The Cannabis Trade Association UK (referred to as the CTA) was established to ensure that its members follow established government legislation. They exist to safeguard the industry and ensure that members have proper and effective guidance in the sales, marketing, and distribution of their products.

The CTA works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) among other agencies to ensure that all members follow the guidance laid out by the authorities.

Becoming a member of the CTA is signals that the CBD business wants to operate with full transparency and legitimacy as well as showing that the business is willing to hold themselves to the highest standards. By committing to abide by the CTA’s membership requirements, it is a sign that the business has a long-term outlook, prioritises the health and wellbeing of their clients and sells only the best quality, safe CBD products.

Who Are The Cannabis Trade Association?

The CTA was established to oversee the hemp industry and eliminate bad practices focused on CBD, hemp, and hemp products. It is centered around upholding standards that govern fair and transparent trading to protect the end-customer. This includes displaying correct business information, staying up to date with instance and registration.

From the beginning, the CTA has sought to work closely with the MHRA developing and maintaining consistent standards as well as accurate legal information. They also work with the CTPA (Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Perfumery Association(CTPA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

After two years working alongside the MHRA, the Cannabis Trades Association was officially endorsed by the MHRA in July 2018. In addition to having a close working relationship with the MHRA and the FSA, they also work with the Home Office and Trading Standards (among others) to set and meet professional standards in the CBD and marijuana industries.

An important part of this has been the development of the Cannabis Products Directive (CPD), a framework that governs the licensing and regulation of CBD products. This directive has been disseminated to all European Union members by the European Food Safety Agency. The CPD is scheduled to become law by 2020, which will ensure that licencing and regulation will be handled by specialists (rather than the Home Office).

What Do They Do?

The CTA was found by seven individuals who owned businesses in the CBD and hemp industry in September 2016. Up until that point, the CBD industry was largely unregulated, but just as the association formed, the industry benefitted from the breakthrough announcement in October 2016 that the MHRA would officially class CBD as a medicine. And since then the group has grown quickly.

They are the only UK-centric trade association working for the hemp and cannabis industry with the goal of providing practical advice, promoting best practices, and making information about all forms of cannabis available to end-users.

One area that they are specifically concerned about is maintaining the good reputation of hemp and marijuana. As such, all members are required to agree to transparent trading conditions so that the public has information about the company that they are dealing with. Members may not make medical claims about hemp or marijuana products, nor are they allowed to distribute medical advice. All members are united in the belief that cannabis and hemp products have the potential to benefit people and choose to lift up the industry, rather than taking any actions that would negatively affect other businesses in the industry.

They aim to change perceptions of the industry that have been built on an outdated understanding of hemp products due to misinformation and prejudice.

What do You Get with a CTA Membership?

CBD businesses can benefit from becoming members of the CTA as the association provides:

  • Access to Payment Providers and Insurance Brokers – Because of the industry’s stigma, it can be difficult to find progressive providers. With the CTA, you have access to reliable, reputable payment and insurance solutions because of the CTA’s reputation and hard work.
  • Access to Industry-Specialist Lawyers – The complexities of the industry mean that the legal aspects must be covered by specialist legal counsel who offer discounted rates to CTA members.
  • Industry Updates – All the information businesses need to ensure that they’re up-to-date with changing legislation
  • Compliance and Due Diligence – All members are thoroughly checked and vetted, which protects both the industry and other members.
There are three different memberships available:
  • Starter Membership – This is for businesses at the beginning of their journey in the industry. CBD businesses have access to advice and compliance information to help them get set up and trading successfully.
  • Full Membership – Full members either wholesale or sell to members and their network of sellers.
  • Associate Membership – This is for businesses that sell solely to the trade or support the industry in some way.
What Role Are They Playing in the Industry?

The CTA is the primary resource for members of the public as well as governmental and enforcement agencies in the UK. This works to the benefit of CTA members as the association has a close relationship with the FSA, MHRA, and interested government agencies which means that can share guidance on keeping CBD products safe and legal.

Members details can be viewed on the publicly available directory on the Cannabis Trades Association website which gives members of the public confidence in the authenticity of the association’s members.

The Cannabis Trades Association are advocates for members of the marijuana industry and, even though the association is under three years old, it represents over 4000 businesses. This makes them the largest Hemp and Cannabis Association by Membership in the world. In both the UK and across the EU, the association has already had a significant impact on the hemp and cannabis industry and are taking active steps to establish similar associations across the world.

By promoting transparency by their members and working closely with government agencies, the association is successfully transforming the reputation of hemp-related products and ensuring that the public has access to the information they need.

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