The AHPA Board of Trustees approved two new guidance resources for the hemp industry during its meeting on Tuesday June 29, 2021. The resources are the latest guidance documents developed by AHPA’s Cannabis Committee, which was formed in 2010 to address issues related to the safe use and responsible commerce of legally-marketed products derived from Cannabis species, including products derived from hemp as legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Guidance policy on marketing of synthesized and artificial cannabinoids
In response to the emergence of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) as a cannabinoid product in the hemp marketplace, the Cannabis Committee developed a new guidance policy that discourages the marketing of products containing “synthesized cannabinoids” (as defined in AHPA’s Hemp Lexicon), including synthesized delta-8 THC, and that are identified as hemp products. A synthesized cannabinoid is defined as “a cannabinoid synthesized in a laboratory or by industry using directed synthetic or biosynthetic chemistry rather than traditional food preparation techniques such as heating or extracting. They may be nature-identical or artificial since this definition refers only to the process of their creation.” The definition specifically does not include cannabinoids that may be formed through the application of heat, such as during a decarboxylation process.
The guidance policy also discourages the marketing of any product that contains “artificial cannabinoids” (as defined in the Hemp Lexicon), regardless of how the product is identified. An artificial cannabinoid is defined as “any cannabimimetic compound that interacts with cannabinoid receptors but whose molecular structure is not found in nature.”
The AHPA Board chose to stipulate that this new guidance policy would take effect immediately, rather than after a 6-month period as is typical of most AHPA guidance policies.
Guidance on good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices for hemp and hemp-derived products
The Cannabis Committee also developed a hemp cultivation and processing guidance document titled “Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices for Hemp and Hemp-derived Products.” This new guidance is based on AHPA’s Good Agricultural and Collection Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices for Botanical Materials guidance (GACP-GMP) and elements of the AHPA Recommendations to Regulators for cannabis operations documents. It contains guidance on the current regulatory status of hemp and hemp-derived products at the federal and state levels. Extensive guidance is provided on product labeling practices, and the guidance references numerous other AHPA guidance documents such as the Dietary Supplement Labeling Guidance and the Hemp Lexicon.
“The hemp industry welcomes these AHPA tools to assist in self-regulatory practices, given the current lack of comprehensive federal regulations and the proliferation of a patchwork of state regulations for hemp products,” stated Asa Waldstein, Chair of the AHPA Cannabis Committee. “These AHPA guidance documents will help ensure that hemp companies are informed about best cultivation and processing practices, as well as help companies continue to produce the high quality hemp products that consumers demand.”
Visit the AHPA Cannabis Committee’s webpage to download these new resources: