Vol. 6, No. 54 -- September 20, 2019 -- Edited by Dr. Lloyd Covens, DBA
CONGRESS DEMANDS FDA CLARITY ON CBD --Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) is adding similar language to a Senate Ag appropriation, as that called for by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine, above) and Rep. Jim Comey (R-Ky) calling for the agency to issue clarifying "enforcement discretion." In their letter(see below) the hemp-supporting reps were joined by 10 other members asking FDA to issue interim rules, suggesting approval for a "two-track regulatory approach could enable lower dosed products with limited health risks to enter the market as a dietary supplement, while requiring higher dosages in drugs, such as Epidiolex, to be prescribed by medical professionals." This approach would free the immediate marketplace of uncertainty, noted the Congressional letter, similar to the McConnell language which could see a full Senate vote before Thanksgiving. "The medical research conducted on CBD to date has shown limited health risks associated with low dosages of CBD," says the letter. See full text at:twitter.com/chelliepingree/status/1174755356439920640/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1174755356439920640&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.marijuanamoment.net%2Fbipartisan-lawmakers-call-on-fda-to-clear-a-path-for-cbd-companies%2F
Expo East Top CBD Brands Shape Next Round of Product Offers Welcoming more than 28,000 natural food retailers, the finished goods segment of the CBD industry pushed aggressively for more shelf space, even as 100-plus fully-funded CBD brands agreed to raise the bar on standards and labeling. As the 35th Natural Products Expo East expanded its’ umbrella over U.S. CBD makers, the Sept. 12-14th Baltimore event signaled the green light for retailers to move beyond topicals, and begin offering high-margin ingestible, beauty and pet products to excited North American consumers. Retailers universally predicted major growth year for 2019, and reported an ever-more knowledgeable buyer. Not lost on independent natural product store owners was the entry of mass retailer drug chains (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and others) into offering topical CBD – but the booming market brought a chorus of optimism that the multi-billion-$$$ revenue years ahead would provide room for more outlets.
A new Expo East “Hemp Pavillion” welcomed first-time firms to the CBD party (including Green Gorilla, SunSoil of Vermont, MarketHub, Chakra Organics, Ancient Nutrition and Soji Health) added to the familiar players who all helped pass the 2018 Farm Bill. See a full list of significant exhibitors at Expo East at: https://chemp7.com/american-cbd-leaders
Bluebird Botanicals introduced its new CBD-based concentrates, and three new advanced formula skin-care products (Silk, Sport & Essential ) all destined also for sales at Whole Foods(who have also selected Shikai and Pachamama for their national topical-only offerings). Both MedTerra CBD and CBD Unlimited will appear in thousands of Walgreens, and both saw their booths crammed with retailers also wanting access. At the Isodiol display, the major private labeler unveiled at $399(suggested retail) line of seven CBD beauty formulations, joining the quickly evolving beauty/anti-aging side which also saw Southern California’s Soji Health and BOTA(Balanced Health Botanicals) kick off their advanced topicals. Winged was a new CBD tincture predicted to be a big hit by Anavii Market, Weller brought more CBD drink mixes, and Canadian hemp giant Manitoba Harvest joined Expo in offering their first CBD line.
From Restorative Botanicals to Garden of Life to SunGod Botanicals, new and expanded recipes for gummies joined full spectrum products with higher terpene and higher measurable amounts of CBG, CBC, CBN and other cannabinoids. The new combined venture between Palmetto Harmony(Janel Ralph) and RE Botanicals(John Roulac) kicked off with a “NEXTY” award for best new CBD product. Colorado Hemp Honey was cited for Consumers Choice(Supplements), as was PlusCBDOil and two awards went to SunGod Botanicals for their AJA tincture.
A scan of new labels at ExpoEast found a strong drive for clean soils, organically-grown, “non-GMO”, triple tested products(by third parties), as well as consumer access to product COAs(certificate of analysis) through label links. Among the new culprits in farming toxins, several experts called on the industry to spend more testing money to ensure that known-toxic herbicide “glyphosate” be totally banned in U.S. farming. Also within the “preferred best practices” category, a clear preference for CO2 processing was cited above other extraction methods, and the major CBD makers were able to start using the certification of the US Hemp Authority emblem on labels.
