More than 50 companies have joined together to form the Hemp Beverage Alliance, a trade group that includes beverage brands, cannabinoid producers, testing labs, manufacturing facilities and consulting firms.
The relatively new trade group is advocating standardization within the industry and sensible regulations to ensure consumer safety.
“Hemp-derived, low-dose cannabis beverages are booming across the country,” Hemp Beverage Alliance executive director Christopher Lackner said. “Now is the time to bring the industry together to develop strong standards, educate consumers and retailers and work with state and federal regulators to create a safe and vibrant marketplace for these products.”
Among other regulations, the group is supporting the implementation of age limits, standard serving sizes, clear labeling and guidelines that are consistent across state lines.
“Adult consumers are demanding better options to alcohol. They want drinks that are fun, safe and more easily accessible,” said Jones Soda CEO David Knight, a member of the alliance. “We believe low-dose hemp beverages have a place on shelves in conventional retail establishments, subject to similar age restrictions and taxation as alcohol.”
The Hemp Beverage Alliance has also taken the stand that “a plant divided against itself cannot stand” and plans to work with cannabis companies and other trade groups to ensure cooperation between two groups that have often been opposing forces in the past.
“It is only by working together that we can normalize responsible consumption and create a safe, sustainable marketplace for all cannabis products,” Lackner said.
— Garrett Rudolph