Industry Insights

What is the CTA and how can it help UK businesses?

In a week where the cannabis community has seen huge success, where we have seen CBD and Cannabis move ever closer towards being accepted worldwide, we look at one of the most influential and hardest working organisations in the UK and Europe. The CTA has lobbied and worked tirelessly on behalf of the entire community and deserves our thanks and respect. We believe many of the changes this month could never have happened without the organisations working on our behalf.

  • UN removing cannabis from Schedule 4
  • Novel Foods back on in the EU
  • Possible Article 4 options for Novel Foods in EU.

Founded in 2016, the CTA (the Cannabis Trades Association) is the oldest, largest CBD-centric trade association in the UK and Europe. They have been leading the agenda on Cannabinoid education, legislation, science, business and economic development in the UK and always in a fair and socially responsible manner. Their impact on the acceptance of CBD within the UK cannot be overstated.

Originally known as the Hemp Trades Association UK Limited, the CTA rebranded itself as a not-for-profit organisation.

We’ve mentioned the CTA before on The Extract, but who exactly are they? What do they do?

We’re here to answer all your questions about them.

Who makes up the Cannabis Trades Association?

The CTA consists of an operations team and a board of directors.

The operations team is a testament to this organisation’s dedication to the CBD industry. According to the official website, the operations team often works long hours to ensure that things are running smoothly.

The CTA board of directors consists of eight members. Any member of the Cannabis Trades Association can be elected to the board, and they always welcome new members. Therefore, if your CBD company is considering joining an organisation, the CTA might be the one for you.
As of June 2020, the board is led by Sian Phillips. Miss Phillips is an acclaimed CBD enthusiast and an all-round renaissance woman. In fact, she began her CBD company, Fiddler’s Elbow Grease, in 2017, after retiring as a performing violinist.

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Fiddler’s Elbow Grease focuses on high-quality products, such as CBD balms, oils, bath products, and drinks. All these products are made transparently and are ethically priced. Miss Phillips hopes to bring these qualities to the CTA, focusing on transparency.

In addition to running a successful CBD company, Miss Phillips still teaches the fiddle, music, and singing.

Supported by the rest of the board, Miss Phillips wants to forge relationships with other CBD companies that embrace these values.

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At the Extract, we cannot wait to see what the CTA has in store with Miss Phillips at its helm.

The CTA board also includes some key players in the CBD industry. The rest of the board currently consists of:

  • Chris Lambert-Dowell.
  • Simon Dusher from CBD Life.
  • Jas Nottay from Loveburgh.
  • Phil Culbertson from Love CBD.
  • Damien Bove from ADACT Medical.
  • Marika Graham-Woods.
  • Tim Henley.
  • Kees Valstar – Healthy Hemp NL

What does the CTA do?

The CTA’s presence is one that’s necessary for the CBD industry. This is due to the fact that none of their members or directors benefits from their profits. In fact, they channel 100% of their profits into CBD research, conferences, and trade events.

By doing this, the Cannabis Trades Association has established themselves as a huge player in the CBD scene. This is especially true in the UK and Europe.

In addition to this, members of the CTA are completely represented in Europe. This means its members do not fall victim to the legal challenges that can stem from engaging with the CBD industry.

Earlier, we mentioned that Miss Phillips’ CTA direction ensures transparency among their members. Thus, by doing this, products made by their members are held to especially high standards.

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The CTA's rules follow those of Industry regulators and encourage companies who do not adhere to these standards to withdraw or change their products. Failure to do this will result in the Cannabis Trades Association contacting the necessary regulatory bodies.

By implementing these guidelines, the CTA is able to establish that all their members produce market-compliant products. Therefore, if their members encounter the legal challenges surrounding CBD, the Cannabis Trades Association is able to defend and protect these companies.

What are the benefits of membership?

Not only is the Cannabis Trades Association one of the oldest and largest organisations of its kind, it is also the only non-profit organisation like this in the UK and Europe.

The CTA is there to help both business and the consumer. They are the people who help you with labelling and staying within the regulations, they are the organisation you can turn to for advice when you need to grow your business. They work tirelessly for both the new start-up and the established business and always with the consumer and their welfare at the centre of everything they do.

It’s clear to us that they have cornered the market on all fronts — and they certainly know what they’re doing. It comes as no surprise that there are several benefits to becoming a member of the CTA.

CTA members get the best legal assistance

Given CTA’s involvement with the CBD industry, it should come as no surprise that they have a dedicated legal team. Their law team is made up of partners across the UK and Europe. These partners are also well-versed in cannabis law.

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Members of the CTA receive free consultations with these legal experts. Should you need more than one consultation, members receive substantial discounts on pressing legal matters.
In addition to this, the CTA avails of services from over 100 offices, in almost every country across the globe. This means that as a member of the Cannabis Trades Association, you’ll be able to receive legal advice, no matter where you are.

