ER Hemp Industry Meeting Info
Posted on Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Emergency Hemp Industry Meeting Agenda
Introduction: Why we are here, intro for any speakers or special guests.
Address CDPHE (Colorado Department of Health & Environment) past and new position on the use of hemp in food, as a food additive or extraction of hemp in commercial kitchen (under specific guidelines).
- GHC 2015 Letter w/questions – went to Boulder County Health Department, to CDPHE, the Manufacture/Wholesale Division,FDA – review letter with questions
- Returned response from CDPHE (answered by the M/W Division), to Boulder County (BC) Health Dept., to GHC, forward on the CDA, industry standard/understanding – review answers
- Provided to CDA (Colorado Dept of Agriculture) and is/has been the industries understanding
- GHC contact by Floras Bake Shop regarding issues with CDPHE and Wholesale/Manufacture License
- GHC contact with Laura VanWagenen-Birdsill (303.692.3649) with CDPHE – Wholesale/Manufacture Division – see various statements made quoted
- GHC contacted CDA and other CDPHE depts, David Blake with CO AG’s office, BC Health Dept
- 6.21.16 CDPHE “retraction email” sent to multiple parties (GHC was forwarded from multiple parties CC’d) with new/vague statement regarding hemp. – review email
- Letter forward to CDA
- Denial Letter - GHC notified by Floras Bake Shop about issue with CDPHE and issuance of Manufacture/Wholesale license for hemp foods with CBD as one of the ingredients.
- 7.5.16 – information was received by GHC that Governors office (via AF) was supporting the retraction by CDPHE and original position.
What are the immediate ramifications, penalties to existing business and new businesses?
Overview of progress or results made via discussion with AG, CDPHE, CDA, etc prior to meeting
Options for possible resolve – discussion and possibly vote on direction to take by all those in attendance and perhaps on online via live stream if possible.
July 20th, 2016 there will be Emergency Hemp Industry Meeting to review and discuss the new position that the Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE) has now taken in regards to "Hemp in *Food".
*“Food” means a raw, cooked, or processed edible substance, ice, beverage, or ingredient used or intended for use or for sale in whole or in part for human consumption.
Please note: the only part of Colorado Hemp that can be used legally in a consumable product is "Hemp seed pressed oil or other "sterilized" hemp seed product."
All other Hemp Plant materials including concentrates (ie. CBD), leaf, flower, stalk, root are illegal and considered an "adulterated" ingredient.
*Adulterated ingredients have real financial and legal consequence and penalties for using in a human consumable product sold on the consumer market.
CLICK HERE for a good reference for in depth understanding of Federal definition of Adulterated, Mislabeling, penalties, legalities and more.
Adulterated ingredients from hemp included anything with CBD (domestic and imported) or any other plant material used other then sterilized seed. This includes but is not limited to items currently on the market such as Hemp tea, CBD tincture, CBD foods, Hemp concentrates/extractions used for human consumption, root balm, hemp sprouts, Hemp honey with CDB etc.
CDPHE - Division of Wholesale/Manufacture License (REQUIRED license for any food, cosmetic or drug manufacturing and wholesale distribution) states that "CBD has not been proven safe for human consumption.....and is an adulterated ingredient"
This was not always the position of CDPHE. On or around the end of September 2015, a detailed letter by GHC with very specific questions were provided to Boulder County Health Department for official response. This information was forwarded to CDPHE, to a division called LAP, which was then forwarded to CDPHE Manufacture/Wholesale Division, which is believed to have also escalated to discussions with FDA for the answers that were provided back to GHC on 10.9.15.
Complete details of the letter/answers were forward to CDA and have been the industry understanding since. This original CDPHE position on "Hemp in Food" has the been the standard we have all built current products lines and sales from or are planning to launch new hemp related by-products.
Hemp Questions for Health Department
(Submitted by GHC)
Currently Industrial hemp materials both imported and locally grown can be use in a commercial kitchen and is treated like any other food product. This would include items like hempburgers, hemp tea, hemp coffee, hemp food, hemp juice, hemp bars and other….these items use seed, leaf and possibly roots from the hemp plant and the bi products (ie, hemp pressed seed oil, hemp flour etc).
Some parts of the hemp plants are and will be use to do oil extractions. These extraction(s) are similar to what we know as MJ (Marijuana) extractions aka hash oils but they are not psychoactive. The process for MJ extraction is currently regulated under MED and the Health Department don’t (dose not) approve those types of kitchens (I believe Denver is the only exception to this).
Hemp cannot exceed .3% thc on a dry weight basis thus neither the state or the feds regulate anything other than psychoactive thc (THC) compound. In the case of hemp there is are no guidelines regarding the extraction of industrial hemp and I am hoping we can come up with these without legislative action or extensive regulations (currently industrial hemp is regulated under the Colorado dept of Ag (Colorado Department of Agriculture).
Quick Over view of Extraction options:
1. Co2 extractions – typically done via a closed loop system
2. Butane extractions (this has been state regulated recently for homemade making of BHO extraction at home due to explosions) – this can also be done in a closed loop system
3. Alcohol extraction – this is the one that is allowed for mj homemade use, vacuum purge’s are often used to remove alcohol or hood over area where evaporation is occurring.
4. Ice Water Hash – no solvent method but not good for hemp only good for mj Since MJ is much different then industrial hemp, such as non psychoactive, (in) most case there is not “bud” but seed, organically grow outdoors, seasonally, no smell like MJ, not a dense with tricomes.
