Today, we’re proud to share an update on our sister organization, the U.S. Hemp Authority, from its President, Marielle Weintraub.
This past month was one for the history books. Years of hard work and dedication — from every corner of the hemp industry — brought 2018 to a wonderful conclusion. The era of hemp prohibition is over.
However, while the 2018 Farm Bill takes the DEA out of the business of regulating hemp and hemp products, state governments continue to exercise jurisdiction over hemp and the FDA continues its jurisdiction over ingestible and body care products. For example, in recent months, we’ve seen attempts to over-regulate hemp-derived CBD in places such as California and Ohio, and the FDA is still considering whether and how it may recognize CBD and other hemp extracts as legal dietary ingredients. On a wonderful note, the FDA just issued its first Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for the complete line of hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder to a successful commercial applicant!
Hemp is here, and the hemp oilseed, fiber, and extract industries are at the threshold of an economic revolution. Without clear or standardized regulation, industry-wide support has mounted to create an organization committed to high standards, best practices and self-regulation, to increase both consumer and law enforcement confidence in hemp products being sold in the market today.
The U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certification Program is our industry’s initiative to develop and provide recognition of these high standards and best practices. In an effort funded by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and joined by the Hemp Industries Association® (HIA®), industry leading firms, top-tier testing laboratories, and quality assessors, a comprehensive guidance program for growers and processors of hemp has been developed. Two years of discussion, debate and public input have brought us to our launch, but we will always remain a work in progress, and we value the continued input of hemp industry participants, at every level, from seed to shelf.
Today, we are proud to share guidance procedures and answers to FAQs here and on our website, www.USHempAuthority.org. All audit related questions can be directed to Where Food Comes From, the third-party verification service that is conducting audits for those who wish to license the U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certified Seal for biomass, product labels, and marketing materials. Additionally, the U.S. Hemp Authority™ has partnered with the HIA® to provide training for those who desire guidance on the certification process and information on what the audit process entails.
We are all excited to be a part of these booming hemp markets, but as we grow and attract more attention, quality assurance and safety will be the subject of continued scrutiny. The U.S. Hemp Authority™ will focus on positioning hemp products as farmed, produced, and tested in accordance with appropriate regulation and oversight to instill confidence in the products that have been approved to carry the US Hemp Authority™ Certified Seal.
We wish everyone a healthy, happy new year; and we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for the extraordinarily versatile hemp crop!
Marielle Weintraub, Ph.D., President
U.S. Hemp Authority™