Author Archives: Brian Fitzpatrick

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The world of SEO is dizzying. Add cannabis SEO into the mix and the challenge is even greater. 

If you’re one of the thousands of new cannabis entrepreneurs in the U.S. then you’ve likely had to grapple with the perils of digital marketing. SEO is just one of many factors to consider, but it’s an important one. Many of the standard rules are compromised by regulations and compliance concerns, so there’s a lot to navigate.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the top things to consider when trying to implement an SEO strategy for your cannabis website. Keep reading to learn more.

First, What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of optimizing your online content for search engines. SEO makes Google, Bing, and other search engines better equipped to understand your content so they can place that content in front of the right eyeballs. 

A website that has implemented solid SEO strategies will have a better chance of ranking in search results. So when a customer searches “best dispensary near me,” an SEO website will rank above sites that aren’t investing in SEO.

The goal is to make content that appeals to humans first, then algorithms, so that people can find and enjoy what you produce. The end result of investing in SEO is a ton of organic traffic to your website, so it’s worth thinking about.

Cannabis SEO: Compliance Considerations

So, what makes cannabis SEO so challenging? 

The main concern is compliance. There are a number of laws regulating what companies can and can’t say in their marketing messaging. Here are the main ones:

  • Making health or wellness claims is prohibited
  • Marketing to minors is prohibited
  • Marketing must be contained to legal states online

When it comes to SEO for cannabis, the main problem arises when navigating the first law: no health or wellness claims. This is because many of the leading cannabis and CBD-related keywords are non-compliant.

Here are some examples of keywords that could get your business into trouble with the FDA or other regulatory bodies:

  • CBD for anxiety
  • Best CBD oil for depression
  • Weed gummies for pain
  • Cannabis for sleep

Since these terms are searched by thousands of Americans each month, they are ideal for SEO. But using them in your marketing messaging could result in legal repercussions and irreparable reputational damage. Some of these repercussions could include:

  • Lawsuits 
  • FDA warning letter
  • FTC – fines, fees, and penalties 
  • Enforcement action by state attorneys general 

Any of those repercussions could have a catastrophic impact on your ability to do business, especially in difficult economic times. 

Cannabis SEO managers must balance their marketing goals with a keen understanding of general consumer protection law and be able to evaluate representation claims.

This makes the tradeoff between compliance and SEO difficult to measure since reputational harm can have a significant and potentially terminal impact on your business. 

Best Ways to Improve SEO for Cannabis and CBD Brands

This leaves many licensed cannabis and CBD businesses with a difficult decision: cannabis SEO or compliance?

Luckily, there are ways you can improve your website’s ranking in SEO without using non-compliant messaging in your product descriptions. The best strategy for boosting your site’s SEO is to build a blog. This way you can create posts that contain keywords without containing misinformation or false claims. 

Here are some examples of blog post ideas that could use keywords:

  • The Truth About CBD for Anxiety
  • Looking for the Best CBD Oil For Depression? Read This First.
  • Can You Take Weed Gummies For Pain? What You Need to Know.
  • Can You Use Cannabis For Sleep? Here’s the Truth.

Keywords don’t need to be used literally to count towards SEO, but you’ll want to ensure they fit the following criteria:

  • They are used in an organic-sounding and natural way
  • They are included in titles
  • They are included in some headings
  • They are mentioned naturally a few times in the text throughout

Other than that, just be sure to include a lot of high-value and well-written information. This will improve your site’s bounce rate along with other metrics, which also helps with SEO. Remember to never sacrifice user experience and value for SEO. Otherwise, the metrics will reflect that humans did not benefit from your content. And if humans don’t like it, neither will search engines. 

Master Digital Messaging Compliance With Qredible

Still concerned about how your website might perform in search? Curious if your current messaging is compliant and safe? Qredible® can help.

Our software uses advanced artificial intelligence to actively monitor your messaging, electronically flagging any potential violations for your review. You’ll be able to protect your business by avoiding any potential legal risk in your online and label messaging.

Qredible is the cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry’s only online registry of validated and verified businesses. We are working hard to ensure safer commerce for everyone in the industry, from growers all the way down to consumers. We also support ancillary businesses like financial institutions, merchant processors, trucking and logistic companies, and other third-party product and service providers serving the industry. 

