As day two dawned on this year’s TGCon, attention turned to the long-burgeoning cannabidiol industry.
Less than two years ago, in 2017, hemp-based CBD sales grew by nearly 50 percent, up to $190 million – compared to $129 million the year before – according to research from Hemp Business Journal. About 60 percent of those sales came from online orders.
Over the next few years, hemp-based CBD sales are expected to skyrocket, surpassing “$646 million, with more than a quarter of those sales coming from natural and specialty retailers.” Others suggest the combined CBD and hemp market could hit $22 billion by 2022, 40 times its current size.
But despite the passage of last year’s farm bill – which removed hemp and hemp products from the Controlled Substances Act and left much of its regulation to the states – policy makers are still playing catch up with a market that doesn’t appear to be waiting for them.
One of the pricklier points of contention centers on labeling, particularly when it comes to benefit claims. In 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association published research that analyzed 84 products (purchased from 31 different vendors), and found that less than a third were labeled accurately in terms of CBD content. Numbers like these no doubt contributed to increased action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which fired off more than 40 warning letters to CBD companies between 2015 and 2017.
With regulations in various stages of development – at both the state and federal level – it’s critical that suppliers and manufacturers take extra care when developing and sourcing CBD products. It’s equally important that the same level of care is applied to their labeling, lest they run afoul of an unforgiving FDA.
Companies need to adhere to the strict requirements spelled out in the farm bill, maintain vigilant THC testing protocols, engage in compliant disposal practices, and submit to annual inspections.
TraceGains Launches Specification Management
During TraceGains CEO Gary Nowacki’s keynote address, he announced a stronger push by the company into the retail industry with the release of TraceGains Specification Management. The new product is the first network-connected specification management tool in the industry. Specification Management allows companies to author, publish, and update raw material and finished goods specifications. It streamlines and centralizes documentation and information exchange, with automated workflows and alerts for internal and external stakeholder updates and approvals. With network connectivity, the software gives companies immediate access to more than a million supplier-provided documents to accelerate specification creation and updates.
“Our customers asked for a tool to easily collaborate with suppliers to create and maintain raw material and finished goods specifications in one platform,” Nowacki explained in a release announcing the new product. “In addition to optimizing collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, the system digitizes specification attributes and converts the data into custom reports and dashboards, giving companies the insight needed to improve business processes.”
The other news to come out of day two emerged from the midday keynote by TraceGains CTO A.J. Dolan.
Since last year’s TGCon, the company rolled out nearly two dozen major enhancements to its core products, with Quality Management receiving several upgrades. The company also rolled out Audit Management late last year, a product that takes the pain out of FDA audits.
Dolan also pointed out that TraceGains is nearing the end of a massive infrastructure migration to Microsoft Azure, which is expected to wrap up by May 1. This transition will make all of the company’s solutions more secure, scalable, and responsive.
Finally, Dolan turned his attention to TracGains’ newest offerings, critical components of the company’s New Product Development Suite, aimed at “empowering your data to work smarter inside and outside of your company.”
Specification Management is the linchpin of the New Product Development Suite. Specification Management allows companies to author, publish, and update raw material and finished goods specifications. The new product streamlines and centralizes documentation and information exchange, with automated workflows and alerts for internal and external stakeholder updates and approvals. With network connectivity, the software gives companies immediate access to more than a million supplier-provided documents to accelerate specification creation and updates.