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European cannabis group announces trace and track tool for CBD

Aug 6, 2020

Transparency has become a significant focus of the CBD industry in the United States, as companies across the country eagerly await the Food and Drug Administration’s draft policy guidelines. The document, which is now under review by the White House Office of Budget Management, is expected to bring regulatory oversight to the billion-dollar industry at a time when many have compared the sector to the Wild West of consumer markets.

But US companies are not alone in their search for transparency.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Cannabinoid Association of the Netherlands, a consortium of Dutch cannabidiol producers announced the launch of a new, free online tool to help consumers track the chain of production of the brands they purchase. CanCheck.org will allow CBD consumers in the country to trace CBD products from the shelf to seed. The entire process will verify every link of the supply chain using blockchain.

According to the statement, the tool came about as a response to the EU’s continued confusion regarding CBD as a “novel food.” Food standards agencies such as the UK’s FSA wanted companies to engage in a long and complicated application process to keep their products available to consumers throughout 2021. The process was set to be costly for many companies in the industry.

That near-fiasco ended, however, when the European Commission reversed course and stated that the Novel Food Regulation 2015, which introduced the definition of food from the General Food Regulation 178/2002 would not include cannabis extracts such as CBD. In other words, CBD would not be classified as a food and thus would not come under the domain of the act.

As per a statement, insiders are still worried over the ramifications of the UK’s exit from the European Union. While they are expected to develop their own rules and regulations, it is unsure at this time what those will be. Officials have called for close collaboration within the industry. The Cannabinoid Association of the Netherlands believes their new online tool heeds that call.

Products bearing the organization’s quality mark will be able to be traced using the tool. The CanCheck system will also provide accurate levels of CBD, CBA-A, THC, and THC-A, as well as information on the absence of contaminants; and a full spectrum composition.

Moreover, the new quality mark is meant as a guarantee that products are correctly labeled, meet strict quality requirements, and come from EU approved hemp varieties, according to the statement released on Thursday. This will provide consumers will a new level of safety and transparency, including the 15 percent of the adults taking CBD in the UK.

“By using today’s blockchain technology to trace the production of hemp-derived cannabidiol products from shelf to seed, CanCheck will give consumers peace of mind when choosing their CBD products online and in-store,” said Mark Reinders, CEO of HempFlax, a founding member of CAN and a board member of EIHA in a statement. “Full traceability, in combination with a strict quality control regime such as CAN’s, is the only way to ensure product quality and protect consumers. We hope to see this level of transparency adopted by CBD producers worldwide as a trustworthy and accountable natural CBD market begins to take shape.”

“The achievements of CanCheck and the CAN Quality Mark show that we as an industry work proactively to introduce transparent laboratory analysis, clear labeling and traceability measures. These achievements will be supplemented by the immense program of research being undertaken by EIHA on behalf of its members,” he continued. “EIHA’s studies will facilitate a significant advancement in our collective understanding.”

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