Rare and minor cannabinoids, which occur in much smaller quantities than CBD and THC, have yielded an alphabet soup of new acronyms in our language – CBN, CBG, THCV, Delta-8 THC, CBC – and they have the potential to boost the cannabis industry, getting added to numerous health and beauty products.
However, many of these cannabinoids require a specialized manufacturing process, and some of the resulting products are already running afoul of state regulators, like Delta-8.
These rare and minor cannabinoids have also gotten the attention of the insurance world, which of course must first eye them for the risk they pose. Meaning, many in the industry are stepping quite cautiously.
In our latest Insuring Cannabis podcast, we disused the insurance, regulatory and legal implications of rare and minor cannabinoids with Matt Johnson, vice president of QuadScore Insurance Services, David Vaillencourt, CEO and founder of the GMP collective, and Jodi Green, an insurance coverage attorney with Miller Nash LLP.
Following are takeaways from that conversation.
Johnson and QuadScore are doing their best to keep the rare and minor cannabinoids business at arms distance right now.
“It’s not something you necessarily need to be afraid of – I certainly don’t think anyone needs to be afraid of the cannabinoids themselves,” Johnson said. “We’ve seen many, many beneficial properties from this plant. And I do believe that it’s ultimately good as a therapeutic or as a medicine or just as a recreational product, but you do need to be careful and you should be wary of these products that have not been tested. They have not been researched. They’re coming from guys who might be trying to do artificial chemical syntheses in their basement lab. And that’s a bit scary for anyone involved.”
GMP collective consists of a team of experts working to implement quality systems with the aim of helping companies reduce their risk by adhering to best practices, which includes everything from quality systems to good manufacturing practices.
Vaillencourt, who has a long history of work in the scientific arena, said “I think with the right approach, there’s amazing opportunities,” believes the risk can be reduced by taking a scientific approach to manufacturing and testing rare and minor cannabinoids.
And, he added, would-be manufacturers should think before they leap.
“Just because you can isolate or synthesize something, doesn’t mean you should,” he said.
Green, who also owns Legal Limits, which offers advice and risk management on the liabilities faced by the cannabis industry, said some of the solvents are used to convert these products can be potentially toxic if left undetected in the product after the conversion process takes place.
These can can include heptane, hexane, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid.
So not only must manufacturing be done to high standards, rigorous testing is needed to stave of the likely flood of lawsuits that will occur if some of these products are found to harm people.
“Those are not things that we want to be consuming as consumers,” Green said. “And the concern I think, for the industry is that because this is such a new thing and because really the legal and regulatory landscape is still evolving, there aren’t standardized testing methods for testing products that have Delta 8 or Delta 10 or certain other cannabinoids, right?”
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