Columbia Basin Bioscience Makes Significant Investment In CBD Quality, Anticipating Industry Regulation and Scrutiny

HERMISTON, Ore. – Jan. 20, 2019 – Columbia Basin Bioscience designed and built its sole-source, closed loop industrial hemp operation fully expecting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin regulating cannabidiol producers and products.

The fast-growing CBD industry has attracted a wide variety of operators who bring a mix of passion, skill and expertise to the field in an effort to find a business and manufacturing model that works. The result of the industry’s experimental approach, however, has been CBD products of varying degrees of quality – and consumer confusion.

As a consequence, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented regulatory guardrails in October 2019. Columbia Basin Bioscience (CBB) expects the FDA to follow suit, providing CBD producers with specific quality and content standards and strict manufacturing practices.

With the goals of producing high quality, high purity CBD distillate oil and isolate that will meet or surpass eventual regulation, CBB made significant investment in its industrial hemp farm and processing facility that started operations in late 2019.

CBB has millions of pounds of hemp farmed under the care of CEO and third-generation farmer Alan Cleaver and his team on their 2000+ acres of land in Oregon. It is carefully harvested, dried on site in the world’s largest, purpose-built hemp dryer and moved to CBB’s processing facility by CBB’s own transporters. There are no external farmers, transporters, processors or storage used, ensuring that the end product has unprecedented purity and nothing unknown has been introduced.

“A set of good manufacturing practices for processing industrial hemp and manufacturing CBD distillate and isolate products will help stabilize the industry and ensure that the consumer gets the product he or she believes they are buying,” said Sean Groer, CBB’s co-founder. “We’ve built our sole-source, closed-loop supply chain with the belief that increased regulation will come soon.”

Although there are no clearly articulated industry standards, CBB is putting in place a set of high standards that all of the industry can live with, while also delivering a reliable, high quality supply of CBD oil and isolate that is critical to customers.

Cleaver, who’s spent his life growing regulated and globally competitive crops, knows the discipline, traceability and transparency required to satisfy requirements of the FDA and USDA.

“One must use extreme care during all points in the life cycle of hemp from seed to sale.  Drying, transporting, storage and processing all introduce potential points of entry for contaminants into the crop. I’ve been operating FDA regulated businesses for the past 25 years – I know what it takes to eliminate all of that uncertainty, so we built CBB to manage everything ourselves, from the beginning to the end,” Cleaver said.

“We believe strongly that CBD has a place on retail shelves,” says Groer, “and that the future of pure CBD products is brightest under a proper regulatory framework.”