If you want to learn more about how our software can help you protect and grow your business, sign up for one of our free, no-obligation webinars

You’ll meet Rick, our President and COO, who will answer all your questions and guide you through a demo of our industry-disrupting technology.

Social Media for Cannabis

When marketing legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp products online, there’s a lot to consider. From changing regulations to strict platform guidelines—it’s difficult to establish yourself on social media in our industry. And often, marketing cannabis products on social media can lead to your account being banned.

Despite the challenge, social media is still a leading strategy for reaching consumers and building an audience. So, what are the dos and don’ts of marketing cannabis on social media? 

In this article, we’ll go over some basic rules and best practices to follow and give you some cannabis social media marketing ideas that will help you get started.

What You Can and Can’t Say in Cannabis Marketing on Social Media

When crafting your cannabis marketing material, there are many factors to consider. First, and most importantly, are the regulations in your state. All states with legalized adult-use cannabis have restrictions and regulations on what can and can’t be said in marketing messaging.

These regulations are in place to protect consumers, including minors, so it’s critically important to follow them. Since each state has unique regulations, be sure to refer to your local government for further instructions. 

Some attornies recommend that companies continuously review and update past social media posts as regulations change. The FDA and FTC can judge previous posts through the lens of the current laws and penalize the companies responsible accordingly.  

At the federal level, there are regulations regarding health claims that pertain to legalized cannabis and CBD. Claims that are not allowed in cannabis marketing include claims that suggest a cannabis product can:

  • Cure, lessen, or relieve any physical disease or illness
  • Cure, lessen, or relieve any mental health condition
  • Alleviate pain, physical disease symptoms, or mental health symptoms
  • Prevent mental or physical disease or illness

This includes the following:

  • Labeling a product as “anti-” something (anti-inflammatory, for example)
  • Suggesting usage for specific conditions
  • Naming physical or mental illness in the product labeling or marketing messaging

Once you’ve confirmed your marketing is compliant with government regulations, it’s time to consider platform guidelines. 

No social media platform will allow paid advertising of cannabis products due to the lack of federal regulations. Different platforms each have their own set of user guidelines and their own disciplinary actions for noncompliance in terms of cannabis-related organic content. 

Here’s a brief overview of what each platform says about cannabis content:

Instagram for Cannabis Marketing

Instagram does not allow cannabis businesses to promote direct methods of contact on their business profile, however, they are allowed to link to their website. 

The site guidelines prohibit the promotion of cannabis products (even if it’s legal in the business’s region) and there have been reports of accounts being removed for promoting cannabis. However, there is a thriving community of legal U.S. cannabis, CBD, and hemp companies on the app.

TikTok for Cannabis Marketing

TikTok is firmly against the promotion of any cannabis-related products. The algorithm is trained to flag videos that feature cannabis-related content and hashtags, so it’s incredibly difficult to grow or build an audience. 

The platform has also been known to ban users from posting content related to cannabis. For these reasons, it’s not recommended for cannabis businesses at this time.

Facebook for Cannabis Marketing

Facebook is not a cannabis-friendly platform when it comes to organic growth, ads, and posts. They do allow hemp companies that comply with all laws to promote their companies. 


However, Facebook groups are a good option for building a community. This option is especially ideal for local businesses and dispensaries. 

YouTube for Cannabis Marketing

YouTube is one of the best platforms for posting cannabis-related content. While the content will not be monetizable (meaning you will not be eligible for YouTube’s creator payment program), there are countless videos about adult and medical use of cannabis and CBD that have racked up millions of views.

Reddit for Cannabis Marketing

Reddit communities exist for almost every type of cannabis product and use, so it’s a great place to engage with your audience, build a following, and provide quality customer service.

Pinterest for Cannabis Marketing 

Pinterest’s community guidelines state that commercial sales of cannabis products are not allowed on their platform, but they do allow posts about cannabis-related topics. Recipes with adult-use cannabis edibles, for example, are common on the app.

3 Cannabis Marketing Ideas for Social Media in 2023

Now that you understand the best practices for cannabis marketing on social media, let’s explore some trending strategies for 2023.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and user-generated content (UGC) have been trending for a few years now, and these types of marketing are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Working with cannabis influencers on social media or cannabis affiliate marketing bloggers is a great way to reach new customers. This is especially true for brands just beginning to establish themselves.

