This panel hosted both Canna Consortium members along with moderator Jessica Arent. Panelists Sierra Liggett Specialty Packaging Manager from BudPack, Jonathan Havens Partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP and of course Liz Geisleman with 710Spirits® and Rocco Iannapollo with Cannabis Kitchen Supplies.
Package and Labeling Product
The panel discussed the importance of your company’s packaging and labeling. While staying up to date on latest regulations and rules. Sierra Liggett hit home making sure to have package and labeling that is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant both in the US and international.
The top issues with most non-compliant products is not tracking where your product components are coming from. If the source of your product is not FDA compliant or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified it can put your product in trouble of testing “hot”. Accordingly, even down to the equipment make sure it is properly cleaned and maintained all could impact your end product.
If you are concerned always check with a subject matter expert to have peace of mind and quality products. Always review your first set of labels with local regulations. Send to an attorney and have multiple different sets of labels and check your states website for reference.
Using a combination of attorney and consultant in the beginning will save you money in the long run. Especially a regulatory consultant for things such as fire regulations are essential. Allay Cannabis Consulting is an excellent consulting firm we recommend for all your consulting needs.
Don’t forget about ecommerce as well! Know where you can and can’t ship products to, ecommerce is each individual state’s commerce regulation.
FDA and FTC
Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana and should be used as a framework for others going forward. The following are certain things Colorado did well. Having a 200+ page document that defined industrial hemp, manufacturing licensing and as many definitions as possible to aid in the regulation. They also created CHAMP (Colorado Hemp Advancement & Management Plan). Which developed the blueprint for the full supply chain to identify industry guidelines, research needs, department resources and much more. We’re now watching as Canada and Mexico have legalized marijuana across their prospective country’s to see what they do.
ASTM International is currently writing the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure) for use of pesticides on cannabis. They are about six to eight months away from setting the standard charged out of the EU. This will be an excellent framework Canada and Mexico expect to use moving forward in what rules and laws to enforce. In view of this it is estimated that the FDA will simply follow whatever is set by ASTM with federal legalization on the horizon.
To learn more about ASTM and other regulatory bodies you should be aware of check out our article here.
Still, this industry is moving at lightning speeds. For example, Delta 8 has become the hottest and newest cannabinoid from hemp. Yet not enough knowledge and research has been done to even know what to standardize equipment against testing for D8. Therefore, it could be almost impossible for a product not to come back with results of some illegal or currently unregulated substance.
The terminology in legislation simply cannot keep up with the chemistry. If the regulation and laws attempt to set the standards then the research needs to back up the claims. While ensuring the safety of the consumer in the private sector should be the main priority of all involved in the cannabis industry as we continue to learn and experiment.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website updates a list of what other companies will be fined for and what your specific state is allowing!
Thank you to all the panelists for their excellent insight and helpful advice. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to TheCannaConsortium for more information on upcoming shows or speaker inquires.
“CHAMP Initiative.” Department of Agriculture, ag.colorado.gov/plants/industrial-hemp/champ-initiative.
Federal Trade Commission, 14 Apr. 2021, www.ftc.gov/.