Ambitious efforts to rid the global cannabis industry of rogue operators are being launched in the U.K.
TrustCanna has been established with the support of the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) which has almost 900 members across the globe. Hugh McKeown, CEO of TrustCanna, is asking all businesses involved in the legal CBD industry to sign-up to its new register with the aim of raising standards.
In doing so it will lead to the TrustCanna seal of approval being incorporated into the packaging of all of the CBD and hemp food, cosmetics and vaping products of participating companies. Speaking to CBD Testers at the CTA’s annual conference in Birmingham recently, he said: “The TrustCanna seal will demonstrate to consumers and regulators that these products are verifiable and fit for purpose.
“Our eventual aim is to see the TrustCanna mark carry the same status as the Fairtrade, Vegan and Organic Soil Association ones, and for TrustCanna’s approval to be recognised across the U.K., Europe and eventually the global industry.”
CBD Compliance Concerns
The creation of TrustCanna is in response to growing compliance concerns across the industry. CTA chairman Mike Harlington, also speaking to CBD Testers at the CTA conference, said in some recent tests just 11% of CBD products were able to verify their content claims.
Mr McKeown said the new initiative is designed to re-assure regulators and help lead to the creation of a controlled market which would happily align with ‘sensible legislation’.
He said: “There are still a lot of cowboys out there and in some CTA tests products were found to not even include any CBD – despite being sold as such. There are a lot of people in the industry, like ourselves, who want to get this right and we want to be able to show the Government agencies that we are doing this right. We need to show we can make compliant rules, certify them, and follow them.”
Businesses Are ‘Telling CBD Lies’
He reiterated to CTA members in a conference address that it is not possible to make any claims in relation to any health benefits of CBD products, which are categorised as food supplements across most global jurisdictions.
He added: “We are shooting ourselves in the foot with unsubstantiated claims, and it’s time to draw a line under it. The bottom line is this; CBD isn’t a drug, so you cannot make medical claims.”
And he warned: “People out there are still telling absolute lies, and this will have to stop or we (the industry) will get shut down.” CBD food companies will be able to register from July with vaping and cosmetics companies in August and the official launch coming in September.
Initially TrustCanna will operate on an annual self-declaration basis with the eventual aim of setting up an audit system to verify all claims. The register is open to all businesses in the CBD and hemp supply chain. The TrustCanna website will be live for registrations in the coming week.