Episode 58: Labeling and Packaging Done Right



Joe: On this episode of the "CBD University Podcast" we continue our 2021 series on CBD Done Right. Packaging and labeling requirements can vary from state to state and change over the course of the year. Find out how we stay on top of the latest regulation changes around the country and beyond, and make sure our products remain compliant in an evolving industry. This is the "CBD University Podcast" and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CBD University Podcast" and if this is your first episode tuning in, welcome to our podcast. If you are a returning listener, we thank you once again for coming back to our podcast and tuning in. A reminder that you can hit that subscribe button, excuse me, wherever you get your podcasts, get notifications when new episodes are published each week. Don't forget full video episodes on our YouTube channel. We'll have some video extras in this episode as we talk our labeling and packaging requirements. So, we'll show off some of the labeling and packaging. And you can see that on the Global Widget YouTube channel and the YouTube channels of our brands, Hemp Bombs, and Nature's Script.

In this episode, we continue our 2021 look at CBD done right. We first introduced you to CBD done right back on episode 52. With our CBD Gummies Done Right. And my guests and I discussed the labeling and package requirements when it comes to CBD products and some of the newest changes required around the U.S., and how we stay on top of these frequent changes in the always evolving CBD industry, which could evolve even more this year. And welcome back to the podcast, a frequent guest, she is the Chief Compliance Officer of Global Widget Margaret Richardson. Margaret, welcome back to the podcast.

Margaret: Thanks. Great to be here, Joe.

Joe: First note to make, it's important to note that when it comes to packaging and labeling requirements in the U.S., they actually could vary from state to state, correct? Because it's up to the state legislations I understand?

Margaret: That's correct, because there's no federal oversight yet. As we know, the FDA is still considering how they wanna regulate CBD. Obviously, they've put out some basic information, but they haven't really said what the label should look like. And so, as a result, the states have stepped in and created their own labeling requirements on a state by state basis.

Joe: And as we get in 2021, a few states have had new requirements go into effect. What states are included and how does even just a few states require wholesale labeling changes for our products?

Margaret: Yeah, so you'll see, usually there's a legislative cycle basically every six months. So, January 1st is typical time where you see new changes and labels. So, in California, for instance, you have the prop 65 language that has to be added to all of your labels, which is basically just a warning statement that California requires for certain chemicals. In this case, what they're flagging is THC. New York has added additional labeling requirements in warnings related to drug tests. And then you have Kentucky that's made changes actually and is requiring now either a nutrition panel facts label or supplement facts label so you can no longer use information facts, which is what a lot of companies are currently using. So, you really have to make sure that your products are being tested appropriately and you can put the right information on there in terms of true nutrition facts. And they also have font requirements. You see the same thing in West Virginia and you also see Iowa implementing new regs. So again, basically, every six months, you see a lot of states will roll out these new regulations and you really have to be prepared ahead of time. We actually work directly with a lot of the states.

So, we get the information very early on and then we can help guide the legislators about what makes sense for those labels. So, in many cases, we actually comment directly and communicate with those legislative branches about what makes sense to try to at least get some of the labels similar from state to state, so you're not adding a lot of different things.

Joe: And do we see some similarities from state to state when new regulations come out? Or does make it easier to do a wholesale label change?

Margaret: Yes, certainly. There are some things now that are pretty standard. So, we've talked about it a bunch of times, but the QR codes, any of the new state legislation that's coming out always requires the QR codes. So, that's become relatively standard in the industry. So, I would say I still see packaging today that doesn't have QR codes on it. So, if you're selling product in the United States without a QR code, you are definitely not selling, you know, product in a correct fashion, and your product's likely to be pulled off the shelves. So, that's one very consistent. A second consistent item is contact information. Name, address, website, telephone number so that if there's a problem somebody knows who to call. Again, you see that as being very consistent among all the states. One of the third things you really see is potency, making sure that it's very clear to the consumer how much CBD they're gonna get per serving, even in a topical. So, they've asked us now, you know, when you put on a topical try to calculate what your potency is per, you know, application. So, it is really important to have that information on there so that a consumer can easily understand what they're using.

Joe: And I promise video extras on our YouTube channel at the introduction of this podcast. So, this is where we'll get into some of those introductions. And so, if you're watching on a YouTube channel, you can follow right along as I show some of the bottles, and then Margaret will discuss what I am pointing to here. So, we talked about on our bottles, you can see QR codes. We've talked about this on past episodes, one QR code to the full panel lab tests, which is a state requirement.

Margaret: That's correct.