There is not the same “yield” on out (put) on hemp extractions as MJ. MJ has a lot more output on little volumes processed and hemp has much less out put on large volume.
All parts of the plant can be used for multiple bi-products and many Hemp farmers or 3rd parties will want to process their hemp concentrate by-product using alcohol or (a) non solvent process vs the other two options. This process ends up with a whole plant extraction which does not isolate any specific cannabinoid, terpines, compound or chlorophyll.
The whole plant contracted which would be extracted would not be marketed (as) or considered a medical or medical (medicinal) product. The concentrated material is self can be use and diluted into other products as well.
Hemp cannot be processed in a MIP only MJ due to it is highly regulated seed to sale system.
I have experience extracting both Hemp and MJ and believe that only alcohol hemp extractions should be allowed in a commercial kitchen (due to current law regarding other use of solvents used for cannabis extractions and is one of the safest for human consumption). There could to be some guidelines such as dedicated hood or use of vacuum purge – in other word there cannot be a room full of evaporating alcohol. Additional(ly) all or a specified % of alcohol has to be removed from the concentrate since you could not sell a product with alcohol still in it.
The finial concentrate product from hemp would need to be food grade so the use of food grade alcohol (like everclear) would need to be use in at least the finial evaporation process so it can be safe for human consumption (typically a different type of alcohol is used for the first phase of the plant extraction process but ends with the everclear so it can be safe to consume)
1. Can hemp plant extraction be done in a licensed commercial kitchen, provided it follows permitted guidelines for this process?
2. Can hemp plant extractions/concentrate be used in a commercial kitchen to mix in or add to other products?
3. Are hemp food and products regulated under the same guidelines as any food?
Please let me know if I can answer any further questions as I am trying to get an official statement for the next meeting with state legislators regarding these matters they are very confused about.
Below is the original position of CDPHE, as posted on GHC in multiple places: CLICK HERE for original email with answers
Yes, if it follows the permitted guidelines as described in the letter you provided.
2. Can hemp plant extractions/concentrated (misspelling - should be "concentrate") be used in a commercial kitchen to mix in or add to other products?
Yes, the use of hemp extracts as a food ingredient is not considered an adulterant. We would treat this like any other produce/herb type of ingredient if the product is sold as a food at retail.
3. Are hemp food and products regulated under the same guidelines as any food?
Yes, since hemp extracts (produced under the permitted guidelines) are simply considered a food additive they are treated the same as any other food product.
Recently in June 2016, Floras Bake Shop (known now as Flora's Mercantile - winner of the CBD Hemp Food Product Competition at the 2016 Hemp Awards & Festival) notified GHC that CDPHE was having issue with their applied for *Wholesale/Manufacture License. GHC contacted "Laura" immediately and spoke with her on 6.17.2016. During this conversation she confirmed/stated a number of things such as:
"...No other plant matter can be used..."
...Hemp for food use, the only hemp approved for food use is sterilized seed, sterilized meal or seed flour or the oil pressed from sterilized seed, it is the only product approved from food use.."
"...the other plant matter is not under our jurisdiction, because it not recognized as food...."
"cbd...has not been proven safe for food use..."
"...conversations when through legal council, my division director, federal partners both in Washington and the Denver district, and our position is that only sterilized seed and the few components of that."
*You are considered a wholesaler if you are processing food to sell to a retail food establishment; including restaurants, grocery stores, food products or ingredients to other food manufacturers, or are a grain elevator, repacker, or warehouse for food distribution.
CDA was notified immediately of the GHC conversation with all parties and the new position being addressed with CDPHE.
On June 21, 2016 an email was froward to GHC from multiple recipients. This email was sent by the LAP Division (via the Manufacturing/Wholesale Division aka Laura) of CDHPE to multiple parties and stated the following:
This was both surprising and disappointing because Laura stated that she would not put anything in black and white due to the fact that they "have been mandated to not deal with hemp for the next 10 days due to lack of budget (to deal with hemp)," and it was clear that efforts were being made to retract the original position with out legal/statue/code justification.
On June 28,2016 GHC was forwarded the "Denial" letter from CDPHE to Floras Bake Shop regarding the submitted & paid for Wholesale /Manufacturing License.This letter contained the following statements.
The following acts ... are prohibited: (a) The introduction ... into interstate commerce ... of any food ... that is adulterated or misbranded. (b) The adulteration or misbranding of any food ... in interstate commerce... (c) The receipt in interstate commerce of any food ... that is adulterated or misbranded (21 U.S.C. §331).
"Food processors are required to establish that their food product meets legal requirements/standards; that is, establish that the food is not adulterated or misbranded. It is not the government's responsibility to establish that food is adulterated or misbranded; food is assumed to be adulterated or misbranded (and thus illegal to sale) unless the food business can establish that the food meets the applicable legal requirements."
Businesses are prohibited from selling food if the food is adulterated, or misbranded, or the firm has otherwise committed a "prohibited" act. A significant focus throughout the study of food law is on understanding 1) the broad definitions of adulterated and misbranded and 2) legally-mandated business practices to reduce the risk that food is adulterated or misbranded.
- U.S. federal food law applies only to food that is in "interstate commerce."
- Food that has been modified or altered is considered adulterated unless there is a regulation allowing the modification, alteration, or addition.
- A food business can petition the FDA to issue a regulation that would allow for a specific modification that the business wants to use in its food processing, but the petition needs to be supported with evidence that the requested process does not render the food unsafe.