Tim Gunther is our guest this week on the Carolina Cannabis News podcast which is coming at you a little early since there is so much interest in this topic.

Gunther’s company, iLoveCompliance.biz, works with cannabis clients in 18 states. He says, about a year ago, he noticed an industry shift toward hemp.

“The stores that we represent proudly display their COAs,” he says, explaining that he’s proactive when it comes to protecting his clients.

In this podcast episode, we delve into the Medicine Mama’s situation regarding their investigation by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). While preparing for this taping, Gunther took note of the company’s social media posts: “Even with what they’re posting on social … you have to think about compliance not just from ‘what am I doing in my business’ but ‘what am I saying and how am I saying things’. And social media is one of the biggest challenges and confusions,” he says.

Advice for North Carolina companies

Carolina Cannabis News sent Gunther a draft of the  NCDA&CS CBD-ban letter for review before our interview. So, we discuss that and we also discuss the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s CBD memo, best practices for hemp and CBD companies, and what he’d tell you if he were his North Carolina client.

“You think compliance is expensive? Try non-compliance,” he says in the podcast. “If you don’t do it, it’s going to catch you and when it catches you the fines can be very, very insane. You think it’s expensive now? Just wait until you have to shut down your business.”

Advice for CBD consumers

We talk about what makes for a quality certificate of analysis (COAs) and what to look for on them and how to spot a fraud.

Gunther encourages consumers to be proactive when it comes to learning about what is in your CBD products and how they were processed.

“Education is the key,” Gunther says.

His take on North Carolina’s “crackdown”

Gunther believes North Carolina is taking the right tact by notifying processors in an attempt to inform before taking enforcement action, like embargoing products, as other states have done recently.

“I believe what your state is doing and what Mr. Reardon is doing is a really good thing because you should have control over the labeling and all of that,” he says. “Some regulation is better than no regulation, however your listeners need to get active” by contacting legislators and educating them, too.

[Click here to find out who represents you in the North  Carolina General Assembly and how to contact them.]

At this time, Gunther suggests that companies and retailers get away from CBD-infused food, “That’s a whole other level of compliance,” he says.

Gunther encourages hemp and CBD business owners to monitor U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letters to get a sense of the type of enforcement actions they are taking regarding CBD. He says currently the letters are focused on medical claims.

“It’s because people are making these claims … health-specific claims — you can’t do that,” Gunther says in the podcast. “That’s why, I think the FDA stepped up and said ‘we’re still going to be the ones monitoring this’ … because there is so much uncertainty. I think they’re trying to avoid any sort of issue with people taking product and getting sick … “

“ … the next 24 months are going to be a very confusing time,” says Gunther.

 

[Image: A slide in one of Tim Gunther’s compliance presentations. Photo courtesy Tim Gunther via Facebook.]

Photo and text via the FDA’s Flickr account:

This product is promoted with unapproved claims to treat or cure various types of cancer. FDA warns consumers to avoid unproven and potentially unsafe products sold as treatments for cancer. See the Warning Letter for more information – www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2017/…

Photo and text via the FDA’s  Flickr account:

This product is promoted with unapproved claims to treat or cure various types of cancer. FDA warns consumers to avoid unproven and potentially unsafe products sold as treatments for cancer. See the Warning Letter for more information – www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2017/…

Photo and text via the FDA’s Flickr account:

This product is promoted with unapproved claims to treat or cure various types of cancer. FDA warns consumers to avoid unproven and potentially unsafe products sold as treatments for cancer. See the Warning Letter for more information – www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2017/…

BY Rhiannon Fionn

BY Rhiannon Fionn

Editor & Publisher

Rhiannon Fionn is an award-winning journalist based in Charlotte, N.C.