Here are three of the many takeaways from the recent conference on Cannabis held at the Las Vegas Convention Center during MJBizCon Week, December 11-13. The event drew marketers, business development specialists, scientists, and production personnel from all sectors of the hemp supply chain to learn and share technologies and strategies for success in the fast-moving cannabis/hemp industry. Naturally, KeyLeaf was there!
1. Edibles – the challenge of quality control
Formulation and quality control of CBD oil are now being routinely achieved by companies in the CBD/hemp space, but formulating for CBD-infused edibles – gummies, chocolates, etc. – presents a new and different set of challenges for manufacturers. Such factors as taste and stability – not only the chemical stability of the CBD but the functional stability of the edible product so that it retains its color, and texture — are specialty areas that many companies are currently seeking solutions for. And how do manufacturers analyze the CBD content in their gummies to ensure its accuracy? To bolster quality control, rapid analysis systems have now been developed for accurately measuring CBD content in a variety of novel matrixes, from candy to dog treats. This confirms that the industry is going to continue to evolve, while evolving new technology along with it.
- Be Nimble
As an industry, we’re far from knowing all the answers about processing in all the new markets, so processors need diversity; they need to be “nimble” and react quickly. They need to maintain a diverse area of expertise shared amongst multifunctional teams that can move very quickly when opportunities arise in the marketplace. For example, if a company identifies an opportunity for a bakery-based ingredient, it needs to quickly develop and validate the product. Being nimble means that companies have a team that can set up quickly to develop a wide range of products for the marketplace. The ability to react quickly to opportunities in the rapidly emerging CBD/hemp sector with quality products can mean the difference between success and failure of a product line, start-up, or entire company.
- What Lies Ahead for the Hemp/CBD industry? Unlimited growth.
While there is currently some confusion and many unanswered questions, the hemp industry is continuing to grow and is destined to make a significant impact both in the economy and in the health and wellness sectors in the next decade and beyond. In some cases, it may be seen as a pharmaceutical, but it’s also seen as a dietary supplement, and when you look at the whole plant, hemp has application as a functional food. There are also many ingredients that we know promote health and wellness that can be blended with hemp ingredients to obtain a synergistic effect on health. The embracing of hemp and hemp compounds by consumers in the marketplace signifies that we’re living in very exciting times, not just for the hemp industry, but for the natural health and wellness fields as well.