Influencers and affiliate marketers don’t just work on Instagram and TikTok—there are influencers across all social media platforms. A Pinterest cooking influencer, for example, could try one of your edibles in a recipe, or a self-care YouTuber could try your CBD face masks as a part of their nighttime routine.

The important thing to remember with influencers and affiliate marketers is that they are contractors. As such, your contract with them should stipulate that they don’t make claims that go against regulations. Influencers must be equally as careful to follow regulations as the businesses that hire them. 

Branch Out on Social Media

If you’ve been struggling to grow on one platform for a long period of time, consider branching out to new platforms. While Instagram is the go-to for most social media marketing strategies, it’s increasingly difficult to grow on the platform. 

Pinterest, Reddit, and YouTube are all great options to consider in addition to your Instagram efforts. All these platforms have different best practices and will require unique strategies to succeed, but stepping outside a platform you have been struggling with can unlock a new audience.

Curate an Experience

On platforms like Pinterest, trend predictions highlight the ways social media users use apps to find inspiration for IRL experiences. Regardless of the medium they choose, the best social media marketers do this with storytelling.

Try imagining why your customers purchase your products and use your social posts to paint a picture for them. Think: an Instagram reel about the top 5 cannabis tourism stops in your state, a carousel post about self-care THC bath bombs and face masks, or a nightly journaling and meditation routine featuring your all-star CBD product.  

Sell and Promote Your Cannabis in a Trusted Marketplace

All good marketing strategies begin by developing a foundation of trust with your customers. And there’s no better place to do that than in Qredible®

It is important to stipulate that Qredible is not an online marketplace like Leafly, Weedmaps, and other platforms. Qredible is a 100% unbiased resource. This means we never profit from the sale of products on our platform; however, we do provide the ability for consumers to research the authenticity of brands and products. 

We provide a link to the sale site where your products are represented. Qredible is the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry’s only digital registry of validated and verified brands that provides a host of tools and functionalities to help you grow and protect your business. 

We genuinely want to see the expansion and growth of this industry through the promotion of safe and trustworthy brands. The costs of doing business in this industry is high enough without us putting ourselves in the middle of your revenue stream!

The focus of the Qredible marketplace is to provide a central hub where subscribers can manage and promote how potential buyers buy from them, whether it is a direct link to their e-commerce site or direct links to multiple integrated marketplaces and platforms.

If a company needs help with an e-commerce site, Qredible offers Q-Transact—a white-label integrated scalable e-commerce system designed for growth and simplicity, without having to pay an e-commerce participation fee. 

Qredible is the only digital registry of verified and validated legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD brands. Want to be in Qredible? Get started today.

Honesty Does Pay: How Reliable

Is being honest a good business decision? For some professionals operating in the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry, the answer is a resounding “yes.” 

Many reliable cannabis companies do their best to build an authentic foundation of trust with their business partners and consumers. Sadly, that commitment to safe commerce is not shared by everyone in the industry.

Qredible® is here to change all that. Our mission is to flip the script. We’re transforming the industry from a place that rewards corner-cutting and manipulation to one that rewards truth and transparency with one of the most valuable forms of currency available: trust.

Keep reading to learn more about marketing claims in the legalized cannabis industry, and how Qredible is helping responsible businesses widen the gap between themselves and their competition.  

Misleading Messaging and Greenwashing

A lack of trust is not unique to the legalized cannabis industry. For decades, many in the business world have operated on a basic understanding that honesty doesn’t pay. The idea is that being transparent about business practices often leads to negative outcomes instead of an increase in trust and, in turn, revenue. Some have also speculated that it is difficult for the FDA and USDA to monitor everybody, so chances of getting caught are slim!

Take the recent increase in consumer demand for sustainability. While many green businesses are taking their commitments seriously with valid ESG claims, a large number of organizations participate in “greenwashing” by making fraudulent or misleading claims in their messaging. The Truth in Advertising Organization cites many well-known brands that are “greenwashing” and affecting the health of consumers in addition to the environment.   

The result is an oversaturation of ESG claims that makes it increasingly difficult for the best businesses to achieve recognition for their efforts.

How Greenwashing Impacts Consumer Trust

There is an increasing awareness that many consumers don’t trust sustainability claims made by businesses anymore. The presence of greenwashing has eroded their ability to believe product labels and marketing messages. 

Not only does this have a significant impact on the industry as a whole, but it damages the significance of valid and verifiable sustainability commitments, therefore disincentivizing businesses to make and keep them.

