The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) announced Nov. 16, at its 2021 Hemp Business Summit, that it plans to roll out a pilot program establishing standards for product testing protocols and laboratories.
Participants in the program will be able to label products with the NIHC label of approval, ensuring the accuracy of product labeling that will set standards for ingredients, ensure the accuracy of labeling and ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in the cannabidiol (CBD) products that they’re buying.
The announcement, made during the standards panel discussion, came one day before NIHC will hear directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cannabis Product Committee Chair Grail Sipes.
“We’re excited for this program that we believe is going to strengthen consumer confidence, promote accuracy in labeling and ultimately, protect the brand of hemp,” said NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi. “Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have been waiting for the FDA to act on CBD. Without any guidance from the FDA thus far, NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”
NIHC believes in establishing an accurate, consistent testing regimen. This label will bring value to the marketplace and integrity to products sold nationwide in stores and online. NIHC is exploring testing standards and third-party verification laboratory requirements that will be applicable when testing for potency, pesticides, metals, terpenes and other product attributes.
A critical part of the program will include using third-party accreditation bodies to verify that laboratories are following the appropriate testing protocols and properly calibrating their equipment, and that those running the tests are properly trained.
“As one of North America’s leading food and consumer product testing companies, FSNS is pleased to lead this effort,” said NIHC Board member Barry Carpenter, who chairs the NIHC Standards Committee, and is a senior adviser for regulatory affairs and client relations for Food Safety Net Services (FSNS). “This initiative will bring value to the marketplace and peace of mind to the consumer with reliable and transparent information about CBD products.”
NIHC is looking to partner and explore these standards with the world’s leading standards bodies, hoping to make a pilot program for CBD companies and labs available for enrollment.
With NIHC developing its own standards and label, consumers looking to buy CBD products, at either brick-and-mortar retail stores or online, will have an opportunity to look for an NIHC label that ensures products that they’re considering purchasing meet the most stringent safety protocols in the hemp industry.
The National Industrial Hemp Council provides networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector.
The Washington-based NIHC kicked off it’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15.
Highlighting the summit will be speaker’s from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and U.S. Rep. Curt Schrader, D-Oregon.
The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications.