Very few industries can claim to have done what cannabidiol (CBD) has achieved. With just a year of legal sales under its belt, the hemp extract has earned millions of dollars in sales, and experts say it will hit $20 billion by 2024. Why is CBD so popular? Well, according to tons of anecdotal evidence, the extract is packed with potent medicinal properties, and people have been using it to manage a variety of conditions, ranging from high blood pressure and anxiety to chronic pain.
Ironically, the sector’s unprecedented rate of growth has been its biggest flaw. The industry grew so fast that regulatory authorities were left playing catch up, and it resulted in an unruly marketplace filled with products whose quality couldn’t be guaranteed.
This has been an issue for retailers who want to stock CBD products but have to go through complex Certificates of Analysis to make sure the products are top-notch. However, quality seals take that out of the equation. They prove that a third party did all the quality checks on your behalf and that the product meets industry standards. Let’s look at 4 quality seals.
US Hemp Authority is one of the newer certifications on the market, and it has established quality standards for hemp farmers, processors, and manufacturers. The provisions required for this seal include following FDA rules and regulations. The labeling must include the country of origin of the hemp biomass the CBD is derived from, and staying clear of GMOs, synthetic CBD, and other cannabinoids.
Since it was established in early 2019, the certification seal has been awarded to more than 50 companies.
USDA Organic is one of the top seals for natural and organic brands. Hemp is known to absorb pesticides and insecticides, and these toxins can make their way to CBD products. With this seal, retailers will be guaranteed the products are organic.
“USDA organic is the best our industry has done. You meet the 95% organic level and it means you’ve invested in your facility, your supply chain, all the way down to the farmer to make sure inputs going into the farm and their land is keeping the soil healthy,” says Steve Taormina, Business Development Manager at NSF International, a standard-setting and testing agency.
Kosher seals were originally meant for Jewish people to make sure certain products meet kosher standards, but they appeal to a broader demographic as kosher laws cover cleanliness, purity, and quality.
Rabbi Yehuda Goldman from EarthKosher, a certification agency says they look at the facility, how the product is made, what else is made inside the facility and whatever else it comes into contact with.
“We certify something as kosher only if everything is true and kosher, and also from a health perspective when we go to a facility.”
Sun and Earth is the latest certification to enter the market. It certifies cannabis that’s grown under the sun, in soil, without chemicals, and by fairly paid farmers. Apart from meeting organic standards, the seal also promotes biodiversity by building soil through mulching, crop rotation, and reduced tillage.
Luke Zigovits, a Wisconsin farmer at the Higher Level Organics Farm says, “You have to be certified organic to be Sun and Earth. All certifications help us with brand differentiation. We’re trying to go the extra mile.”
Industry watchers think that even CBD companies like ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) would find their work a lot easier if producers got these certifications.
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