After all, why bother investing time and energy into an initiative that won’t make much of a dent in how your consumers perceive you? 

In the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry, many businesses are beginning to feel the same way. Any company can make a quality claim or post a certification icon and—with only a few, if any measures in place to hold them accountable—get away with it, regardless of how compliant they actually are with the requirements for that certification or claims made.

Legalized Cannabis: A Competitive Industry

The U.S. legalized cannabis industry is rapidly evolving in both consumer behavior trends and regulations. As the industry grows and strengthens, so too does the competition between businesses operating in the space.

As legalization increases, federal regulation models from other countries show there will likely be a divide between the businesses that embrace change and those that resist it. That means adapting to regulation and heeding the increasing consumer demand for transparency is a reliable growth and resilience strategy for many businesses.  

What Cannabis Consumers Value

A recent study of purchase drivers for legalized cannabis found that consumers notice a significant disconnect between unregulated brands and products from regulated sources.

Here’s a breakdown of the main purchase drivers for cannabis consumers:

  • Price: Consumers in the study correlated lower prices with illicit products and lower quality, but noted that it was still an important factor for their purchase.
  • Quality: Those surveyed did not share a single definition of what constituted a quality, reliable cannabis product. They struggled to identify which products were high-quality. 
  • Reliable Packaging: Consumers in the study noted the importance of being able to read, understand, and trust the product information on the packaging.
  • Social influence: Recommendations were one of the strongest purchase drivers in this category because they increased consumer trust.
  • Retailer characteristics: The study found that consumers prioritized purchasing from local businesses whenever possible.

When it comes to quality, research supports that consumers have shared notions about what is important to them. Their priorities fell into the following three categories:

  • Whether or not a product met regulatory standards
  • The safety and effectiveness of the product
  • Whether the product was properly cultivated

The study demonstrates the increasing consumer demand for transparency. Customers are aware of the disconnect between product messaging and what can actually be validated and verified. They just don’t have access to the resources required to make those decisions for themselves. 

Until now.

Qredible®: Supporting Transparency in the Legalized Cannabis Industry

Qredible®‘s Q-Trust™ is a platform of premium services and tools that were specifically designed to support businesses operating in the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry.  

These tools include:

  • Automated compliance monitoring and proactive audits to identify potential violative language and false claims
  • Reminders about expiry and recertification dates
  • Reputation monitoring and management
  • Validated, immutable documentation including COAs, lab reports, certifications, registrations, and licenses
  • The ability to access curated news and industry-specific research, resources, and analytics

But there’s more to Q-Trust™ than compliance monitoring and reputation management. There is also a range of tools designed to help honest business owners grow their businesses by increasing value, improving their marketing messaging, and establishing a foundation of invaluable trust with their customers.

Let’s break down some of these functionalities.

Integrated Network and Digital Registry of Brands

Customers can search for companies in Q-Trust. Whether a company has registered or not Qredible has thousands of licenses on file that it tracks. In many cases, it will already have information on file about that company. This data comes from a variety of monitored sources such as the FDA, FTC, legal databases, the Better Business Bureau, and more. 

The customer can also visit the brand’s profile and view important information such as:

  • Ingredient information
  • Lab reports
  • Validated and verified certifications
  • License and registration information
  • Brand reputation history
  • Raw material source information


Using blockchain-powered technology, companies can achieve end-to-end visibility in their supply chain with the Q-Vault™. 

One of the important aspects of Q-Vault is secure and immutable lab reports or Certificates of Analysis (COA). Suppliers who work with Q-verified labs will be able to provide verifiable information about the raw materials, ingredients, and contents of their reliable cannabis products.

This lab report is submitted electronically by the lab to Q-Vault, meaning the company cannot modify it in any way. Once it is in the Q-Vault, it is rendered immutable by blockchain-enforced technology and tied to a lot and batch number. 

This level of security allows these businesses to distinguish themselves from the competition. They begin to cultivate a reputation as being completely transparent about the quality of their products. Brands still control the ability to publish these lab reports after they are reviewed and accepted. The only thing they cannot do is modify the report; fraudulently or otherwise!

Suppliers, manufacturers, merchants, retailers, and ancillary businesses all benefit from having access to this information. It provides them with the ability to make accurate claims in their product messaging and differentiate their business from those who are not. 

