With hemp and CBD products still unregulated by the FDA, the industry has taken it into their own hands to regulate these products for quality assurance. This article discusses the U.S. Hemp Authority Certified Seal, established in 2018, funded by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
Hemp Depot was one of the 13 companies awarded the U.S. Hemp Authority Certified Seal. The seal was created as an aim to standardize quality control and build a safer hemp industry from seed to shelf. Companies, such as Hemp Depot, that have been presented with this seal are proving their products are to be trusted in both quality and consistency.
The U.S. Hemp Authority awarded 13 CBD companies with a high-quality seal earlier this month.
The aim is “standardizing quality control and building a safer hemp industry from seed to shelf,” according to a release.
The following companies received the seal:
- CV Sciences, San Diego, CA
- HempMeds, San Diego, CA
- Medterra CBD, Irvine, CA
- Balanced Health Botanicals, Louisville, CO
- HD Distribution (HEMP DEPOT), Colorado Springs, CO
- Bluebird Botanicals, Louisville, CO
- Charlotte’s Web, Boulder, CO
- MetaCan, Miramar, FL
- GenCanna, Winchester, KY
- Shell Farms, Winchester, KY
- Nature’s Hemp Oil, Lexington, KY
- Hempworx, Las Vegas, NV
- Barlean’s, Ferndale, WA
“Consumers need to be able to tell who the good guys are — who’s doing their best to make sure the product is safe,” Marielle Weintraub, PhD, president of the U.S. Hemp Authority, said.
The U.S. Hemp Authority will further advise brands on using the seal on product packaging and marketing materials.
Joel Stanley, chairman of Charlotte’s Web, had been collaborating with the Hemp Authority to create the quality standards.
“The industry is choosing to self-police and raise the bar for quality and consistency,” Stanley said.
Medterra’s products will have the seal moving forward, Jay Hartenbach, the company’s CEO, said.
The company started in Hartenbach’s living room two years ago and now sells tinctures, gel capsules, supplements, topical cream, women’s monthly wellness formula and pet tinctures. Its topical rapid cooling cream will soon be sold at CVS.
“I really think this is going to be a differentiator at the major national retail level,” Hartenbach said.
Amanda Bowman, Quality Assurance Manager at Bluebird Botanicals, said Bluebird also had a large hand in creating the guidelines for the seal. Brandon Beatty, the company’s founder and CEO, is also executive vice president of the Hemp Roundtable. He also helped draft the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, passed in the 2018 farm bill.
Though the amount of CBD products is exciting, it’s also scary due to murky regulations, Bowman said.
“If you don’t have practices already set in place you’re jeopardizing so much with unclear guidance,” she said. “Some people are there just to make some money and don’t really care about a safe product.”
NYC and other cities cracked down on CBD in food and drink last month, banning cafes and bars from adding it to products, since the FDA still deems that illegal.
Outgoing FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted Tuesday it could take years to regulate CBD, noting that creating rules for conventional products can take two to three years.
Until then, responsible CBD companies will likely push for further regulations to clarify quality standards.
In general, consumers should seek companies that do third-party testing on their products, which should be explained on their websites. (Note: if the third-party is the same or similar address as the company, that’s likely not true third-party testing.) Consumers shouldn’t be afraid to contact companies and ask questions.
“We’re right at that moment in time in which we can explain the true deep level of what it should like, what it looks like to have a consistent product,” Stanley said.