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FDA Notifies Public About Voluntary Recall for Hemp CBD

On May 20, 2020, Marijuana Moment reported on a new development on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) position on hemp-derived cannabidiol (Hemp CBD). The article centers on the following tweet from the FDA: Summitt Labs Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of KORE ORGANIC Watermelon CBD Oil Due to High Lead Results https://t.co/y2oklEZzx4 pic.twitter.com/1SlB9mnhLI — U.S. […]

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On May 20, 2020, Marijuana Moment reported on a new development on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) position on hemp-derived cannabidiol (Hemp CBD). The article centers on the following tweet from the FDA:

The FDA is essentially warning the public about a voluntary recall by Summit Labs’ CBD oil due to test results showing that the product is high in lead.

The FDA regularly posts voluntary updates as a public service. After all, the FDA’s purpose is to protect the public from unsafe goods. What is interesting about this May 15th notification is that it relates to CBD. The FDA’s position is that CBD cannot be sold as a food or dietary supplement so it is rare to see the FDA take any action relating to a CBD company outside of a warning letter or updating its FAQs on CBD.

Here the FDA is essentially helping Summit Labs with its voluntary recall, as indicated from the following passage from the FDA’s notice of recall (linked in the tweet above):

Summitt Labs is voluntarily recalling Batch#730 Lot#K018 of KORE ORGANIC Watermelon CBD Oil Tincture, 30 ml bottle, 15mg 450x to the consumer level. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tested a random sample and found the product to contain lead levels at 4.7 ppm. When informed of this, Summitt Labs issued an immediate voluntary recall and started an internal investigation. As part of this investigation Summitt Labs had a sample from Batch #730 Lot #K018 tested at an ISO/IEC accredited lab. Lead results were 500 ppb (.5ppm), which is within the legal limits as defined by the State of Florida. However, based on the test from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Summitt Labs initiated, and will complete, a full recall of Batch #730 Lot #K018 in full cooperation with the FDA and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Summitt Labs is an inspected and licensed facility under the Florida Department of Food and Agriculture and Consumer Services to produce products containing CBD but the Federal Food and Drug Administration does not consider CBD to be a legal drug or dietary supplement.

The FDA’s statements here are telling, as it acknowledges that Summit Labs is licensed with the state of Florida. Currently, the FDA is working on regulations for the fast-growing Hemp CBD industry and has also indicated that it may release enforcement priorities in the interim.

Over the last two years the FDA has only really focused on warning the public about Hemp CBD products generally. It hasn’t distinguished standard operators from Hemp CBD companies that sell products containing harmful additives, or companies that falsely claim Hemp CBD is contained in a product when it has none. In other words, FDA doesn’t distinguish between good and bad actors in Hemp CBD. The FDA’s warning letters appear only to be triggered based on whether the distributors of those products make medical claims about Hemp CBD.

Now it appears that the FDA is willing to work with a Hemp CBD company who is trying to protect the public through a voluntary recall. This could be a preview of things to come where the FDA works with Hemp CBD companies to protect the public.

I also think it’s relevant that the FDA mentioned the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services because Florida has some of the most robust regulations on Hemp CBD products. Florida, unlike the FDA, does allow for the sale of ingestible Hemp CBD products so long as done in compliance with its regulations and laws. The FDA’s opposition to Hemp CBD, combined with the wide availability of these products, has forced states to step into the FDA’s shoes in regulating these goods. The FDA is likely to work with and learn from these states as it develops its own regulations and policies on Hemp CBD.

If you’d like to learn more about Hemp CBD regulations at the state level, feel free to reach out to our hemp attorneys. We prepare a monthly risk matrix tracking how each of the fifty states treats Hemp CBD products, including ingestible (food and dietary supplements), smokable (vapor products and hemp flower) and cosmetic products.

The post FDA Notifies Public About Voluntary Recall for Hemp CBD appeared first on Harris Bricken.

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Growing

How to Identify Pests in Your Cannabis Grow

Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye o…

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Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye on any pests that might infiltrate your grow, then take the appropriate steps to eradicate them without ruining your garden. Not only will it help keep the plants alive, thriving plants have more energy to produce trichomes and terpenes, making for better bud

Let’s take a look at some common pests found on cannabis plants, how to identify them, and lastly, get rid of them for good. With just a little maintenance and vigilance, your cannabis garden can be pest-free.

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Common Pests Found on Cannabis Plants

According to the Smithsonian Institution, there are likely more unclassified insects in the world than classified, and the running guess is somewhere between 2 million and 30 million. Thus, this is by no means a definitive list of bugs that feed on cannabis but should serve as a good starting point for most pest problems. 

Caterpillars

Before a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly and flits away, it can be very hazardous to your cannabis plants. You know that book The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Turns out it’s a true story about how caterpillars eat everything in sight, including that tasty cannabis. Caterpillars can be very dangerous because they tend to go unnoticed, especially if they are a borer caterpillar, meaning they burrow into the plant and eat it from the inside out. But even caterpillars on the exterior will nosh away, potentially causing great damage to your plants. 

