Some new owners unintentionally find themselves on the wrong side of the law and end up in serious trouble.
The cannabis industry has been experiencing exponential growth, with some economic experts predicting it will be worth nearly $149 billion by 2031. As a result, many entrepreneurs have been exploring their options around starting their own cannabis businesses and selling legal goods to the general public.
However, cannabis industry rules and regulations are sometimes described as murky, and it’s not always easy to know if you’re operating within the confines of the law. If you want to avoid a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and stay on the right side of the law, you might want to take some of the following steps.
Be Careful With Words and Phrases
When selling products like Delta 8 flower, edibles, and even simple lotions and tinctures, be careful with your labeling and product descriptions. Even one minor misstep regarding the language you use might have significant repercussions for your business and image. Avoid making claims about what CBD and THC can help with. For example, rather than stating that CBD can relieve pain and Delta-8 is successful in cancer treatment, say that CBD might relieve pain, and research shows promise with Delta-8 in studies regarding cancer treatment.
It’s also important to avoid offering medical advice and ensure your products contain instructions and information for proper use, potential side effects, safety warnings, and how customers can learn more. The FDA is watching, and failure to take a cautious approach might see you issued with a warning letter.
Obtain a Certificate of Analysis
Consumers want to know that any cannabis products they’re consuming are safe. The FDA also wants that information. You might be able to offer that peace of mind by ensuring all products you sell come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA). A COA is a test result from a third-party, licensed laboratory for each cannabis product batch. These results outline product purity, potency, and safety so consumers can be confident in their safety before purchasing and consuming. If you don’t provide a COA for all products, consumers might be less likely to purchase them, and the FDA might follow you more closely than you feel comfortable with.
Avoid Attracting Minors
Depending on where you live, the minimum age for buying cannabis and cannabis products can be 18 or 21. However, some businesses advertise their products in such a way that they appeal to people under those legal ages. If you want to remain on the right side of the law, take care not to make your products seem desirable to people who lawfully can’t use them.
This means that you should avoid advertising them with words and graphics that appeal to that specific demographic or targeting your advertising efforts to younger people. You should also explicitly state that your products are not suitable for minors. You might even see the value in adding an age gate to your website, meaning users must confirm their age before viewing the contents of the website.
Don’t Forget Website Disclosures
While spending so much time trying to ensure your products and advertising comply with FDA requirements, you might forget about making sure your website has all the most appropriate information.
At a minimum, include honest disclosures about how the FDA hasn’t approved Delta-8 THC products and that you’re not making any medical claims about the efficacy of any products you sell. It’s also essential to include your privacy policies, with details about the information you collect from site visitors and how you use it. Some states even have laws about what you can do with customer information once you have it.
Sell Safe Products
One of the easiest ways to operate a legal and well-respected cannabis business is simply by selling safe products. Align yourself with reputable suppliers and manufacturers and perform research to ensure the hemp you purchase is organic and grown in the United States. If you’re stocking any products from new suppliers, make sure their COAs are authentic and don’t be afraid to contact the laboratories directly if you’re unsure.
There are many illegitimate and unsafe cannabis suppliers, but with a small amount of research and care, you might avoid being one of them. Don’t forget to meet your legal obligations regarding permits and taxes. The cannabis industry is strictly regulated to ensure businesses are safe and their products are contaminant-free.
Establishing a new Delta-8 business can be challenging, especially with so many legal requirements. As a result, some new owners unintentionally find themselves on the wrong side of the law and end up in serious trouble. If you’re gearing up to open a new business for the first time, take note of this information above. It might just contribute to your future success.
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