Adherence to GMPs boost cannabinoid company's 'compliance,' exec says

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / jessicahyde
© Getty Images / jessicahyde
One player in the cannabinoid product space is seeking to differentiate itself based on its ‘compliance.’ An official at BBB Labs, based in Boulder, CO, uses this term to refer to the company’s GMP compliant manufacturing operation.

BBB Labs (which stands for Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Labs) is a vertically integrated contract manufacturer of hemp oil products. Being vertically integrated is a key element of the company’s value proposition, said Christian Santi, director of sales.

Vertical integration

“We have our own farm outside of Pueblo, CO,”​ Santi told NutraIngredients-USA. “We do the initial processing down there in Pueblo, and then we bring it up to our facility in Golden (a Denver suburb).”

Santi said BBB Labs is one of the few companies offering a full suite of contract manufacturing services in the hemp product space. Santi said it allows the company to have consistency with its selected strain of high CBD industrial hemp.  And the handling of that product can then be more carefully controlled start to finish.

“We function just like any other nutraceutical manufacturer,”​ Santi said.

GMP compliance

That includes being compliant with dietary supplement GMPs. And the company has gone one step further and recently was certified kosher, Santi said.

“We contract with about 60 or 70 other CBD brands,” ​he said. “We do capsules, tablets, tinctures and salves. Basically if a company has an SOP we can make it for them.”

That care taken in setting up a supply chain and an industry-standard manufacturing facility figures into what Santi termed the company’s ‘compliance.’ 

That idea also figures into staying on the right side of what BBB Labs believes to be the regulations around the marketing of cannabinoid supplements. From Santi’s point of view, that includes making sure ‘CBD’ does not appear on the front of the label and CBD content is not called out on the Supplement Facts panel. Full spectrum cannabinoid products are deemed to fall within the guidelines.

Labeling considerations

Santi BBB Labs believes the impending passage of the federal Farm Bill will clarify the issue. Experts contacted by NutraIngredients-USA’s sister website FoodNavigator-USA said the bill will preclude action from the Drug Enforcement Administration, but it won’t alter FDA’s stance that CBD is not a legal dietary ingredient​ because of its earlier development as a drug by English company GW Pharmaceuticals.

“The one thing we’re not going to do is to jeopardize our company because somebody has some loose practices,” ​he said.

“Do you want to go high risk and put CBD on the label and run the risk of somebody shutting your business down?  Or do you want to go low risk? We believe you can use terms like ‘broad spectrum cannabinoid complex’ or ‘hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD.’”

Opening the market

The Farm Bill may not put all of the legal questions to rest. But Santi said its passage could remove some of the state-by-state impediments, and could make a thriving market even stronger. 

“Once the farm act is signed and passed and we can clearly define how all states defnine hemp and hemp products, it will open up the market significantly. We will then understand how to label it in every state.  We have seen some recent SPINs data that shows cannabinoid proudcts is the largest growing category, significantly above any others,” ​he said.

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