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Cannabis’ tough summer: how manufacturing can right the ship

By Bart Taylor August 13, 2019, 06:56 am MDT

Depsite a bright future, today cannabis is on a losing streak. It's been drubbed this summer by recalcitrant senators, stubborn regulators, and critics who oppose legalization but offer no viable alternative.

It's especially painful for industry leaders because there's much to sell, so many positives that should be establishing trust with politicians and mainstream business stakeholders, but aren't. 

It's the opposite. The trust gap may be growing, and until America's congressional delegations and boardrooms better understand the companies and people of the industry, the gap will endure.

Enter manufacturing.

If today, cannabis companies were in the news not because of specious product claims, but because of new levels of product safety and operational transparency, quality initiatives, and best practices, where would America's trust level be? Dumb question. 

Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, alluded to manufacturing's role in moving cannabis into the mainstream in a Washington Post article last week. In suggesting a path forward for the agency relating to CBD, Gottlieb wrote: 

"In the meantime, the FDA could exercise enforcement discretion to allow CBD to be marketed in food so long as the products meet certain conditions. These criteria can include meeting good manufacturing requirements, demonstrating traceability, adhering to safe levels for the purity and potency of the CBD being added, and demonstrating that CBD is being added to food products only in very low concentrations that are unlikely to pose health risks."

We agree.

Welcome to the Cannabis Manufacturing Report. We're poised to report on the journey of cannabis companies advancing the industry by helping us understand it, through the cannabis products being developed and manufactured and sold to you and me.

Much of the industry operates without the professional oversight that will be required of them in the near future. A raft of new regulations is on its way, and will leave a profoundly altered industry landscape in its wake. The brands and companies that thrive in the new environment will change the cannabis world. 

This report will follow the operational and manufacturing journey of these change agents. If your company is among them, we'd like to hear from you. Submit a request to be featured in the Report. Write a column about initiatives at your company. And enter your company in the Top Manufacturers database -- here's the working list of cGMP certified companies, industry leaders all.

Be part of a community that advances the industry by changing it from the inside out.

And let the winning streak begin.

Bart Taylor is publisher of CompanyWeek and the Cannabis Manufacturing Report. Reach him at

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