For consumers, having access to all of this information empowers them to make purchase decisions with confidence. But it does more than improve the shopping experience for consumers, it also allows businesses that make and adhere to quality, ESG, and other commitments to stand out from their competitors. 

Your Customers Will Find Trust in Qredible®

Thanks to Qredible, it does pay to be honest in the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry. 

By providing access to a platform that encourages and supports transparency for businesses in all areas of the supply chain, Qredible is fostering a symbiotic community and ecosystem of quality and trust and enabling companies to stand by their brand promises. In Qredible, merchants, distributors, retailers, financial institutions, labs, and consumers can all engage in safe commerce.

Qredible is the only digital registry of verified and validated legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD brands. Want to be in Qredible? Get started today.

Who is Cannabis Industry

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.

The Risks 

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™

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.

  • Farmers
  • Manufacturers
  • Retail and wholesale merchants
  • Third-party product and service providers
  • Network buyers of wholesale product
  • Financial institutions
  • Labs
  • Consumers

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.

What is Mission?

Currently, in the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry, companies can make claims, create labels, and market their products without worrying too much about regulatory bodies holding them accountable. It does not mean that enforcement does not happen; it is just few and far between at the present time.

As a result, the industry has become somewhat like the wild west — although there are measures designed to prevent companies from making false and misleading claims about their products, they are not heeded by many. 

Honest, responsible industry professionals in every area of the supply chain are then left to compete with companies that engage in these misleading and sometimes fraudulent marketing tactics. Investors and businesses risk catastrophic legal repercussions. And consumers are required to navigate an untrustworthy industry without the tools to make informed decisions about what they put into their bodies. These products are not cheap and ensuring that consumers get what they are paying for is another key critical factor in augmenting consumer trust and brand loyalty. 

Qredible® is here to solve these problems by fostering a symbiotic ecosystem and network of manufacturers, merchants, distributors, analytic labs, banks, and ancillary businesses to provide a single digital source for researching brands and building trust and transparency in a rapidly growing and challenging industry.  

Our mission is to promote safe commerce using advanced technologies that protect businesses, facilitate growth, and consistently build consumer trust. 

Keep reading to learn more about how we’re accomplishing that mission.

What is Qredible®?

Qredible is the only digital registry that validates and verifies companies, brands, and products in the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry. It is a system-wide platform intended for use by customers and industry professionals in all areas of the supply chain.

Anyone involved in the CBD, hemp, and legalized cannabis industry who wants to earn the trust of partners, investors, customers, and other businesses should be in Qredible. This includes:

  • Growers, nurseries, and handlers
  • Manufacturers
  • Retail and wholesale merchants
  • Third-party product and service providers
  • Network distributors and buyers of wholesale product
  • Financial institutions and insurance companies
  • Private and institutional investors,
  • Analytical testing labs 
  • Regulatory agencies 
  • Consumers

Once they’re in the registry, businesses will have access to a wide variety of features unique to their needs. Consumers will be able to view verified licensing and badging/certification information about a company. They can also track information regarding the brand’s product’s, including lab testing, product ingredients and much more. 

Merchants and investors will be able to view vaulted and blockchained lab reports before making financial decisions. And manufacturers will be able to confirm merchant claims align with their products. The Qredible Q-Trust platform incorporates all of the intelligence to enable a 360-degree view of your customers, your partners, and your vendors. It will enable you to prove your quality and stand by your brand promises through the power of the Q-Verified seal. 

The result is total supply chain participation in trustworthy and compliant business practices that significantly lower risks for all parties and increases the value of your brand in the market.

Functionality and Features of the Q-Trust™

Qredible does more than just verify claims made about a product or company, it also encourages accountability and reform through compliance monitoring in Q-Trust™ through a powerful compliance engine called Q-Comply™. 

By establishing their business in Qredible’s Q-Trust platform, industry professionals gain access to: 

  • Q-Comply™ — Automated compliance monitoring: This includes a powerful AI-powered compliance bot to perform audits and proactively monitor your website, social media, marketing messages, and labeling to prevent issues and mitigate risk.
  • Brand reputation management: Active monitoring and management of critical data sources including news, lawsuits, regulatory warnings or enforcement actions, and reviews on various sites such as google my business and the Better Business Bureau.
  • The Q Vault™: A blockchain registry of immutable documents, including licenses, certifications, and lab reports complete with critical tracking data and alerts of critical dates of expiration.
  • A network of reliable industry partners: An integrated community of industry participants to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Advanced research, analytics, and industry insights: Access to news, industry research, resources, and data curated for your needs and interests.
  • Market access and promotion: Promote your brand, services, and products through Qredible’s marketplaces and platforms. 

