In January of 2019, the U.S. Hemp Authority launched a certification program for companies and products made of hemp. The organization was created in 2018 for the purpose of helping create standardization and quality across the hemp industry, and the Authority is funded by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.
A Brief History of Hemp and the U.S. Hemp Authority
What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Weed?
In December of 2018, the passing of the U.S. Farm Bill launched a wave of shift across the cannabis industry by federally legalizing “industrial hemp.” A great many products are derived from the cannabis plant, but this Farm Bill created a distinction with a specific line of demarcation regarding the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) contained in any specific strain of cannabis or cannabis-derived product. THC is the component responsible for creating the “high” associated with marijuana.
According to the Farm Bill, cannabis and related products containing 0.3% THC or greater are now classified as marijuana, which remains a Schedule I drug and is regulated as such. But, cannabis plans and products containing <0.3% THC (which is considered to be merely a “trace amount”) are now designed as “industrial hemp,” which is legal to possess and consume at a federal level. Since the Farm Bill passed, some states have created additional regulations regarding industrial hemp. Individuals should always check their local and state laws to find the most current regulations that pertain to their area.
Why is the U.S. Hemp Authority Important?
While cannabis and CBD oil supporters rejoiced over the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, some logistical challenges have resulted. Specifically, consumers lack protection from fly-by-night hemp oil companies who are looking to simply take advantage of peak market trends. As a nation, we are lacking consistency and standardization of hemp products quality, packaging, marketing, consistency, manufacturing processes, potency, etc. The U.S. Hemp Authority launched as a result of this lack of consistency and regulation and aims to bring order and consistency to the current chaos.
What Will the U.S. Hemp Authority Do?
The U.S. Hemp Authority offers a rigorous certification program for hemp manufacturers, in an effort to support self-regulation in the industry while still providing assurances for wary consumers. Companies can apply for certification, which requires a thorough inspection and review of the manufacturer’s or growers:
- Quality control systems
- Manufacturing processes
- Employee training
- Quality standards
- Record keeping
- Agricultural processes
This in-depth third-party audit is designed to ensure the company is operating in a safe and appropriate manner, throughout all stages of manufacturing and distribution to the end consumer. Quality assurance and consistency are of the utmost importance throughout this audit. During this process, the U.S. Hemp Authority educates growers and manufacturers in:
- FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
- Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
- FDA Regulations for food, beverages, cosmetics, and dietary supplements
- Appropriate product labeling
- Definition of commonly misunderstood industry terms such as “full spectrum CBD oil” and “CBD isolate”
How Will the U.S. Hemp Authority Impact the CBD Industry?
Companies who have successfully passed the intensive audit are awarded the U.S. Hemp Authority Certified seal. Consumers who purchase certified hemp products can trust they are receiving products that have been appropriately sourced from hemp, following GAP and cGMP standards, with appropriate recordkeeping in case of any safety concerns or recalls. Shop CBD oil now, or click here to find a retailer near you.