Marijuana Business Magazine January 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2020 14 B uy a $4.99 bottle of Advil at any drugstore in the world, then throw the bottle in your home medicine cabinet. Or your desk at work. Maybe the glove box of your car. It doesn’t matter. You open that bottle six months later, and the Advil will be just fine. Advil is great. It doesn’t need refrigeration or special care. It’s going to last for years at the same potency it was when you bought it, no matter where on the planet you picked it up. When you take an Advil, you never have to think about where it was manufactured or what’s in the bottle. That’s factory medicine—a marvel of the modern world, and I mean that sincerely. Medicines prepared in sterile laboratories to incredible precision have undoubtedly extended human life and brought healing and relief to those of us with no idea how to prepare an analgesic or handle unstable compounds. But people don’t always want their medicines to come from faraway labs that make synthetic pharmaceuticals. For some, those factory medicines don’t work—or don’t work forever—despite our hopes that we’ve outengineered our own feeble bodies. Factory medicine has a lot to do with the rise of the cannabis economy, one created by entrepreneurs willing to risk jail time to grow and create a different kind of medicine. Cannabis products are closer to the earth and closer to the people who need healing. That’s kind of the problem. Society now wants to have hemp’s cake and eat it, too. Growing Pains Nearly every day we see headlines about CBD products not matching their labels. Or not telling consumers about trace ingredients or residual metals. The headlines come right alongside gushing accounts of how hemp extracts such as CBD help patients quit taking prescribed medicines. It’s a bizarre juxtaposition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says cannabinoids have medical value, but they should be prepared like other pharmaceuticals: precisely and consistently. In response, hemp companies are trying their best to follow the rules and make their CBD products look more like that bottle of Advil. They’re working on shelf stability, on standard dosing, on a supply chain that allows bottles of their CBD tinctures to go in shopping malls and corner stores from London to Los Angeles. But as this issue of Marijuana Business Magazine looks at the future of the cannabis space, I wonder where that future leaves CBD products that don’t look like a bottle of Advil. I hate seeing hemp entrepreneurs branded as charlatans (or worse) when the medicines they produce don’t meet the standards of factory medicines—standards that don’t account for how plants naturally change from crop to crop. After all, plants are supposed to rot, which is why you don’t see live plants too often in pharmaceutical labs. So, as we enter this new year and a new growing season for legal hemp, let’s try for both. Let’s produce some CBD products with the consistency and availability of Advil, alongside artisan preparations that aren’t suited for a gas-station shelf. I know the hemp industry is eager for more consumers to benefit from this amazing plant. I hope the future brings an industry where big and small entrepreneurs and healers can all thrive, whether they’re trying to serve a faraway drugstore consumer or a close neighbor. Kristen Nichols is editor of Hemp Industry Daily. She can be reached at [email protected] . CBD’s Factory Future Hemp medicine can’t always be precise and consistent, but that’s OK Hemp Notebook | Kristen Nichols