All businesses that claim their profile and complete their “Road to Qredibility” (RTQ) in the Q-Trust™ platform will be verified with a seal that indicates that the information related to your brand, including licensing, certifications, and lab reports, has been validated and verified. 

This allows companies to finally stand by their brand and distinguish themselves from dishonest competitors who, until now, took advantage of the unregulated nature of the industry to cut corners and deceive customers. 

Regardless of whether a business claims its profile or not within the Q-Trust platform, Qredible is currently reporting on over 30,000 licensed industry entities in both Hemp/CBD and the legalized cannabis industry. As such, it is important for a company to claim its profile and complete its RTQ in order to gain control of its digital industry profile. 

Functionality and Features of the Q-Vault™

Using sophisticated technology, Qredible confirms the validity of a brand’s claims, licenses, certificates, permits, labels, registrations, and more. 

Once validated, lab reports and other documents are then stored in a blockchain-powered database that obstructs the ability to alter the document in any way, ensuring it cannot be tampered with. 

Key data and expiration dates associated with these critical documents and certifications are also tracked, allowing the system to send proactive notices and warnings when critical dates are nearing expiration. This includes dates on licenses, certifications, insurance policies, and  Certificates of Analysis and allows users to receive warnings when a predetermined time period has elapsed (i.e. 18 months). 

Protecting and Growing Your Business In Qredible®

At the same time as Qredible works to improve trust and transparency in legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp organizations, it also provides them with a variety of benefits that both protect and encourage the growth of their business.

Qredible protects businesses by actively monitoring their compliance with regulations. This prevents and limits potential fines, fees, and penalties associated with any violative messaging in products and marketing. Additionally, Qredible provides proactive monitoring of hundreds of data sources of not only brands but that of their suppliers to ensure that subscribers of Q-Trust are always aware and notified of critical events whether they are positive or negative. 

Q-Trust also helps businesses avoid FDA or FTC involvement and lawsuits which can lead to irreparable harm in the form of reputational damage and injunctions. These conflicts and disruptions result in more than just temporary losses in revenue. Investors will be less inclined to support a business with a poor reputation, especially if a company has a history of irresponsible business practices. 

Many businesses think they are doing or saying the right thing, but are surprised by unintended consequences caused by a rapidly changing regulatory environment, which could cost them their business. 

Not only does Qredible help businesses avoid these conflicts through advanced technology-driven active monitoring, but it also helps responsible and ethical businesses proactively manage their reputation and continue to build their brand in the industry. 

Once a business is in Qredible, it’s easier to promote growth through the advanced functionality and features only available to members. It also increases the value of products by cultivating a reputation synonymous with quality consumers can trust.

Qredible®: Increasing Trust in the Legalized Cannabis Industry

Qredible’s mission is, ultimately, to transform the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry from a place rife with fraudulence and misinformation to a symbiotic community based on mutual trust.

In Qredible, all parties can engage in safe commerce, enabling them to promote and distribute their products on their own e-commerce sites, a multitude of industry aggregation platforms, and the Qredible Q-Marketplace. The Q-Verified Seal and unique company QR code connote trust and transparency fostering confidence in the purchasing process.  

Prospective customers can pull out their phones to scan the QR-Code associated with the participating company which will provide a summary level report to potential buyers indicating the validation and verification of both the company and the products. 

When consumers support responsible businesses, the right companies succeed. The result: safer commerce through shared accountability and mutual respect. 

Qredible is the only digital registry that helps ethical suppliers differentiate themselves from competitors who make deceptive claims about their products. Get started today to be in Qredible.

Why Trust Regulation

In the legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD industry, professionals in every area of the supply chain have good reasons not to trust one another. Although there are requirements in place to prevent misleading or fraudulent claims in product messaging, there is a significant lack of adherence to regulatory measures and responsible business practices.

Qredible® is the only digital registry and network of verified and validated manufacturers, merchants, distributors, labs, banks, and ancillary businesses. But why should you trust us? 

