With CBD slated to grow 107% annually over the next four years , the need for technicians in the CBD industry is immediate; yet no U.S. college, trade school or university offers a full-fledged course on Hemp or educates on how to succeed in various areas of the industry. Similarly, various state and federal regulators have sent mixed messages as to what the exact laws surrounding hemp are.
Enter Green Flower – a CBD education platform that offers students an inexpensive alternative to college, strengthening education amongst various areas of the industry and empowering the hemp economy.
Recently I sat down with Max Simon, the CEO and Co-Founder of Green Flower Media to get his take on CBD education, workplace and state regulations surrounding hemp production and sales, as well as how people are getting involved in this burgeoning business.
Max, tell us about Green Flower’s mission.
Our mission is to educate the world about how to succeed in CBD. We do that by producing industry-leading educational programs featuring the world’s top experts that cover every aspect of CBD today, including cultivation, extraction, compliance, and much more.
How have things changed since the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill, in terms of CBD regulatory matters? Has it had a positive or negative impact?
There has been an absolute explosion of new CBD businesses and products that have hit the market trying to capitalize on the Farm Bill’s newly legalized status of hemp. Unfortunately, the FDA, USDA, and DEA are still un-clear and not on the same page about what proper regulations will look like throughout the supply chain, which is causing just about everyone to operate in a kind of legal gray zone. So while there is an overwhelming amount of interest and excitement for this new chapter of legal CBD from hemp, there is also a palpable level of uncertainty and confusion about what a truly legal and regulated CBD industry will look like.
Is CBD legal in every state?
Currently, 47 States fully permit the sale and use of hemp derived CBD, and the only S. Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho have restrictions or flat out bans on the sale or use of CBD.
For anyone who uses CBD day-to-day, are there any workplace or legal issues that may affect your employment?
Because many CBD products do not require strict laboratory testing to ensure accuracy of ingredients, many CBD products actually contain higher percentages of THC. This can cause problems if an employee is drug tested as they very likely would fail and lose their job. CBD products tainted with THC are the only real threat for someone’s employment, so, if this is a potential issue for you – look for CBD companies that have completely removed THC from their products.
How do you educate employers and municipalities about CBD use, efficacy and safety?
Green Flower is an online education company, so our programs can be distributed to any employer or municipality around the country. This is how we are spreading trusted CBD education around the globe.
How is hemp-derived CBD extracted and manufactured?
CBD can be extracted through many different extraction methods including CO2, Ethanol, MCT-oil infusion, and more. The extraction process, and subsequently how they integrate those extracted cannabinoids into products, is a strategic choice made by each company and brand. We actually just released a full Extraction Program on Green Flower for anyone who’s interested in diving deeper.
Are different types of CBD better for different types of products?
Types of CBD usually refers to the difference between “whole plant CBD” and “CBD isolate”. Meaning, has the CBD been stripped out from all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc that come naturally within the plant so that it is just a single CBD molecule, or is it a product that still contains all those multiple ingredients in the formulation. Though it’s not proven unequivocally yet, the vast majority of anecdotal evidence suggests that if you’re looking for a CBD product that actually provides a meaningful benefit, you will want to find whole plant CBD products since the science suggests that this stimulates something called “The Entourage Effect” – essentially a symphony of molecules that work together to provide the maximum benefit. That said, whole-plant products usually taste pretty “herby” and often come primarily in tinctures and capsules. If you are consuming a CBD product that lacks that herbaceous note, it’s likely a CBD isolate product and it might not provide the same therapeutic benefits.
What steps can a person take if they are interested in entering the CBD industry?
The CBD industry is full of opportunity, but it’s also very complicated and there is a lot to learn. To get involved, you’ll want to get educated on the regulations, the different product types, how CBD is being distributed, how you can and cannot market CBD, and which companies are building great brands. All of these topics are covered in detail in our CBD Certificate Program on Green Flower.
Tell us about a Green Flower Media success story. What are they doing now?
One of my favorite success stories is Dr. Kerklann, who was a chiropractor looking for his next big thing. He signed up for a Green Flower program, learned all about the blossoming Hemp industry, used that knowledge and inspiration to build a new line of CBD topicals, and now his products are distributed nationally and growing like crazy. A wonderful success story!