Meet the Company Restoring Trust and Transparency in the Legalized Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp Industry
The horror stories in the industry are numerous. I cannot tell you how many entrepreneurs, speculators, and experienced industry folk alike have been adversely impacted by misrepresentation and fraud.
My co-founders and I have our own horror story, which I am not at liberty to publicly disclose, but suffice it to say that it quickly became our impetus and inspiration behind the vision and mission of Qredible.
The contents of these stories are obviously unique to each party, but they all have similar shades of content. I have heard so many stories of misrepresented product claims accompanied by fraudulent lab reports and quality manufacturing practices and standards that sound great in a power-point pitch, but are non-existent when visiting the facilities.
After asking many industry CEOs and COOs how they trust their trading partners in the supply chain, the answer was common: “We don’t!” They have to verify everything before they proceed.
The other common factor was that almost everybody referred to the industry as “the wild, wild west”. The distrust was systemic on both the buyer’s and the seller’s side. And the consumer, well, they are just confused and want to ensure they are using the best product for their money.
When we started Qredible®, our goal was to bring transparency and reliability to this rapidly growing industry of legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp. The lack of accountability poses a massive risk to investors, consumers, and to the companies themselves. It also poses a significant issue to the industry.
I saw this first-hand in the mortgage industry where I spent thirty years building compliance-based technologies. We all saw the negative consequences of an industry where the guardrails are either missing or not adequately observed or left unchecked.
This not only left a host of failed companies in its wake but also significantly impacted the industry and the entire economy. The good news is that nobody died as a direct result of a bad mortgage, but we cannot say the same for an industry where the end product goes into our bodies.
The hemp, CBD, and legalized cannabis industry has the potential to be a good thing… until it is not. I believe that Qredible is a key element to a safe and thriving industry. Let me tell you why.
The Problem: A Lack of Trust in an Unregulated Industry
Nobody trusts anybody in this industry, and for good reason. The supply chain is laden with false and misleading information regarding suppliers and their products. This creates confusion for everyone in the supply chain, but especially for the consumer.
False Information and Misleading Advertising
Consumers are at the bottom of the supply chain and oftentimes they aren’t aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. Because of the lack of regulation, consumers could be paying a hundred dollars or more for a product they believe to be CBD oil but is actually just a carrier oil that costs four dollars to produce.
The product may indeed contain CBD, but way less than what is advertised. The product could also have harmful micro-toxins or residual metals that are hidden in an altered lab report. Perhaps the CBD is being produced by a manufacturer who is not following quality manufacturing standards or is using subpar equipment or processing.
There’s so much misrepresentation and fraud, and it comes in so many different forms: licensing, lab reports, registrations, and quality certifications can all be altered to mislead people.
The primary way companies try to validate their product claims is with Certificates of Analysis (COA) which include information from lab reports. The problem is these lab reports can be modified and consumers are none the wiser. Bad actors get away with this because it is difficult to prove. It is often not enforced, despite the fact that altering a lab report is a felony.
There is also a widespread misunderstanding about federal regulation; this industry is not yet fully federally regulated. The FDA does its best, but it does not have the resources, standards, and guidelines to fully enforce standards comparable to industries such as pharmaceuticals.
Consumers assume the biggest brands are the safest, but that’s not necessarily true.
You can find endless examples of major brands in the press or involved in a class-action lawsuit after getting caught with false advertising or deceptive practices.
This reality hurts a lot of people and puts the industry as a whole at risk.
This industry is often referred to as the wild west — because it is. There’s a lot of speculation and everyone thinks they’re going to get rich quick.
The revenues, specifically in the hemp and CBD industry, have decreased since 2019 while the fixed costs have stayed the same or increased. This has caused some manufacturers to find cheaper sources of raw materials, reduce costs in quality manufacturing practices, and misrepresent the truth about their certifications and qualifications.
Sellers can make false claims and put badges — such as USDA Organic or Certified ISO 9001 — on their website, but there’s no one to verify them or hold them accountable for that.
