AHPA President Michael McGuffin participates in Hemp Industry Daily Forum at MJBizCon

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AHPA President Michael McGuffin participates in Hemp Industry Daily Forum at MJBizCon

Compliant hemp-CBD companies can learn much from the success of the herbal supplement industry

Published: Friday, December 13, 2019

AHPA President Michael McGuffin presented with three other panelists in a session titled, “CBD Market Forecast: Feast or Famine” at the Hemp Industry Daily Forum during the MJBizCon in Las Vegas earlier this week.

McGuffin asserted that the emerging hemp-CBD industry can learn much from the broad herbal supplement industry, and stressed the need for compliant practices, even in the absence of a clear regulatory framework.

"There is an historical parallel to today’s vacuum in guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hemp and CBD producers," McGuffin said. “FDA was not supportive of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) when it passed in 1994, and reports circulated that the agency had determined to simply not enforce the law, hoping we would behave so badly that Congress would repeal DSHEA. But what happened? The industry grew and grew, and trade associations petitioned FDA to adopt formal good manufacturing practice regulations, and then worked with the Congress to pass a new law on serious adverse event reporting. And here we are 25 years later with a robust industry that is well regulated and providing over half of Americans with dietary supplements in their individual health care choices."

In order to ensure the long-term success of the emerging hemp and CBD market, McGuffin recommended that companies run responsible and compliant businesses.

"Hemp and CBD companies should be familiar with the FDA rules for dietary supplements that govern labeling, current good manufacturing practice, and serious adverse event reporting," McGuffin stressed. "We are working to convince FDA to make all of these applicable, so the trade should become acquainted with these now. FDA’s early resistance in the 1990s to the input of the supplement industry was eventually overcome by a number of factors, not the least of which the agency’s observation that there were many quite responsible companies emerging in leadership positions in that trade.”

The panel’s discussion also turned to the issue of supply chain management to ensure confidence in raw material sources. McGuffin noted that it may again be useful to look to the broader herbal market in addressing this topic also, as there are a number of legacy herb companies that know the exact source of every botanical ingredient in their products.

“This direct relationship with source allows marketers to maintain better control over their supply and builds supply and product consistency. There is almost certainly a higher financial cost to this approach, much of which is intentional; if you are always buying your echinacea, or your chamomile – or your hemp or CBD – from the same company you are invested in their success and seeking the cheapest price is not a priority,” McGuffin added.

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