In an announcement signaling that hemp CBD is ready for the world’s biggest CPG companies, the largest nutritional ingredient supplier for U.S. supplements, DSM, has jumped in the hemp CBD business.
That such a large supplier of dietary supplement nutritional ingredients has gotten into CBD underscores that the market is ready to be taken to the next level—especially if the FDA or Congress regulates a more open market into segments like food and beverage.
DSM had been apparently considering the CBD market for three years before it decided to officially make it a go.
“There is a strong consumer pull in the CBD space for high-quality, health-benefit driven solutions, but as yet the market is still to arrive at recognized science or quality standard,” said Frederic Boned, Vice President, Human Nutrition & Health at DSM North America. “Our science-backed solutions will deliver the purity, reliability and traceability that are currently lacking and enable our customers to truly differentiate themselves.”
The Dutch multinational behemoth is partnering with Colorado-based Mile High Labs, which itself is a leading pharma-grade supplier of hemp CBD from its 400,000 square foot facility based outside Boulder.
DSM plans to supply to manufacturers around the world with turnkey, “purpose-led CBD market-ready solutions” that blend hemp CBD with evidence-based nutritional ingredients for brands looking to create sophisticated, targeted, custom products for specific evidence-based conditions like stress, mood and sleep.
Premixes as well as custom formulations are all on offer. There is not currently a set portfolio of premixes, but stress, mood and sleep will be particular focus areas.
“DSM has the core competencies,” said Boned, “combined with a deep understanding of consumer and customer needs, to help brands enter the cannabinoid market early and build a leading position.”
DSM said that longer-term ambitions leverage the company’s clinical, regulatory and applications expertise to explore the potential benefits of other minor cannabinoids besides CBD and THC.
The European Union ruled in December 2020 that hemp-derived CBD is not a narcotic drug and so qualifies as a Novel Food. Thus far across the pond in America, the FDA has taken a dim view of food and beverage applications—indeed, the FDA hasn’t been exactly keen in CBD’s use in supplements for that matter.
Whether that’s because it is protecting the U.S. pharmaceutical industry or it’s the lingering vestiges of drug warrior stance—or maybe it really just wants ironclad safety data before it allows the cannabinoids to proliferate—the agency is slow-walking its approval process. That the European Union is allowing CBD, and that DSM has arrived to supply quality raw materials, can only help hemp’s fortunes as a global commodity.
“The potential of CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids hasn’t yet been fully realized, so we’re investing in the future of the category,” said Boned. “This is just the beginning for DSM. Our partnership with MHL will be a key enabler for us as we take our first steps in this burgeoning market. As regulatory frameworks are defined, DSM’s end-to-end capabilities and unrivalled portfolio make us ideally positioned to lead and shape the market. This category is full of promise, and we’re excited to partner with MHL and play an integral role in tapping into the potential and enabling customers to create products with real purpose.”
Mile High Labs has quality manufacturing certifications such as cGMP and ISO 9001 and distribution centers in Colorado as well as Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a London office as well. The company is well-schooled in the emerging Novel Foods regulations in Europe.
Mile High Labs is a contract manufacturer that creates tinctures, gummies, tablets, mints, and softgels on the ingestible side. It also produces creams, salves, balms and serums.
It lists on its website clients from Herbalife Nutrition and Ocean Spray to Nature’s Way and Nisa. It has third-party fulfillment services in more than 35 countries.