Hemp Foods Q & A
HEMP FOODS Q&A
What is the definition of a hemp product?
A hemp product is a finished product containing hemp that: is a cosmetic, food, food additive, or herb; for human use or consumption; contains any part of the hemp plant, including naturally occurring cannabinoids, compounds, concentrates, extracts, isolates, resins, or derivatives; and contains a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent.
Who is the regulatory authority over processing and processed hemp materials and products intended for human consumption and/or use?
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has regulatory authority over this commodity. Registration with CDPHE is a legal requirement.
The processor, extractor, manufacturer, etc. may also need to obtain a license from the CDA for a Farm Products Dealer license or Commodity Handlers license. Information on registration with them can be found at:
Who needs to register or obtain a license/registration with CDPHE?
All hemp product manufacturers, extractors, processors and storage facilities who manufacture, store, wholesale and process hemp products intended for human use and consumption must register with CDPHE. Information on registration can be found at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/food-manufacturing-and-storage
The registration application is located at:
Additional requirements beyond those covered by this license/registration may need to be satisfied to ensure legal operation. Be sure to check with your local building, fire and zoning departments.
Are there food safety requirements hemp manufacturers and processors need to follow?
Yes. Please click the link below for additional training, information, events, hemp manufacture/processing training
Is there a list for approved industrial hemp sources in Colorado?
What are the labeling requirements for my hemp food products?
State and federal labeling laws apply to industrial hemp products. These laws and regulations require that all food labels contain:
- An identity statement, which indicates what the product is (not a brand name).
2. A net weight statement.
3. A list of all ingredients.
4. The company name with an address.
Additionally, CDPHE’s Industrial Hemp guidance requires that the label also:
- Clearly identifies hemp as an ingredient.
2. Clearly identifies CBD and the amount of CBD if added as an isolate.
3. Includes the statement “FDA has not evaluated this product for safety or efficacy.”
4. Does not contain any health or benefit claims.
Example of Cannabinoid (CBD) Label
Can I make health claims or list benefits of using Industrial Hemp products?
No. You cannot make any direct or inferred medical or health claims/benefits on the label, website or other materials distributed with the product or other means to advertise the product.
Are there any requirements to list or test for heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents and/or microbials?
Currently, no specific rule(s) or statute(s) exist, which require any of these tests on hemp products. Hemp Products as defined by C.R.S. 25-5-426(2)(g.3) and (g.5) must contain “a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent”. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure their products contain 0.3% THC total (THCa + THC Delta 9) or less.
Companies can take extra quality control steps and run additional tests to ensure consumer safety. Any product that fails any of the above tests is considered an adulterated product and cannot be sold and would need to be either reworked to meet requirements or be destroyed.
What tests are legally required for hemp products?
The language under HB18-1295 states that all finished hemp products must conform to a THC concentration of 0.3% or below to enter the consumer market. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure their products contain 0.3% THC or less.
No required testing other than potency exists at this time, but Colorado hemp cannabinoid-based product manufactures, extractors and/or processors are encouraged to test for heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, microbial and shelf stability.
Where can I get my hemp products tested?
Currently, two possible options exist in the state: private testing facilities and state certified marijuana testing labs. Private facilities require their own information, while state certified labs mandate utilizing the METRC system to properly track the products during the testing phase. Additional testing (i.e. Heavy Metals, Pesticides, etc.,) can also be conducted at these laboratories.
You can also join the GHC Hemp Testing Co-op by becoming a GHC Professional Member HERE
What happens if my test results are above 0.3% THC in a finished product or have an adulterated ingredient (i.e. Heavy Metal, Residual Solvent, Pesticide)?
In Colorado, anything above 0.3% THC is, by definition, marijuana. Food products that test above this level will be subject to embargo and destruction if the product cannot be re-worked to be within allowable levels of THC.
Any product with adulterated ingredients cannot be sold or distributed on the consumer market and would be subject to the same CDPHE processes as those products with elevated THC.
Products manufactured, sold and/or distributed that contain THC levels above 0.3% will face immediate recall, and could be subject to multiple enforcement actions by CDPHE, law enforcement and other state agencies.
How do I calculate milligrams of CBD into a percentage?
If you possess a one ounce (30 ml) CBD tincture with 32.98 milligrams (mg) of total THC, is that product 0.3% THC or below?
Too make it easy we will not consider liquid weight (milliliters) or density. We will use one ounce (28.35 grams).
mg of THC/grams of tincture ÷ 10 = THC%
32.98/28.35 ÷10 = 0.116% THC in the one ounce bottle of tincture.
Is my hemp product considered Adulterated?
Under C.R.S. 25-5-426(2)(g.3) and (g.5), hemp products must contain “a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent.” If the products contain above 0.3% THC total and/or another adulterant (example; heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents, microbials, etc.) they would be considered adulterated and not allowed for sale.
Under current federal law (FDA) only non-viable hemp seed bi-products are legal for human use and consumption. Therefore, it is possible that outside of the State of Colorado your product would be considered adulterated.
Can I sell or transfer my processed hemp extract/concentrate over 0.3% THC?
No. A product containing above 0.3% THC is considered marijuana. Raw unprocessed hemp flower containing less than 0.3% THC when initially processed may contain a higher concentration of THC (over 0.3%). These extracts are considered unfinished products and cannot be sold to consumers. All unfinished products, regardless of the type of processing used, must be secondarily processed to lower the THC concentration to 0.3% or below before it can go onto the consumer market and be considered a legal hemp product.
What is the total THC amount a cannabinoid extractor/processor can have on site at any one time?
While Colorado’s possession limit for marijuana is two ounces, there is no current threshold for extractors or processors in manufacturing facilities.
What are the isolated THC disposal process allowed for cannabinoid extractors/processors and processed materials such as leaf and flower?
Resources for the proper disposal of waste generated from extraction and production practices can be found at:
Please feel free to call 303-692-3175 with additional questions.
Who can I contact for more information about the production of food products from industrial hemp?