Cannabis 2.0: Rethinking manufacturing for a more regulated future
This is an excerpt from an article found on Company Week FULL ARTICLE
The million-dollar question is: When will buyers decide that quality and transparency matter? It’s a good bet that today, a small percent of CBD buyers know where, or how, products are sourced and manufactured. There’s every reason to think that will change. For starters, the FDA and others will insist customers know.
And that’s a good thing. CBD manufacturing is unregulated. We’re trusting that the companies we patronize are doing the right thing. No doubt most are well-intentioned. But many don’t know what they don’t know.
“There are a lot of companies who think they’re doing well, but really aren’t,” says Kim Stuck, founder of Allay Consulting and one of the industry’s few compliance experts. Stuck was Colorado’s first “marijuana specialist” for the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE).
“I hear from companies all the time that they’re GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice-certified), or that everyone they buy from is GMP, and that’s highly unlikely,” says Stuck, “We so often see very general things that are needed to be FDA-compliant, not even GMP-compliant.”
With so many products in the market, and more coming out, Stuck worries a lax compliance landscape makes for problems ahead. “I think that anytime where you’re up- taking an untested product from an untested source — in this case, inhalers, eyedrops, nasal sprays, suppositories — we’re going to run into the most issues, I believe. Plus with the hemp side, they’re not regulated at all. They don’t have to test for pesticides, for heavy metals, for much of anything. If we don’t get regulations quickly, we will have issues there as well.”
Even if cannabis companies knew and understood the regulatory framework ahead of them, Stuck also sees a steep learning curve, with companies struggling to adapt to regulations. For Mile High Labs’ Sehgal, it will be doubly hard for those brands not already focused on high manufacturing standards, or for brands buying from those who aren’t ahead of the GMP curve. “Quality is something you just can’t throw money at; it’s built into the DNA of a company,” he says.
It’s part of cannabis’ long strange trip that the very regulations that will soon cause heartburn are critical to the industry’s success. The sooner cannabis companies take on the collective responsibility to be more transparent and accountable, the sooner those standing in the way of legalization and banking will relent and usher in the real Cannabis 2.0: industry’s quantum leap to safer and higher quality products.
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