First USDA Organic Hemp Project
Ask and ye shall receive, and that is exactly what CBDRx, a science-based nutraceutical company out of Longmont, CO, did. The company, which “specializes in research, testing, development, cultivation, processing and wholesale distribution of medicinal-grade, hemp-based CBD/cannabinoid products for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and wellness industries,” is the first of its kind to receive an official stamp of Organic certification from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Organic Cannabis Consultants at Quantum 9, who are trained in USDA Good Agricultural Practices, stress the positive advancement within the field by the USDA. Pun intended.
Michael Mayes, Organic Marijuana Consultant and CEO of Quantum 9, an international hemp consulting firm based in Chicago, says that “although ‘organic’ cannabis and marijuana have seemingly been around for some time, the labeling has been rampantly misused and unsupervised in Colorado.” Colorado growers have been self-labeling their product for years. This is especially concerning because there’s no official standard to uphold, and in some cases, it has been reported that banned pesticides have been used. CBDRx wanted to set themselves apart from those other companies. “We at CBDRx decided to challenge the norm and request USDA certification for our hemp, and through some true passionate efforts we succeeded,” said Tim Gordon, a member of the CBDRx research team.
What makes this possible is that it is what’s labeled as “hemp” that’s getting the official USDA Certified Organic stamp of approval for CBDRx. “Marijuana” and “cannabis” as a whole are still considered Schedule 1 drugs by the DEA, as they supposedly come with a high risk for abuse and are deemed valueless. With that classification, the USDA is unable to certify any of it as organic. Hemp, on the other hand, is the fiber and seeds of the plant used for making everything from industrial strength rope and jewelry to beauty products and health foods. On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2013 into law. Section 7606 of the act, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defines industrial hemp as “distinct [from the rest] and authorizes institutions of higher education or state department’s of agriculture in states that legalized hemp cultivation to conduct research and pilot programs.” This validates hemp as a legitimate crop. USDA’s Penelope Puck says “The hemp must be grown according to the Farm Bill” which states: “Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa. Hemp has absolutely no use as a recreational drug. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Although this is a historic step, it still does little to ensure consumers of the plant that their cannabis is free of chemicals. With that being said, it is progress nonetheless, as it seems to be a strong step in the right direction for the entire cannabis industry, in particular for sellers and consumers that wish to deal in certified organics only.
If your company is interested in a review of its organic protocols to see if they align with the USDA standards, please contact Quantum 9 at 888-716-0404 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Organic Cannabis Consulting Needed.”