Hemp industry currently is at an all time high (capital-wise) with booming CBG, THC and CBD products’ branches. What is more, CBN, which is currently undergoing clinical trials for insomnia in Australia , is steadily stepping on it’s own as a new wave of cannabinoid products. Beyond the aforementioned major cannabinoids there is also a vast choice of minor cannabinoids that have not yet gained so much attraction – THCV, CBDV, CBV, CBC, CBDP and others. And in such a high-paced market the choice of raw ingredient providers for a final goods manufacturer is virtually endless! Thus, how can one make a wise decision?
As the saying goes – buy cheap, buy twice.
A trustworthy brand can only build trust by providing the high quality consistent product in the right time frame to the customer. This means that a good final goods producer should wisely choose raw ingredient supplier, the one that offers: reasonable shipping times, good customer support, custom formulations, in-house and third-party testing (and provides certificates of analysis for each batch), reasonable pricing (this does not mean cheapest!), rapid problem solving (there is no business where issues do not arise), consistent and market standards fulfilling (high to highest) quality products. Indeed, some suppliers do not provide some of the aforementioned extras and that is completely natural as no company is ideal, however, if a lot of these core aspects are missing – that should be a red flag and you should think twice whether it is a suitable business associate.
There are many pros and cons of dealing with less reliable B2B manufacturers, with benefits, usually, being lower prices and fast shipping of goods. On the other hand, there are lots of possible pitfalls when dealing with such manufacturers – it is not uncommon that they provide you with inferior than stated product, for example a product that could have anything from foreign material contamination such as pieces of wood, metal, plastic and hair to having higher than acceptable levels of toxins, various agrochemicals or other contaminants (such as residual solvents). Furthermore, you may fall as a victim to “sell fast and vanish” suppliers who, after receiving the transfer, ship you the product with either compromised quality or lesser than stated quantity and then vanish when you try to contact them for reimbursements. Some B2B suppliers tend to avoid third-party testing and there are at least two reasons for this – it is costly to test your product for heavy metals, residual solvents, agrochemicals, mycotoxins as well as cannabinoid profile and it is sometimes hard to pass these results – the product has to be a really very pure material to pass in all these laboratory tests! No matter the actual reason – you, as the buyer, then have to deal with the issue of third-party testing in order to deem the ingredient safe for consumption. And what happens if it shows up to be unsafe? And if your production schedule is strictly planned without any disposable time? These questions are important in any high-paced market, where the consumer will find another manufacturer in case their beloved brand is “out of stock” for far too long.
So, what should you do?
First of all, you should decide who you, as a brand, are. What are your core values. What clients do you want to reach and what business associates you want to deal with? What do you respect, accept and what is taboo for you? How big your final goods volumes will be? Do you want to maintain a healthy stock of raw ingredients or are you willing to sacrifice some safety by choosing not to keep anything in stock and rely purely on suppliers’ shipping times? Then and only then when these and many more questions are answered – you should begin your search for suppliers.
- Find a list of 10 – 20 manufacturers online and get to know them from their websites. In XXI century any self respecting company has a decent looking, well written page, which should give you a good insight of what they do. (Ask yourself, do they extract or synthesize? How do they purify? What standards do they adhere to? Where are they located and what are the laws they obey? Do they seem knowledgeable or opportunistic? Do they provide CoA’s? Is the company vertically integrated?)
- Rate the companies, based on a match between your core values and needs and what the suppliers claim to provide. (Ask yourself, do they match my quality criteria? Do they offer good customer support? Is there a possibility to delay payment? Are shipping times acceptable for my business? Is there a language in which we can communicate freely?)
- Contact top rated companies, they usually offer to arrange personal calls, where they aim to hear your needs and to offer their best solutions tailored for you. (Check if communication is fluent. Ask for a tour to the facility, if you are intending to buy a lot. Inquire for some examples of in-house and third-party testing, if website did not have any. Discuss the pricing, based on your needs.)
- Choose the best looking option and inquire them for your first order.
There are many paths that lead to same results, thus this plan is not the only one that can turn out to be a successful business choice. In a globalized market one should expect to meet at least some minor issues, for example, unforeseen shipping delay due to customs, harder communication due to language barriers, wrong order of custom formulations and others. Things happen, especially with first time partners and first time orders, it usually goes smoother after the first successful order.
In case you are just starting your B2C brand in cannabinoid industry or if you are searching for a better alternative to your current supplier – be sure to contact us – Sanobiotec. We are a market leading minor and major cannabinoid manufacturer based in Europe. We strive for excellence, hence, we do not limit ourselves with in-house testing and test our products in third-party laboratories. Our facility is equipped with GC and LC analytical machines and has access to NMR machine in order to ensure that our products are top quality. During the years we have gathered a lot of know-how, thus we can provide a diverse portfolio of products including but not limited to isolates of CBD, CBG, CBDV, THCV, CBC, CBN, CBDA, CBGA, as well as oils and water solubles. Our mission is to provide our customers with purest, highest quality and potency products with a fair price and fast delivery. Do not hesitate and book a call!
This article was brought to you by scientist Simonas Balkaitis.