Quality Assurance International (QAI)Quality Assurance International (QAI)

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Now Certifying U.S. Hemp Crops, Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Products

September 9, 2019 | Categories: Organic, Certification, Industry Updates

As of August 21, 2019, QAI is offering USDA organic certification of hemp crops and products containing hemp or hemp-derived CBD, whether made from U.S.-produced hemp or from lawfully-imported hemp, to new and existing clients.

Our decision to offer certification services to organic operations using U.S. or imported hemp and hemp-derived CBD ingredients in their products came after deliberate consideration and was prompted by various factors, including:

  1. The wide variety of products already on the market that contain hemp or hemp-derived CBD, including dietary supplements, personal care products, beverages, packaged food and organic products
  2. Enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, which amended the Controlled Substances Act and removed “hemp” and its derivatives (including hemp-derived CBD) from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act
  3. QAI’s mission to protect our environment by providing access to certified organic food and products, support the growth of organic agriculture and increase transparency in food ingredients

How the Application Process Works

QAI may accept your application for organic certification if the hemp or hemp-derived CBD ingredients for which you are requesting services either:

  1. qualify as “hemp” as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1639o: (defining “hemp” as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”); or
  2. are derived from those parts of a foreign-grown plant excluded from the federal Controlled Substances Act’s definition of “marihuana” (21 USC 802(16)(B) (stating that “[t]he term “marihuana” does not include— (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7… ; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”)

However, we are unable to certify you if your business or any affiliate either:

  1. grows or processes “marihuana” as defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)(A) (defining “marihuana” as “all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin,”); or
  2. processes, manufactures, or distributes products containing either (a) “marihuana” as defined in 21 USC 802(16)(A) or (b) any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that does not meet the definition of “hemp” set out in 7 U.S.C. 1639o.

The legal landscape surrounding hemp-derived products is complex. We recommend our clients seek legal counsel if they have any questions relating to hemp or hemp-derived ingredients.

When you are ready, submit the standard product application documents and labels to QAI for review. If the hemp-derived ingredient will be used in a product making an organic claim, please be sure to provide its organic certificate too.

QAI’s dedicated certification project managers are here to assist our clients. If you are attending Natural Products Expo East on September 12-14 in Baltimore, MD, please visit QAI’s Booth #1312 in the Organic Pavilion if you have questions or would like to discuss your business needs.

Companies seeking organic certification for the first time can reach our business development team by emailing qai@qai-inc.com or calling +1-858-792-3531.