CBD has grown rapidly nationwide, but there is one industry it has yet to break into on a federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill gave the green light to grow industrial hemp, but the FDA still bans the addition of CBD to foods and beverages. The industry is still waiting for CBD to be designated as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe).
Without specific guidelines from the FDA, states have created their own unique CBD regulations. Some states adopt the position that all CBD is illegal; others have allowed CBD in dietary supplements.
As the industry awaits federal guidance on using cannabidiol in foods and beverages, this is a market that’s poised to explode nationwide. The FDA could also easily give the hemp industry a short period of time to get up to new standards at any moment.
If you want to include CBD in your products or are a hemp manufacturer, here are our best tips on how you can prepare for FDA guidelines that are sure to come to maximize the opportunity of a new market.
- Consult with key experts. Companies producing legal cannabis edibles and beverages or who wish to start need to cover their legal bases.
- Be a distributor or find one that structures production of CBD in an FDA-compliant manner and self-regulates in order to achieve FDA GMP standards.
- Look toward existing guidelines issued by the FDA to establish appropriate GMPs and HACCP plans to preemptively prepare for potential future measures that could impact your business.
- Take steps or find a manufacturer in the cannabis industry which has achieved certifications and taken measures to allow for peak food safety.
It may seem unnecessary and even costly to enforce high levels of self-regulation in line with FDA standards as well as strict compliance with unique state regulations, but doing so will ultimately position your company for success, ward off potential lawsuits and prevent consumer harm.
Right now, many companies that have operated for years without regulation in the medical cannabis industry are having to change almost everything in their company in the wake of recreational legalization. This is a costly endeavor. Now is the time to anticipate the emergence of CBD in the food and beverage industry, where CBD will have an exponentially wider reach.
The FDA is no stranger to defined guidelines for unique plant-based products. Take the botanical industry; it has used similar processes and ingredients to extract botanical oils. This is a great place for the cannabis industry to look to for help.
At Viapura, we make it a point to go above and beyond to meet the standards of the FDA when it comes to CBD guidelines. From start to finished products, we keep the consumer top-of-mind. We can promise you that!