The hemp-growing industry is a young and complex one. Although the market can be difficult to predict, Hemp Industry Daily project that hemp-derived CBD sales will grow from $1.2BN in 2019 to up to $10.3BN by 2024. Despite this, the FDA is wary of approving products containing CBD, and a prescription drug used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy is currently the only approved product.

What Are the FDA’s Concerns?

The concerns around CBD safety revolve around the limited data available to support its safe use. Marketing CBD by adding it to food, or labelling it as a dietary supplement is still illegal in the U.S. Among health concerns associated with CBD use are: interactions with other drugs, liver injury, and drowsiness. CBD may also prove risky to animals and products marketed for pets containing CBD are not FDA approved.
Despite the FDA’s concerns, they are actively working towards studying a wider range of CBD product samples to better understand the risks and benefits involved in using these products. Particularly concerning to the FDA is the common issue of misleading labelling on cannabinoid products.
The FDA is consistently working on updating and evolving its regulations on cannabinoid use, creating a more quality-controlled market. The FDA’s goal is to regulate CBD as a dietary supplement and food additive, in addition to clearing the market of products with misleading labels and unsafe additives.

What Can You Do About It?

While the FDA regulates the industry, you as a CBD business owner have an opportunity to take the initiative and regulate your products for safety and consistency. One aspect of regulation is to adopt in-house testing as a core part of your best practices. As the market grows rigorous inspections will increase and more in the industry will begin adopting in-house testing solutions to support decisions around quality and regulation compliance.
While external labs are crucial for regulatory compliance testing, businesses should conduct in-house tests before sending out a sample. Throughout North America, there is an average of one lab for every 10 growers. Additionally, the market is growing fast, and businesses can’t afford to wait up to three weeks for results from 3rd party testing labs. In-house testing with GemmaCert saves growers time and money and provides timely information, making business management easier.

How Do Regulations Benefit Businesses?

Although the strict federal regulations may seem like an added hassle for business owners, regulations also clear the market of questionable businesses, and builds consumers’ confidence and trust in the products and businesses. Overall, regulations raise a business’ value in the long run, and mutually benefit both the business and the consumer.