American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
What Is the American Herbal Products Association?
The American Herbal Products Association, also known as AHPA, was founded in 1982. AHPA is a trade association with national outreach that is the voice for the industry that produces and sells herbal products. All parts of the herbal industry are encompassed and represented by the American Herbal Products Association with their over 350 companies that are members. Not only is the AHPA representative for the American herbal producers, but it also has foreign members as well. The members of the American Herbal Products Association grow, process, and manufacture herbs for a great deal of different purposes such as supplements, food, drugs, and even cosmetics.
Who AHPA Works With
The American Herbal Products Association interacts with federal offices and agencies in the United States. Some of these such organizations include the FDA, FTC, USDA, and more. It is important that AHPA has dealings with these governmental agencies because they are the ones that are charged with regulation of herbal and botanical goods in the United States. The American Herbal Products Association is also a partner with the scientific community as they work with the US Pharmacopoeia, NSF International, offices within the National Institute of Health, and many more. These organizations are some of the leaders when it comes to scientific research for herbs and botanicals.
The American Herbal Products Association in the Media
AHPA realizes how important public relations and representation is for an industry that involves herbs and botanicals. There is a great deal of false information that circulates, even on major news sources, that has to do with herbs and botanicals. This is especially true for hemp. The American Herbal Products Association works to provide good relationships with news outlets across the world. They strive to make sure that information printed, in regards to herbs and botanicals, is accurate and backed up with facts and are known to provide corrections if inaccurate information is found circulating. This advocacy provides a positive boost to the herbal and botanical industry. AHPA also tries to keep its interested parties informed by regularly utilizing email updates and even a monthly newsletter.
More on the Mission of the AHPA
Arguably, the most important thing to the American Herbal Products Association is the promotion of commerce of herbal products that is responsible and just. Those that are members of AHPA get a large say in policy that the American Herbal Products Association formulates. The members of AHPA are held to a strict code of conduct as they are expected to act ethically and responsibly in line with the values of the organization as a whole. The members of this great organization are expected to follow the rules and regulations that are put forth by AHPA as a whole. Although it is not required that the members of the American Herbal Products Association comply with the commerce rules and regulations of the organization, it is strongly encouraged.
Committees of the American Herbal Products AssociationAHPA is formulated by a large number of committees that help to advocate and represent nearly all aspects of the herbal and botanical industry. These committees provide the opportunity for collaboration within the organization on specific issues that members may find extreme importance in. The solutions that can be formed at the committee meetings could provide a great deal of benefit to the herbal and botanical industry as a whole. A few of the many committees of the American Herbal Products Association are:
- The Cannabis Committee
- The Education Committee
- The International Committee
- The Personal Care Products Committee
- The Sports Nutrition Committee
Again, the list above is not an all-encompassing list of all of the committees present within AHPA. Each one of the committees that is a part of the American Herbal Products Association has a powerful purpose. For example, the Cannabis Committee has the purpose of confronting issues related to the safe use and commerce of products that are derived from different Cannabis species.
AHPA and Self-Regulation
As mentioned before, AHPA has a member body that helps to form regulations for the herbal and botanical industry. These regulations are then intended to be used by members of the organization so they can ensure that the quality and safety of their products is on par with the rules set forth by the group. Having self-regulation is an important aspect of being a member of the American Herbal Products Association. This idea of self-regulation is one of the reasons why AHPA has been so successful for over three decades.
AHPA and HempIn the previous section on committees within the American Herbal Products Association, the involvement of the organization and Cannabis was touched on lightly. AHPA has done some significant things for the hemp industry as a whole. One such example of their involvement with the hemp industry is their endorsement of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. This act involves the legalization of hemp production in the United States. AHPA realizes how great an impact the production and cultivation of hemp in the United States could have for the American farmer.
Hemp, unlike its cousin marijuana, has a THC concentration that is nearly zero. Along with high CBD levels, hemp does not provide the high that is associated with marijuana. In fact, hemp has beneficial antioxidants due to the CBD levels and hemp is non-intoxicating. Organizations like AHPA realize the importance of decriminalizing hemp because it was unfairly grouped with marijuana. AHPA wants to improve hemp’s reputation by advocating for its removal from the controlled substance list through the endorsement of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
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