‘As impatient as we are, we’re going to follow their guidelines’ : Q&A with Ellen Deutsch

Ellen Deutsch

(This is an abridged version of a feature that appears in the February issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

Vertically integrated cannabis producer Stem Holdings is dedicated to organic production and highquality standards – attributes the company plans to apply to its new ventures in the hemp industry. 

Ellen Deutsch, Stem Holdings executive vice president and chief operating officer, believes hemp and CBD companies must focus on developing brands that are sustainably produced with high-quality, consistent formulations that will gain trust among consumers.

That attention to repeatable quality will go a long ways in forging trust with regulators as well, Deutsch said. 

We sat down with Deutsch, a 20-year veteran of brand building in the food industry, to get her insights on how hemp and CBD companies will fare as new regulations are introduced to the market as well as commonalities she sees with the food industry. 

What was your reaction to the warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to both the industry and consumers that CBD is not generally recognized as safe (GRAS)? 

Thats not unusual. It took them 14 years to approve (the natural sweetener) Stevia. 

So, to me, coming from the food and beverage sector, I respect that the FDA has to conduct its due diligence.

Very often, the market will drive faster response timesboth positive and negativewhether theyre introducing something to the market or pulling something off the market. 

More of Deutsch’s predictions on the CBD market are available available here.

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