The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) held it’s annual Hemp-CBD Supplement Congress onAugust 15th and 16th, and the keynote speaker was none other than CO Governor Jared Polis. Governor Polis has long been acquainted with the benefits of CBD and hemp and writing legislation that streamlines the agricultural growth of the industry.
Polis said, “We know what’s worked to grow our agricultural sectors, and it’s no different for hemp. It’s a big part of our rural economic initiative.” He went on to say that while Colorado has led the charge in many ways for industrial hemp research, the state is “still in [its] early days” in regard to CBD and industrial hemp as an economic staple. The large majority of the country falls into the category of having little to no insight into the hemp as an industrial crop or CBD as a supplement, leaving the USDA and FDA with limited knowledge as to how to implement a federal standard for testing and verifying the integrity of these non-psychedelic forms of cannabis.
At the AHPA Congress, Colorado’s Governor presented his newest initiative, the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan (CHAMP). The purpose of the initiative is to give further insight into CBD and hemp to other states as well as the federal government in hopes that a fair and trusted standard can be set nationwide and streamline the growing and production of hemp.
Also in attendance was Cara Welch. As the FDA’s Acting Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Policy Legislation & International Affairs, she has said that the government agency has sound structures in place for such regulations and is working on developing hemp-specific regulations expediently while also being thorough.
In search of a solution for regulated interstate hemp commerce, the USDA Hemp Program chief, Bill Richmond, said that the USDA is still struggling to find a streamlined testing format for farmers as well as state and local regulators that complies the Farm Bill’s call for less than .3% THC content in all hemp crops.
Richmond said, “Our goal is to provide a consistent, easy-to-follow regulatory framework around hemp production.”
Aside from governmental challenges in creating nationwide standards, the CBD industry has seen 57% growth since last year and is expected to see even more in the coming years. Vote Hemp, an advocacy group for industrial hemp, stated that hemp acreage in the US has grown five times that of the acreage we were seeing in 2018.
The exponential growth of the hemp and CBD markets, along with the high turnout at this first AHPA Congress, exemplifies the massive potential that lies in the industry as well as the desire for credibility and accountability in providing both agricultural crops and medicinal products for the public. The industry realizes they need to band together in order to successfully navigate the economic, legal, and compliance-based arenas to ensure their long-term prosperity. They began this journey by participating in workshops on topics ranging from GRAS (generally regarded as safe) regulation, cGMP (current good manufacturing practices), and regulations for NDIs (new dietary ingredients).
“Colorado Governor Jared Polis Charts Course for CBD and Hemp Innovation at Sold-Out American Herbal Products Association Supplement Congress” released by Steve Hoffman, Compass Natural.