Qredible’s mission is to provide an accessible digital registry and platform for increasing transparency in this rapidly evolving industry. Using advanced technologies that protect businesses and consumers, we aim to create an ecosystem based on mutual trust that allows businesses engaging in safe commerce to thrive. 

Still, the industry is beginning from a state of reactivity and distrust. It seems as though companies are caught both mistakenly and knowingly defying regulations on a daily basis. So, how can you be confident that Qredible is trustworthy?

This article will explore how Qredible was designed to address and resolve the concerns of various professionals in the legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD supply chain. Keep reading to learn why you should trust Qredible.

Qredible®: Supporting Trusted Organizations

To start, Qredible is not a regulatory body, certifying organization, or compliance enforcement initiative such as the U.S. Hemp AuthorityThe Food and Drug Administration or a USDA Organic accredited audit agent. 

Qredible is a digital registry and sophisticated support system that validates and verifies critical information about a company, its practices, and its products.

Qredible starts with the validation of critical industry license data and various quality certifications. For example, if a company claims that they have received a quality certification such as an ISO 9001 Certification or a quality designation from the U.S. Hemp Authority, Qredible validates and verifies this with the accredited source of truth. It provides a digital smart contract ID and locks it down in its blockchain registry. 

Qredible will also provide critical automated tools and data connections to key information sources to enable additional quality monitoring and research. This will enable full transparency and awareness of violative language in multiple forms of digital marketing. 

These tools include:

  • Automated compliance monitoring and proactive audits to identify potential violative language and false claims
  • Reminders about expiry and recertification dates
  • Reputation monitoring and management
  • Validated, immutable documentation including lab reports, certifications, registrations, and licenses
  • The ability to access curated news and industry-specific research, resources, and analytics

In this way, Qredible’s mission is to cultivate an industry that functions as a thriving ecosystem, where brands, manufacturers, companies, and consumers trust and respect one another, resulting in safer commerce for all. 

Certifying organizations, regulatory bodies, and compliance enforcement organizations are a critical part of that ecosystem. As such, Qredible works to increase trust in seals and certifications by preventing misleading or fraudulent claims.

Protect and Grow Your Business in Qredible® 

Qredible provides businesses in all areas of the supply chain with the support to overcome the unique challenges facing their sectors. Regardless of what role your business fills, Qredible has solutions designed for you.

Why Should Manufacturers and Distributors be in Qredible®?

There are many benefits for suppliers of legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD products who are in Qredible. 

The most urgent concern is the significant compliance and litigation risks that come as a result of the current state of the industry. Altered COAs, lab reports, and other documentation can inflict serious damage on a manufacturer or distributor. 

In Q-Trust™, members will gain access to a network of verified growers, nurseries, and handlers whose documentation has been verified and validated using advanced technology. The Q-Vault™ ensures all documentation is immutable, meaning suppliers no longer need to worry about altered COAs and lab reports.

In addition to more transparent sourcing processes, Qredible enables manufacturers and distributors to differentiate themselves. Because of the current lack of visibility in the industry, it is nearly impossible to prove and differentiate a product’s quality. In Q-Trust™, suppliers gain access to verification and validation services that set them apart from other companies and build consumer trust. 

Finally, Qredible offers suppliers unique opportunities to gain insight into what their customers are saying about them. This, along with Q-Trust™ market research features, allows them to unlock information about their reputation as well as insights into their audience demographic. 

As a result of being in Qredible, manufacturers and distributors are better equipped to develop successful marketing strategies, build professional relationships with industry partners they trust, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. This means reduced risk, improved reputation, increased visibility, and higher revenues.

Why Should Merchants be in Qredible®? 

Consumer trust is paramount in the digital age. These days, merchants must answer directly to consumers who are more informed than ever. As Qredible begins to establish increased transparency in the legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD industry, consumer demand will adjust to accommodate the availability of more trustworthy brands and products.

In order to provide consumers with the best experience possible, merchants must establish trust by ensuring the brands they stock are transparent about the quality of their products. Qredible provides merchants access to resources for verifying their manufacturers and distributors in order to provide their customers with a high-quality selection that will differentiate them from competitors.