The quality manufacturers in this industry deserve to stand out and be recognized. They are the ones willing to stand by their brand promises because they are the ones focused on doing the right thing and delivering a quality product to the market.
There are considerable compliance and litigation risks for those companies that thwart the truth and cut corners. They face fines, fees, penalties, FDA or FTC involvement, reputational harm, injunctions, and lawsuits. When that happens, investors get spooked and may turn away from the industry altogether causing a further degradation in the quality and availability of the product.
For responsible companies that don’t cut corners or try to mislead their customers, it’s nearly impossible to stand out and it’s increasingly difficult to gain trust.
So, what is to be done?
How can we restore faith in an industry rife with fraudulent claims and misleading information?
The Solution: Verified Claims Through Qredible®
Qredible protects businesses and consumers from risk by providing the only digital registry that validates legalized cannabis and CBD brands and their products.
The system not only protects businesses through compliance monitoring and alerts but also promotes the growth of responsible businesses by increasing the value of products, establishing trust with industry partners, and limiting risk.
The Q-Trust™ is a digital registry of verified products and brands that provides some of the following services and functionalities:
- Automated and artificial intelligence-driven compliance monitoring of digital marketing including, website, social media, and other online promotional means
- Active reputation monitoring and management
- Q-Vault: A blockchain registry of licenses, certifications, and lab reports that cannot be modified in any way
- Integrated community of industry partnerships
- Industry research, analytics, and insights
- Market access and promotion
Businesses that are a part of the Q-Trust system will get access to a Qredible seal. This encourages safe commerce across the entire industry.
Who Should be in Qredible?
More than just growers, merchants, and manufacturers, all ancillary businesses and providers can benefit from being in Qredible.
- Retail and wholesale merchants
- Third-party product and service providers
- Network buyers of wholesale product
- Financial institutions
Say you run a trucking company and you are transporting a load of industrial hemp. How can you prove that what you are hauling is indeed federally legal hemp and not marijuana? By being in Qredible.
Not only will Qredible verify all your licenses and claims, but it will also provide you with access to digitally validated lab reports regarding the product you are transporting.
Anyone who believes in safe commerce, consumer safety, and responsible business management should be in Qredible.
We’re establishing a foundation of trust in an otherwise unregulated and unreliable industry.
A Team United by Purpose
Qredible is made possible by our team of driven, skilled technology and industry professionals.
This is a very open and communicative company. Our team is carefully selected based on a mutual passion for innovation. Driven by humility and faith-based principles, we look for the most competent people, then we prioritize listening and learning from each other.
I’m so thankful for our team. Their unique perspectives make me better, make us all better, and make Qredible better. I feel so blessed to have them on board with our mission.
The Future of the Cannabis Industry is in Qredible®
Currently, without Qredible, the industry functions in such a way that businesses actually benefit from using fraudulent claims and manipulative marketing tactics. Qredible will completely change that.
Our vision for the future of Qredible is for it to become a fully integrated part of the legalized CBD and cannabis industry supply chain. Investors, manufacturers, and retailers will all recognize the benefit of dealing with companies that are verified, resulting in more safe choices being available to customers.
When shopping, customers will pull out their phones and simply take a picture of the product or input the name of a company to check if a company or product is in Qredible.
I cannot tell you how many friends and family members email me a picture of their product and a lab report that they cannot interpret to ask me what I think about the brand. Is it safe? Will it work? Should I use something else?
Soon, we will release the consumer-facing version of Qredible and they will no longer need to ask me. The answer will be a click away. This insight will empower them to make better choices and support responsible businesses.
When brands aren’t in Qredible, we will drive endless opportunities for them to get involved and register their brand. This will increase accountability among a greater number of companies.
When consumers support responsible businesses, the right companies succeed, resulting in a safer and more ethical industry.
Qredible is the only online verification system that helps ethical suppliers differentiate themselves from competitors who make deceptive claims about their products. Get started today to be in Qredible.