Joe: On this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," certifications in the CBD health and wellness industry. What goes behind the work? What are some of the biggest ones in the industry, and how we're an industry leader in quality and compliance. This is the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." If you are a returning listener, we welcome you back to our podcast, and if you are a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. Don't forget, you can also catch full video episodes for our podcasts on the Global widget YouTube channel, and the YouTube channels of our brand. We also invite you to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen or watch podcasts, and receive notifications when news episodes are released each week.

We're sorting through all the acronyms of those certifications and labels you may see on CBD health and wellness products, what it all means to you, the consumer. And joining me for this episode is Global Widget's Quality Assurance and Quality Control Director, Frances Capo. Frances, welcome to the podcast for the first time.

Frances: Hi, Joe.

Joe: Great to have you.

Frances: Thank you.

Joe: And as I mentioned, this is your first time on the podcast. So, before we even get into the topic and talk certifications, a little bit about yourself, and what brought you here to Global Widget?

Frances: Yeah. So, I have over 20-plus years of experience in pharma industry, a couple of years in medical device, so, why Global Widget? I did a little bit of research on the company, and being that this is a leading CBD company, and also it's moving into contract manufacturer and wellness, so that's the main reason that I decided to join Global Widget, in addition to the fact that it has a lot of dynamic themes, fun environment, so, that's pretty much why.

Joe: And those dynamic team members helping us get to certifications and our commitment to quality and compliance, which we'll talk about in just a second, but our latest certification we recently shared via a press release and on our social media networks, the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification. How hard was it to finalize this, and why is it so important in the industry?

Frances: So, as with any certification, you are required to be audited, so, for...before you're audited, there's pre-work that is required, so we need to make sure our processes, our systems, our documents are in place, everyone is on board. We do a pre-inspection to make sure that we're gonna comply before we get audited, so there's a little bit of pre-work done. And once we are 100% sure that we have all the requirements, then we get the agencies to get us audited.

Joe: And, when we talk about specifically the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification, and we'll going to additional ones momentarily, is there a time or expiration on that certification, and if so, what goes into a renewal?

Frances: So, yes. Typically, it's three years, different from registrations. We are required to do registrations annually. What is required? So, once you're doing the renewal, it's pretty much going again through the same process of being audited. So, this is an ongoing. Quality is an ongoing, making sure that they're always audit-ready, not only for the...to obtain certifications or renewal of the certifications, but also to be ready whenever we have any agency coming to audit us.

Joe: And just a quick point on that. When it comes to an audit, do we get a heads up, or is there, like, a federal agency that maybe could just knock on our door one day and come be like, "Surprise! We're here."

Frances: Yeah, not necessarily. It's, with agencies, it's whenever they want to come. With customers, as we're transitioning into contract manufacture, the dates are defined.

Joe: Okay.

Frances: Mm-hmm.

Joe: And, annual checks, as you mentioned, brings up a great point. Discuss our commitment to quality and compliance, and the ongoing efforts with your team.

Frances: Yeah. So, I've been with the company for only two months, but my team is definitely increasing. We already hire five different new roles, and again, it's because we want to make sure that we are implementing robust quality systems, including making sure that whenever we have new hires, we provide them with the tool, which includes training, documentation, so that we make sure that we're always ready, not only for customers, but for any regulatory agency.

Joe: So, in addition to the U.S. Hemp Authority Certification, we also recently completed certification processes for additional entities. Tell us about some of these.

Frances: So, we recently obtained the GMP certification, which demonstrate our regulatory commitment and compliance to standards and regulations. We have a kosher certification. We also are registered with the FDA, and also, as a CBD company, we have the hand food establishment permit, that it's provided by the Department of Agriculture.

Joe: So, we're also talking state certifications, in addition to some of the federal ones.

Frances: Correct, yeah. Because, as required, as we sell... If there are different...in CBD, there are different laws required by different states, so we do, are required to have licenses for states, depending on where we're selling our product.

Joe: And are there any certain certifications that are a must-have in the industry? Or are there ones that folks may be hearing about soon?

Frances: So, definitely GMP. Definitely GMP. But the other certifications, such as organic, kosher, or even NSF, which is another one that we're pursuing, it's dependent on the customer.

Joe: Okay.

Frances: Mm-hmm.

Joe: And then, in a recent episode, back, I believe it was 67 or 68, we talked about, for the first time, the novel foods dossier, and that's something over, obviously, overseas in the UK. Any update on that? Where does that stand?

Frances: So, yeah. So, our application is ongoing. There are still a couple of studies that are required, so hopefully by the end of this year, we complete those studies, so that we can pursue and complete our application process.

Joe: Well, we look forward to more updates on our certifications, and just a reminder, you can visit www.globalwidget.com, check out our latest press release for some of the certifications that we talked about on this episode, and the U.S. Hemp authorities certification. Frances, thanks so much for joining me. We look forward to hearing more about certifications and quality compliance. Very good for your first time.

Frances: Thank you.

Joe: We will have you back soon. Frances Capo, Quality Assurance and Quality Control Director here at Global Widget, my guest on this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." I thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." If you haven't done so yet, subscribe to our podcast wherever you get your podcasts, to receive notifications of new episodes each week. And, before we wrap up this episode, for our consumers, for our commitment to quality and compliance, just for listening to this episode of the podcast, we want to provide you a special discount offer. You can save 30% off sitewide. That's both on our Nature's Script, at www.naturesscript.com, or Hemp Bombs at www.hempbombs.com, using promo code PODCAST30. That's P-O-D-C-A-S-T-30, and that PODCAST30 code will be good until the end of August 2021. Full terms and conditions available on either website when you shop, and that is a single-use code, again, PODCAST30, just for tuning in to this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast."

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.

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