Why GMP Matters in Your Hemp Plants and CBD Oil — Cannabis.net Sits Down with Hemp Therapies of Colorado (Sponsored)
Cannabis.net contacted Hemp Therapies after reading about GMP, good manufacturing practices, on their products, and wonders, “What does that mean in the world of hemp?”. Gary McDonald of Hemp Therapies explains…
What is Hemp Therapies?
Hemp Therapies is a new LLC based in Colorado run by an Australian through a non-resident LLC. We manufacture under license through our Colorado supplier.
You are all about GMP, or good manufacturing practice, can you explain what that means to the consumer?
GMP in the CBD industry means everything, as the market is flooded with low quality ethanol extracted crude based products. It does not stop with GMP I am a big believer in compliance and transparency and as we are using a licensed manufacturer, we have access to a State approved testing facility that is linked to the METRC System. https://www.metrc.com/
How did you first get into the hemp industry, what caused you to start the company?
I became involved back in 2016 as an Australian distributor for Elixinol and European brand Endoca. In October 2017 CBD became a schedule 4 prescription only medicine in Australia and is to this day sold as medical cannabis in Australia at way above international market price. This has caused all kinds of problems for consumers in that they must pay between $200 and $400 for a telehealth consult to obtain the prescription and then up to $600 for 500mg of CBD. The problem is compounded with many doctors receiving dosage training with active cannabis and dosing on that training but then supplying non-active CBD. An example of this is someone with arthritis and advising them to start with 1 to 2 drops daily with a 500mg oil in 50ml or 1% CBD.
I was actually raided and arrested in May of 2017 and the elixnol products along with Endoca sized and I spent 18 months fighting in Court. The day of the raid I was actually in hospital and the police came to my hospital bed to seize my car as proceeds of crime but it was returned after my court case ended. So in the end I was closed down in October in 2017 when big pharma took over and turned CBD into a prescription only product.
I started the LLC in 2020 but have spent the best part of 12 months working on compliance and going through the struggle of accessing banking. It is well documented that the banks frown upon our industry but add in the fact I am a non-resident it compounded the situation. I have a great attorney in Colorado who has helped me finally open an account.
My drive to start was sticking it to the Government in Australia but I am also annoyed that the market is saturated with low strength ethanol extracted oils. I am offering c02 extracted products between 10% and 15% and have also created products with non-standard carrier oils. We do offer the traditional MCT oil but I also like the results from combining CBD with Black seed oil and a product combined with Carbon 60 fullerenes (c60). The problem with the c60 is the carrier oil is $400 per liter compared with $15 MCT and $25 black seed oil but the results I am seeing with Parkinson’s justify creating the product but we are not allowed to make health claims as you know. I am happy to send samples of each.
I am not a fan of ethanol extraction methods and feel we are moving away from why CBD evolved and that was to give children a clean alternative to cannabis. With ethanol it reduces the cost and, in my opinion, reduces to quality of the product but there are many who would argue this point.
I am driven to creating effective products that yield results for the end user.
What did the Farm Bill in 2018 due for the company in terms of vision and future ideas?
I was in the industry close to 3 years before the bill was passed in December of 2018 and had it not been for that bill passing, I would not have this opportunity. Its bottom line gave the industry credibility and opened the door to consumers, farmers and manufacturers across the USA and many parts of the world. Many countries and regions sadly still do not differentiate between Cannabis and Industrial hemp as we see in Australia to this day and what is happening in Dubai at this second with Billy Hood and his 25-year sentence over CBD.
You have some wholesale or big-ticket items, is that for consumers or white labeling brands?
Yes, all products are available for white label and we offer 1-liter bottles which would save users 50% or give people a low-cost starting point to enter the industry.
What were some of the biggest challenges in starting a hemp company?
For me it has been the banking and merchant facilities. If you have the right supplier who is licensed everything else is not a challenge.
What was one mistake you made in the business that you wish you could have a “do-over” for?
When I first started with Endoca I was buying raw oil and mixing myself with the carrier oils and at the time I was using hemp seed oil as the carrier oil. As hemp seed oil is a protein it caused an adverse reaction with one of my clients that was using Beta/Protein Blockers and I have never used since.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start a hemp or cannabis business today?
Only deal with licensed suppliers, manufacturers and distributors who offer quality products that you would be willing to have your family use.
Hire a reputable attorney and invest in Compliance. Many people skip this but compliance and transparency are selling points and if you invest in a good attorney and tick all the Boxes set by the FDA that investment will pay for itself.
Learn about supplements and integrative medicine. When I was running in Australia, I was referring people to integrative doctors for treatments such as Vitamin C infusions, Infrared sauna sessions and more. There are also many supplements that work well with CBD so learn about those and refer your clients to reputable suppliers such as iherb. For example, someone with arthritis I will have them taking turmeric with black pepper and refer to iherb. Learn about diet as you will come across people with cancer and their diets will also play a roll. CBD is a great tool but if we really want people to see benefits and improve their quality of life create holistic plans for your clients.
When do you think we will see full Federal cannabis legalization?
Cannabis like CBD products are a threat to many pharmaceutical products and medical procedures so we are in for a long battle due to the resources of the competition and those opposed. It reminds me of the movie Moneyball where Billy Beane is being interviewed with the Boston owner.
“But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs. It’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people who are holding the reigns, that have their hands on the switch…they go batshit crazy…”
Yes, I am Australian but I am a baseball tragic who subscribes to Minor League Baseball TV to watch the Durham Bulls due to the movie Bull Durham.
How can Cannabis.net readers get in touch with you? Email? Social media?
Thank you for explaining that and for your time!