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You’ll always be in the loop

With its allies and connections in the CBD industry, the CTA is often the first to know about new developments. Whether it concerns CBD legislation, a change in regulations, general updates, or the latest products, the CTA has a wealth of information at their fingertips.

By becoming a member of the Cannabis Trades Association, this information could be yours. The CTA provides its members with this information, on a regular basis.

If you’re a new CBD business that’s looking to make it big, this information could be especially useful.

In addition to this, you’ll also be given access to the CTA newsletters. Not only will it grant you new CBD-related information on a quarterly basis, but it will enable you to identify potential networking possibilities.

And speaking of networking…

Networking access

Whether you’re a new business that’s just getting off the ground or a CBD powerhouse, you’ll know the importance of networking. This is especially true in the CBD industry, where transparency at every step of the process is crucial.

For example, you’ll need hemp suppliers who only grow and harvest organic hemp. You’ll also want to liaise with reputable manufacturers, where the risk of cross-contamination is low. Furthermore, you’ll have to look into labelling and packaging.

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All this can be overwhelming. However, the CTA can help. They have access to some of the best suppliers and providers in the UK and Europe.

A CTA membership grants you access to these companies. You can also connect with businesses like yours and pick their brains about product ideas or collaborations.

Regular third-party lab testing

With the CTA’s move to ensure transparency and quality in CBD products, their members are required to undergo rigorous product testing. This confirms that these products meet legal standards, do not contain any harmful chemicals, and are safe for consumption.

Not only will this emphasise your product’s quality and help bolster your brand, but it also provides a further level of quality assurance for your customers.

Board of Directors

The CTA board of directors is made up of eight passionate individuals who care about their cause. They hold regular meetings to discuss the latest in CBD events and news. In addition to this, they also make decisions related to the CTA.

As a member of the Cannabis Trades Association, you are eligible to submit to join the board of directors. However, if that isn’t a journey you want to embark on, you can rest assured that with the CTA, your business is in safe hands.

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Here are some other members of the CTA:

If you’re thinking about signing up as a member of the CTA, you’re in good company. Out of the CTA’s extensive list of members, some of them include:

  • Reakiro
  • LVWell CBD
  • Provacan
  • Orange County CBD
  • Cibdol BV

These are some of the best CBD brands on the market, known for their transparency and quality products. Many of them also have thousands of positive reviews on websites such as TrustPilot.
A CTA membership ensures that you are able to claim this level of transparency and quality in your own products.

How do I join the CTA?

We’re very glad you asked. Given that the CTA’s primary purpose is to support CBD manufacturers, the membership process is simple enough.

All a CBD business has to do is fill out the membership form on the official CTA website. However, there are a few different sections on the application page. We’ll walk you through the ones that stand out.

Association rules and regulations

We recommend that you don’t skip the association rules and regulations.
Unlike a number of social media websites, the CTA rules and regulations are fairly concise. They are divided into three different parts:

  • Association Standards: here, you agree to follow basic rules and regulations concerning the CTA, as a member.
  • Business & Trade Sector: in this section, you’ll agree to conduct CBD business opportunities in a transparent and honest manner.
  • Product & Testing: this section discusses the importance of only producing high-quality, regularly tested CBD products.

New Membership sections and tiers

There are three sections of membership, Full Member, Associate and Affiliate. Within Full and Associate, there are three tiers. This section requires you to fill out an estimate of your annual turnover. As the CTA is a non-profit organisation, they want you to spend within your means.
Therefore, your monthly CTA fee will depend on your CBD business’ turnover. This does not affect your membership benefits, as the CTA wants all its members to be on equal footing.

The rest of the application

Everything else on the application is a breeze to get through. Simply fill out your personal details, and your company information and address. This will start the onboarding process
You’ll also need to list the CBD products you supply, or that you intend to supply, along with their test certificates. Additionally, you have the opportunity to let the CTA know if you require assistance in finding a supplier.

Each application requires an application fee.

Key takeaways

At The Extract, we believe that the CTA is a key player in the CBD industry. Not only do they ensure that their members comply with industry standards and best practice, but they also defend and campaign for their members who stringently follow UK and EU legislation.

We believe that every CBD business could stand to benefit from a CTA membership. After all, the CBD industry is a new one, and each business should strive to put their best foot forward.

We have no doubt that the CTA can help with this.

If you’re interested in joining the CTA, click here to begin the membership process.


Stephanie Fernandez

Stephanie Fernandez is a copywriter and content creator with a background in anthropology. When not writing, she can be found trying out new recipes or listening to true crime podcasts. She's enthusiastic about video games, rescue dogs, the American version of The Office, sneakers, and the Oxford comma.

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