Joe: And then another one to our CBD one-on-one education, which technically isn't a state requirement...

Margaret: It's not state requirement, it's just something that we provide to our consumers so that they can get additional information about CBD.

Joe: And when it comes to nutrition facts, so this is a bottle of our Hemp Bomb CBD original gummies. You can see on the nutrition facts, just like any other nutritional label that folks may find on any food at the grocery store.

Margaret: That's correct. It has to be the same product, food product labeling. So, there are very specific requirements in terms of calories, protein, sugars. So, that information is actually on there and it provides them specifically how much CBD they're gonna get per gummy, again so that they understand when we make a suggestion on how much to take, how much CBD they're actually taking. And then when we talk about CBD per gummy, you can see this is our Nature's Script gummies bottle, same format as the Hemp Bombs one where you have your milligrams per CBD gummy. This is the sleep gummies for Nature's Script that have 15 milligrams of CBD per gummy labeled right down there. It's important to note that our high potency gummies now have 30 milligrams per gummy of CBD. You'll also see the overall...that overall number of 1,500 is just explaining...is the whole bottle of how much total CBD there is in the whole bottle. There's 15 per gummy in the 100 count. And then of course you have iron nutrition facts and your QR codes.

And I just wanted to mention, the newest of our labeling is the CBD lolly bombs available on our hemp bombs brand. And it's interesting because of all the products we make, I remember sending this over to you from social media... Whenever we put a photo of our lolly bombs on social media, everybody's first question is, how many carbs, how many carbs, how many carbs, trying to fit it in their dietary restrictions. And everything is listed right here, including that total number of carbs and if you're counting sugar, sugars, but sugar is good for you, and then obviously the CBD extract. But even here, you'll have your milligrams per lollipop.

Margaret: That's correct.

Joe: And then the total per bag of CBD. And then also with the serving sizes. And as you mentioned, we do have recommended dosing on all of our products.

Margaret: That's correct. We always have recommended dosing. And this is a good example of the Prop 65. So, this would be the Prop 65 warning that's required for California that was effective as of January 1st. And as you get the products, it is important to make sure that the products you're purchasing, even if you're not purchasing ours, that they have that information on there. It's designed to provide the consumer with correct information so that they can make a choice about their products out in the marketplace.

Joe: And that leads into my next question with the Prop 65. So, that labeling all came out before January 1st when the new lolly bombs came out, but we were already ready for that.

Margaret: That's correct.

Joe: So, is there some type of grace period that states allow before a new regulation goes into effect for the first X amount of days? Or do they give you enough heads up that hey, coming up on January 1st, July 1st, March 1st, or I think it's March 6th? Do they give you enough of a heads up where you could comply to their standards?

Margaret: They don't really have a grace period. The states really expect that you're, you know, actively studying what's happening in the marketplace. And that's why I think it's really important to be partnering with an organization that's really driving some of those legislative changes. So, as I said, for instance, when Kentucky posted their...what they typically do is they'll post proposed regs. So, once those proposed regs are posted, I review them and I send comments, and talk directly to the legislative branch about what makes sense. For instance, in Kentucky, they want a certificate of free sale, which made no sense, right? Given that the products are considered legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, there's no reason that I have to get a piece of paper from the state of Florida, saying that it's okay for me to sell this product in some other state. We've had plenty of case law already established that the free transit of the product back and forth across state lines isn't an issue. And then you saw in New York they also put out proposed guidance. And we had conversation with New York, because they are actually considering a potency limit, particularly as it relates to food.

So, again, it is really important that whoever you're partnering with for your CBD products, particularly if they're at a retail location, that you know that they have somebody in the compliance department that's actively working with all the legislatures to make sure that they're gonna have product ready for you that is compliant. Because typically, they don't allow for a grace period. So, they could come to the store, pull the product, because they say that it's not compliant with their current labeling requirements. The grace period is they publish all of these proposed guidelines, usually 60 days ahead of time. And so, you're going to know before it becomes final, it's just a matter of, you've got to now make all of those changes and make sure that you're, you know, working with your marketing team to keep everything updated.

Joe: Well, Margaret, lots of great information. And for the latest on our packaging and labeling changes and the newest requirements in the states that we can discuss, you can download our brand new issue of our market trends newsletter that's available by visiting partners.globalwidget.com, our online portal for our retail distribution, and white label partners. And certainly, as we have new regulations and changes coming up throughout the year, Margaret will be back on our podcast to discuss all that. So, Margaret, thank you once again, for appearing on this episode of the "CBD University Podcast."

Margaret: Appreciate it.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This content is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.