BY DR. LLOYD COVENS, publisher of West420 News Weekly
As millions and millions of dollars in merger-and-acquisition deals continue, the serious US-based makers of CBD products are poised to flood the market, building brands, and beginning to produce new innovative delivery and formulation strategies. Over 1000 CBD firms may be active with such a low barrier to entry, but major players– like GenCanna and the Stanley Brother’s CW Hemp are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. That entry barrier may become higher as the industry strives to bring universal testing and labeling to bear– and seeks to stem the tide of “white label” companies flooding the CBD space with Chinese or European imports.
In several states, health authorities are issuing warnings against the sale of CBD-in-food– with a few, actually making moves to ban all CBD at retail, until federal rules become clearer. This week US Hemp Authority released its time frame for collecting additional comments on its way to completing a version 2.0 of its certification rules, in time for new testing and audit procedures after Oct. 1, 2019.
One of the key goals of the industry-created Hemp Authority is to extend the certification program beyond the main brand (direct) manufacturer, but to allow the “H” certification seal to be also permissible downstream to private label buyers. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub hopes to extend the new certification standards to farmers, as well as the distribution and sales space which now face almost zero regulation.
In releasing West 420’s annual review of major producers of CBD ingestibles, the companies met a rigid review–company management, regional/national market share, a commitment to standards and safety– and support for industry advancement as a whole.
25 Top-Rated US CBD Companies–Spring 2018
(Asterisk* indicates company earned Hemp Authority certification)
Ananda Hemp/ Echofibre (KY)
American Shaman (KS)
Bluebird Botanicals/ Gaia (CO)*
Bluhen Botanicals (KY)
Charlotte’s Web/ CWEB (CO)*
CV Sciences/ Plus CBD (CA)*
Diamond CBD (FL)
Folium BioSciences (CO)
Functional Remedies (CO)
Green Roads (FL)
Joy Organics (CO)
Koi CBD (CA)
Lazarus Botanicals (OR)
Lilu’s Garden (CO)
Mary’s Nutritionals (CO)
MJNA: HempMeds Px (CA)*
Nuero XPF (NV)
Palmetto Harmony (SC)
Restorative Botanicals (CO)
(as published on the West420 News website: www.CHemp7.com)
From the international side, many Canadian companies are planning major moves into hemp and CBD product development. Privateer subsidiary Tilray has kicked off its’ interest by acquiring Manitoba Harvest, the largest hemp seedcake/protein provider. Canopy Growth has committed up to half-a-billion dollars in jumping into the processing and marketing side of the global CBD space. Canopy will spend more than $100 million in a New York state hemp industrial park, and has its eyes set on other regional facilities for another 3-5 states. Swedish-based ISODIOL remains a major U.S. player, with its corporate headquarters now based in Vancouver.
Other hemp companies named in the first HA review were three from Kentucky: Shell Farms, Natures Hemp Oil and HD Distribution; and two additional California CBD firms: Medterra and MetaCan.
–Based in Denver, Dr. Lloyd Covens, DBA is a seasoned cannabis industry journalist and the publisher of West420 NewsWeekly. Writing his doctorate on diffusion of innovations, Covens has been an expert journalist/researcher for 20 years chronicling new technology, global television and renewable energy advancements. He has reported on developments in the cannabis and hemp industry with weekly reports since 2014 covering the western U.S. for legal medical cannabis, recreational sales and hemp production. Covens is also the creator of the annual CO Hemp CBD Conference held in Pueblo, Colorado.