The CEO of a CBD-infused water brand says unscrupulous CBD firms are the biggest threat to his business, and says “I want to be regulated”.
Benjamin Witte, founder of New York-based Recess, told Yahoo Finance that a tighter regulatory framework will help – not hinder – the growing CBD industry.
He said: “I’m calling for regulation, like, I want to be regulated. I think the biggest risk to Recess is kind of bad actors.”
Witte says lack of clarity in regulatory issues forced Recess to move manufacturing from New York’s Hudson Valley to an out-of-state facility.
He added: “CBD right now, it’s kind of this mania. I think it has similar dynamics to the cryptocurrency mania where there’s this kind of Gold Rush and everyone’s trying to start the 2,000th CBD oil company, or there’s a new beverage launching every single day.
“And a lot of the people, you know, frankly, launching these companies, don’t recognize how challenging it is to create high quality products that are compliant, and so they take shortcuts.”
“And so when I talk about the regulation being required, I think it’s to ensure that the products that are out there are very high quality.
Many CBD execs share Witte’s concerns and want to see clearer guidelines in place.
Witte is on the Hemp Roundtable, a lobbying group that has backed the SAFE Banking Act, a proposed bill that would prohibit regulators from penalising financial institutions for providing banking services to legal cannabis firms.
A recent report by the Grocery Manufacturers Association found that most Americans assume CBD products are subject to federal regulations and safety oversight – when no such regulations exist.
Instead, today’s multi-billion-dollar CBD industry operates within a disjointed, patchwork system of state regulations, the report states.