One of Europe’s most influential cannabis industry chiefs believes the sector should begin taking steps to regulate itself, we need top UK law firms focused on CBD and not wait for Brussels to produce its own code. Jonas Duclos, CEO and Founder of over the counter CBD provider JKB Research SA, told The Extract, “Since the authorities are lagging, it would be in everyone’s interest for the industry itself to come up with its own quality standards that ensure safety and transparency.”
Geneva, Switzerland-based Duclos said the most important motive should be to guarantee the safety of the consumer. He said that it is obvious that the industry needs regulations, but points out that authorities are still struggling to provide answers to all the questions. “It will take time for the countries to implement a new cannabis law. Meanwhile, we are seeing more and more brands and products arriving to EU markets, and this trend isn’t slowing down. It is now a priority to set relevant quality standards to ensure the users’ safety. And we already have the knowledge to take steps and ensure consumer safety.”
Grey area is dangerous to the public
Last week, the JKB chief penned a blog for Euronews in which he emphsaised the dangers of continuing to allow an unregulated scenario for such a growing industry – “The grey nature of the market is allowing companies to sell products without any controls, posing a grave risk to people’s health,” he said. Duclos added that the quality requirements he has in mind should prioritise testing of cannabinoids, terpenes, mold, heavy metals and pesticides as well as making sure there are no other unwanted substances within the products.
He acknowledges that at the moment, most companies are doing their best with what's within their reach, but added that the cannabis industry has specific needs when it comes to labs.
“There simply aren't enough specialist labs available, and those that are charge often impossible prices that prevent companies from analyzing the needed amount of products to cover a representative sample. With cannabis companies, we are talking a lot of volume of material. Also, it is especially difficult to find labs with good analysis of terpenes in Europe. For transparency, the labs should be run independently and abide by common standards for the entire industry.”
Developing a dictionary of terms
Duclos hopes that with that agreed combination of standardisation and testing, the industry would develop a dictionary and agree on terms that should be used in quality control processes and dialogues within the industry.
“Currently, the media and consumers are wrongly using terms such as psychoactive, psychotropic or full-spectrum. We also need to be firm in terms of the language to describe cannabis. The media uses the terms marijuana, hemp, weed, etc interchangeably. We need to get better at educating and communicating with the public, and it needs to start with an agreement between us.”
There are already steps in the right direction. Associations of manufacturers, such as IG Hemp (CH) or the Syndicat du Chanvre (FR), have started gathering entrepreneurs to set guidelines for the industry that are relevant for the consumers first, and for the small and medium companies to be able to grow an eco-friendly industry locally.
The bottom line is that the present position is not sustainable in terms of public health, as Duclos summated,
“Europe has a reputation for protecting its citizens, but when it comes to cannabis, it’s lagging behind.”