance that your CBD is compliant from seed to shelf. To learn more about how technology is providing unparalleled transparency to the hemp supply chain, read the Yahoo! Finance article.
And if you’d like to see how we produce vertically integrated, Verified Organic™, GMP Certified, Industrial Hemp to Food-Grade CBD, contact us for a tour.