To figure out if caterpillars are ruining your plants, inspect the leaves weekly for holes from feeding, droppings on the leaves that look like tiny black specks, holes, and damage to the stems, and yellowing on upper leaves.

Natural enemies of caterpillars are wasps and praying mantises, and introducing those to the environment could make a difference. These options are typically easier for outdoor grows, but can also work indoors with some preparation. Other interventions include using a product like Bug Blaster spray or neem oil (which you can make at home).

Neem oil use has been controversial in some cannabis circles, as there is a belief among some that it may play a role in CHS (Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome), however, no definitive statements can be made without more research. The connection between neem oil and cannabis hyperemesis syndrome has yet to be fully explored or verified, but it’s still good to be aware and to be sure to closely follow usage directions.

Aphids

Even house plants have the occasional plague of aphids. Tiny and red, yellow, black, pale, green, or brown, these bugs can be easy to miss because they cling to the underside of leaves, reproduce quickly, and drain your plant of nutrients. Outdoor grows tend to fare a little better in the battle against aphids since natural predators are present, but indoor plants can be decimated quickly by these teensy pests. Not only do they siphon nutrients away from the plant, they leave a sweet substance called “honeydew” that attracts other insects and turns the leaves black and moldy

Aphids and their honeydew on a plant

The honeydew left behind from aphids leads to further damages to the plant by attracting even more pests. photo credit

Because that honeydew attracts other pests, if you begin to notice a lot of ants or ladybugs coming around your plants, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re well into an aphid problem. Aphids can be hard to shake, but wasps and ladybugs are natural predators. Nonetheless, you should visually inspect the underside of plant leaves at least once a week. If introducing predators doesn’t ameliorate the problem, there are a couple of natural solutions to get rid of cannabis pests to try, like garlic or tomato leaf water. 

Spider Mites

Spider mites are like the supervillains of cannabis pests: uber reproductive, zombie-like in their ability to come back from what you thought was death, capable of spinning webs while eating everything in sight then completely disappearing before turning up again – they’re nearly impossible to spot and even harder to eradicate. Spotting spider mites is difficult because they are minuscule, but doing a daily inspection of both sides of your plant leaves could help to prevent a massive infestation.

Signs of spider mites begins with speckles, then a browning or yellowing of leaves, and premature leaf death.

If any parts of your plant are covered in fine webbing, that’s a sure sign you’re in a bad spot. The best way to avoid mites is to stay vigilant with your leaf inspections. If you do notice signs of mites, try introducing a fan into the environment. Strong air currents make it difficult for mites to breed. Spider mites also prefer temperatures of 60-80 degrees, so experimenting with temperature might also slow an infestation down. Since mites are likely to come back, consider a spray like Azamax or Spinosad to get rid of them for good (again, be sure to follow use directions carefully).

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are just as hungry as caterpillars, but their gourmet meal is from the stem and roots of your plants and not the leaves. Beginning at the topsoil level, both larvae and adults will munch their way down into the root system, badly impact plant drainage, and compromise the structural stability of your plants. However, they’re nearly impossible to spot because they are dark in color, as is soil.

Fungus Gnats

Although fungus gnats are small, the damage they leave behind is mighty. photo credit

Seeing swarms of gnats near the base of your plant is one sign you’ve got a fungus gnat problem. Other symptoms are stems that weaken and simply fall over, adult plants that start to droop, wilt, spot, or yellow, or plants that stop growing altogether. 

Fungus gnats love moist conditions, so keeping the top layer of soil dry is a smart preventative measure. Some other hacks to try include placing a cloth on top of the soil to prevent female gnats from laying eggs or laying a sticky pad near the plant’s base to stick larvae. You could also mix some peroxide and water and spray it around the area of gnat infestation. A common-sense tactic for an indoor grow is to put screens on the windows and the doors closed to keep gnats out. 

Why Pests and Bugs Are Attracted to Cannabis

Something to keep in mind about pests, in general, is that they love a monoculture or a space dedicated to growing only one crop. Researchers from the University of California Davis theorize that if an insect makes itself at home in that one crop, it has a large food supply, creating an all-you-can-eat kind of scenario for the pest, making it that much harder to eradicate. As you likely don’t want to introduce other plants into a cannabis garden (for a number of reasons), this issue will always exist to some degree when dealing with weed. 

This is why, as mentioned, another option is to introduce other beneficial insects. Not only do they prey on harmful pests, but they are also an excellent chemical-free pest control option. The bugs already want to be there, you’re just bringing them to the dinner table. 

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The Wrap Up

Identifying pests should be a regular ritual, just like watering and delivering nutrients to your plants. When you keep them pest-free, all that hard growing work will hopefully pay off in healthy and efficacious plants. Once you’ve harvested, you can move on to other fun challenges like doing a proper cure for your cannabis harvest, and how to store your cannabis stash


How do you deal with pests in your cannabis grow? Share your techniques in the comments!

Photo Credit: ilovegrowingmarijuana (license)

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Connecticut

Governor of Connecticut Pushes For Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis In Budget Address

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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News

South Dakota Governor Delays Implementation of Medical Marijuana Initiative

It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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