- Jason Cragholm in Quality

How Quality, Safety and Transparency Can Bring Legitimacy to the Cannabis and Hemp Industries

Until quality, safety, and transparency are prioritized and standards are set to ensure cannabis and hemp companies are making and selling high-quality, safe products, the perception of the legal cannabis industry will have a gray cloud hanging over it. The black market will continue to be a direct competitor and the industry will struggle to establish legitimacy.

Research Shows – Quality, Safety, and Transparency are Lacking in the Cannabis and Hemp CBD Industries

The challenge to legitimize the cannabis and hemp CBD industries is one that can be quantified based on research studies that have been conducted to measure the quality, safety, and transparency of products available to consumers. 

For example, September 2019 research by the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Cannabis Safety found that nearly half of the 40 CBD producers evaluated in the study received a failing (“F”) or near failing (“D”) grade.

Fast forward to July 2020, and a separate study by LeafReport.com found that of 37 tested CBD brands, 13% received failing grades. These grades were based on independent lab tests that showed CBD levels differed from what was stated on the product label by more than 30%. Taking a closer look at the data, things look worse than you might think. Another 3% of brands tested within a 30% discrepancy, and 11% tested within a 20% discrepancy. Another 73% of brands showed CBD levels differed from what was stated on the product label by more than 10%.

Bottom-line, the cannabis and hemp industries can’t gain legitimacy while products are still failing to deliver high quality and safety to every consumer consistently.

Building Quality

Quality matters in the cannabis and hemp industries, but until there are reliable ways to measure and report quality, it will remain a moving target. 

To build quality overall, cannabis and hemp CBD companies need to build cultures of quality from within. They need to use tools to measure and track quality and develop processes to deliver on the promise of high quality and safety in every customer interaction. 

Fortunately, there are companies and tools that can help businesses operating in and with the cannabis and hemp industries to measure and track quality so they gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. QualSCORE is one of them with the QualSCORE Quality Rating and SAFE Certification.

Improving Safety

Consumers, the media, and even members of the general public need to be able to identify safe cannabis and CBD products. There are so many brands to choose from and little consistency in terms of providing information that allows people to compare them – apples-to-apples.

Not only do THC and CBD amounts often vary significantly from what is printed on cannabis and CBD product labels, but also, a variety of harmful ingredients can be found in many products. Some of these components occur naturally but others come from pesticides, herbicides, chemical solvents, and added ingredients.

In order to evaluate product safety, cannabis and CBD companies need to make it easy for consumers to get accurate information about ingredients, cultivation methods, and manufacturing practices. Quality certifications like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic certification, GMP Certified (ISO 9001, 2015 standards), and QualSCORE’s SAFE Certified Cannabis certifications can help.

Increasing Transparency

The reality today is that many consumers don’t fully understand how and when to use cannabis and CBD products. According to research by High Yield Insights, 66% of consumers are not confident in the safety of CBD products and 81% can’t identify safe and effective CBD products. 

In order to increase transparency, companies in the cannabis and hemp industries need to focus on improving labels and ingredients information, gathering independent proof of their claims, and educating consumers and the public.

Again, third-party certifications like those from the USDA and QualSCORE are essential to increasing transparency as is making third-party testing lab reports publicly available.

Key Takeaways about Quality, Safety, and Transparency in the Cannabis and Hemp CBD Industries

The importance of increasing your cannabis or hemp company and brand’s quality, safety, and transparency – and then proudly promoting them so the world knows you’re commitment to the success of your industry and consumers’ health and safety – cannot be stressed enough. 

Again, until every business prioritizes quality, safety, and transparency, both the cannabis and hemp industries will continue to struggle to achieve legitimacy among the wider population. 

Getting your QualSCORE Quality Rating and SAFE Certification from QualSCORE is a great first step, so schedule a free demo of QualSCORE and see what it can do for your cannabis or hemp CBD brand.
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