By Jeff Greene
With patent infringement, product knock offs and government subsidized manufacturing, there is no shortage of reasons to see China as a major issue to American commerce. However, the real issue may come down to packaging. Glass and plastic containers are almost exclusively made in China. Even American made products are often put into Chinese made containers. We take for granted the global supply chains until situations like a Cold War or pandemic occur.
The hemp industry is not immune to this fate. With huge trade show cancellations, there is certainly some panic happening. The thought that cannabinoids work to keep your body in a homeostasis state and a body in balance is less prone to having an immune system compromised seems logical. Needless to say, no medical claims are made here and these thoughts are not vetted by the FDA.
Packaging is currently my biggest concern for our industry. First, until recently I was not aware that Food Grade Containers were different than any other container. That is, until I found out that amber and cobalt blue bottles sourced from China were leaching lead. Lead based paint, banned in the United States in 1972, is being used in China. Perfectly clean CBD products, placed in tainted bottles, heated up while on delivery trucks and sitting on shelfs for weeks or months allows for an elevated lead level that evades testing.
Not necessarily a packaging issue but the additional ingredients in cannabinoid products also must be tested and food grade. Many orange flavorings that are not food grade contain high levels of pesticides.
Vigilance in our industry is greater than just making sure a manufacturer creates a good, clean product and labels it properly. It also makes sure that all ingredients meet food grade quality standards and that containers are food grade quality.
Is this the panic before the calm, or the panic before the storm? Time will tell. The best thing you can do is know who manufacturered your food products and do your due diligence on them.
The Florida Hemp Council (www.TheFLHC.org) can help you with that if this sounds daunting.