“The Hemp CBD Scorecard” was unveiled at the show to begin grading several different brands and commenced a 40-company survey from the Center for Food Safety. Due to a grading system which severely penalized “non-returned” information surveys, the Center’s study organizer Rebecca Spector heard pushback from industry stalwarts who were graded with an F or D (including Irwin, Barleans, Shikai, Lord Jones, Joy Organics or CBDIstillery) and another group of Top 20 CBD leaders who were never contacted at all. “The report achieves the opposite of its stated goal—it spreads misinformation and sows fear among consumers who do not know that this report was created on incomplete information and a lax process for gathering that information,” write Barleans’ Ola Lessard.
A scan of wholesale/retail price sheets offered during the Expo revealed virtually zero reduction in the upcoming retail pricing. For instance a 300-500mg (roughly half-month average use) bottle of tincture found a continuing retail price range of $49 to $59. Other products like gummies and CBD pain topicals showed a slight decrease in suggested retail, but overall, retailers remained jubilant over major markups across all product lines, thanks in part to the media-mania for all things CBD, and the realization that the 5-million plus regular United States’ CBD users might just be a small start.
With a 7th lung disease death reported in California(Sept. 16), health officials and politicians are universally calling for banning most forms of vaping systems, including THC-delivery, both licensed and illicit. Initial early-September reports pointed to the suspected target for illnesses by more than 530 vapers as illegal, or modified cartridge mixes containing toxic accellerants combined in the vaping oils. However by mid-September, it became clear that a full-blown attack on suspicious THC vaping systems was becoming a co-equal concern along with e-cigarettes and flavored vape mixes.
"As for THC vapes, they' re slipping through a regulatory crack where they're not actively regulated by the feds (and fall mostly outside FDA's legal purview) and they're not carefully scrutinized by states that've passed permissive cannabis laws that fueled these products," said former FDA head Dr. Scott Gottlieb, an ardent critic of teen vaping. In California, New York and Oregon, regulators were mulling aggressive product recalls(and seizures), along with a plan for spending millions on vape education. In its weekly analysis of THC-legal state, researchers at MJBiz reported a fall-off in demand of 4 to 12 percent, based upon its interface with retailers in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington. Two stories with in-depth reports on illicit vape makers -- first, from the Los Angeles Times:
makers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/knockoff-pot-vapes-raise-concerns-for-licensed-companies/2019/09/17/b7fe9d3a-d9b1-11e9-a1a5-162b8a9c9ca2_story.html?noredirect=onand from Leafly -- https://www.leafly.com/news/health/some-vape-cart-additive-makers-pull-products-others-go-dark
The Department of Agriculture has completed its draft of new implementation language for hemp growing under the 2018 Farm Bill, and now has forwarded that draft to the White House OMB(Office of Management and Budget). While public and industry input may be sought at the OMB level, it is widely expected to lead to final USDA implementation rules by late in 2019. The new rules are directed toward the Spring, 2020 hemp planting season, however, may have some immediate implications, like the development of banking and farm loan access, pesticides, the issuance of crop insurance and the baseline for testing for THC(over .3%) within hemp plantings. Hemp Benchmarks crop estimates expect between 85,000 to 130,000 acres of hemp to be successfully brought to market for the 2019 harvest season. Without a clear federal guideline on interstate shipping of hemp, some biomass suppliers are concerned for a repeat of certain seizures like those which occured earlier this year in Oklahoma, Idaho and Wyoming.
Washington is abuzz with the expectation for a full House floor vote on the cannabis banking bill, carried by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). A procedural vote to allow for a full House vote is expected next week, but will require a two-thirds vote. The bill will then head to the Senate, where its' fate will be up to Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, head of the banking committee.
Denver area customers will soon begin to have access to a CBD drink from Molson-Coors subsidiary. Coors Distributing Co., an independent LLC, distributes beverages to more than 1,000 locations, including restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores and events venues. The two drinks, DRAM Apothecary, and Colorado's Best Drinks, both non-alcoholic, are the first beverages offered by the liquor giant...... Meanwhile, another survivor of big liquor entering the cannabis space (Constellation Brands) will have his hands full with three new projects. Ousted Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton is returning to the MJ executive space. Linton is joining Michigan-based Gage Cannabis Co. as executive chairman, parent company Wolverine Partners said Tuesday.Meanwhile, Canadian-based Slang Worldwide (CSE: SLNG), a manufacturer of cannabis packaged goods, announced Tuesday that Linton has invested almost $185,000 in the Toronto-based company.
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