This article is brought to you by Heritage CBD.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Since the federal government legalized hemp with the passage of the farm bill in 2018, consumer demand for hemp-derived CBD products has soared. However, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to finalize guidelines for regulating CBD, the agency isn’t closely monitoring hemp-derived CBD product manufacturing.
With such a Wild West marketplace, it’s even more important for convenience stores to partner with quality brands committed to high standards and self-regulation to ensure safety. Figuring out which CBD companies are selling safe products takes a little time but doesn’t have to be a daunting task. “Retailers run the risk of carrying inferior CBD products and earning the industry a bad reputation in the consumers’ minds when it comes to where they purchase CBD products if they skip the step of vetting what they put on their shelf,” said Tim Van Epps, founder of Heritage CBD.
Retailers should consider five key areas when sourcing CBD products for their stores:
First, look for brands transparent about their hemp origin. “Quality CBD brands use hemp grown using organic farming practices in soil that is pretested for toxins like heavy medals,” Van Epps said.
Second, confirm that they third-party verify every batch of product they make. An independent Certificate of Analysis (COA) shows the product contains the amount of CBD listed on the label and ensures it’s within the legal THC limit of no more than 0.3%.
Third, stay away from brands claiming medical or therapeutic usage. Though they are not yet regulating the manufacturing of hemp-derived CBD, the FDA is actively monitoring for companies making medical claims because such usage hasn’t been studied enough. Quality CBD companies know this and avoid making such claims in order to protect their brand reputation.
Fourth, check that the labels are clear and accurate. Labels should state the net weight of the product, the amount of CBD per serving, other ingredients, and the name, location and phone number or website of the company.
Fifth, confirm the brand has representatives available to answer questions. Retailers and consumers often have questions about CBD, and good brands offer easy ways to get those answers. “As a retailer, it’s a good idea to ensure your staff has a basic knowledge of what CBD is, but you can take a lot of pressure off your frontline staff by stocking brands that are available to handle consumer inquiries,” Van Epps said.
Van Epps predicted CBD has a sustainable future in convenience. “However, in the near term, it’s important for retailers to place value on carrying quality CBD products so that c-stores don’t earn a reputation for offering mediocre or unsafe CBD,” he said.
Read more about sourcing safe and legitimate CBD products in “A Trusted Partnership” in the April issue of NACS Magazine.
This is the first installment of a two-part series about CBD products at convenience stores. Read about how to sell and merchandise legal CBD in your store in the June 25 edition of NACS Daily.