In addition to maintaining a solid reputation among customers, merchants must also establish and maintain trust with financial institutions, including banks and insurance agencies. Financial institutions are required to follow strict compliance regulations and will pull away from a merchant who is involved in any potentially illegal or non-compliant operations, whether or not the noncompliance was intentional. Losing your merchant account suddenly or primary bank relationship is disruptive and could cause significant harm to a merchant’s business.

Through Q-Trust™ active monitoring, merchants will be notified of events that could have a negative impact on their business and brand, providing peace of mind and confidence in the level of trustworthiness of their suppliers and ancillary partners. 

The presence of companies in Qredible will establish more trust with customers, resulting in an improved reputation that will lead to increased sales and revenue.  

Why Should Labs be in Qredible®?

The falsification or doctoring of lab reports and COAs creates significant liability for labs involved in the testing of legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp products. In the case that a document is altered, the burden of proof will fall on them to demonstrate that they did not commit fraud. 

As a result of the lack of validation in the industry as it stands, there is a growing need for labs to prove the security and quality of their certifications.

The Q-Vault™ provides a blockchain-powered solution that renders all documents produced by a lab immutable and secure, eliminating the legal risk for the lab and anyone basing claims on information in lab documents.

A Q-Verified Lab in Qredible builds a reputation synonymous with transparency and excellence. Q-Verified Labs provide a direct source of data integration into the laboratory information systems (LIMS) to enable direct integrity of data comprising the certificates of analysis. As such, the quality of their documentation cannot be compromised, allowing them to differentiate from competitors and enjoy legal protection, risk management, and conflict mitigation.

Qredible®: Cultivating Trust in the Legalized Cannabis, Hemp, and CBD Industry

By providing benefits for businesses in all areas of the supply chain, Qredible is working to foster a symbiotic community and ecosystem of quality and credibility based on mutual trust. A place where merchants, distributors, retailers, financial institutions, labs, and consumers can all engage in safe commerce.

Qredible is the only digital registry of verified and validated legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD brands. Want to be in Qredible? Get started today.

Federal Cannabis Regulation

When the Canadian bill legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana was passed in October 2018, the industry was split into two—on one side, there were businesses that resisted regulatory requirements (at Qredible®, we call them the ‘rascals’ of the industry), while on the other side, there were businesses who embraced them. 

In the four years since, the results of each side’s decisions have been clear: those who embraced and complied with regulatory requirements saw a dramatic increase in revenue leading to more jobs and a booming industry. 

The ‘rascals’ who resisted, however, did not fare well. Communities in cities all over the country watched many of these formerly established, successful companies close their doors.

In the U.S., the regulatory landscape of the legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry is dizzying at best and turbulent at worst. Overall, the government is moving in the direction of federal legalization, with an increase in regulation posing a unique, bilateral moment for businesses currently operating in the space.

On one hand, rapidly-evolving regulations pose a threat to businesses that either willingly or mistakenly fail to keep up with the changing requirements. On the other, businesses that heed the government’s push for increased regulation have the opportunity to widen the gap between themselves and their competitors.

In this article, we will discuss the impact of federal regulation on the Canadian cannabis industry in order to understand the importance of keeping up with regulatory changes, and how Qredible is here to help legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp businesses do just that.

Cannabis Regulation in Canada

Prior to federal cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada, the country had permitted medical use of the drug since 2001. Businesses operated under the regulations set out in the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations and The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

Under these laws, dispensaries intended for the sale of medical cannabis were largely under-regulated—aside from the occasional police raid—and operated in a similar way to many of the current U.S.-based cannabis, CBD, and hemp businesses.   

Cannabis became federally regulated on October 17th, 2018 under the Cannabis Act. The impact of this regulatory change was felt by cannabis business owners, employees, investors, and consumers. 

A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada

Nearly two years before the legalization became law, a Government of Canada task force published A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis. This report outlined the concepts and plans businesses and policymakers would need to understand regarding federal, provincial, and municipal regulations. 

The report highlighted the goals of the bill, including minimizing the harm of cannabis use, establishing a safe supply chain, protecting the public, and improving medical access.

In section three of the report, titled Establishing a Safe and Responsible Supply Chain, the task force laid out recommendations for the production, distribution, and retail of cannabis. They note that “the Government’s principal interest should be to establish an efficient, accountable and transparent system for regulatory oversight of the supply chain, emphasizing the protection of health and safety and reducing diversion to the illicit market.”

Although cannabis had become federally legal, the conditions under which it could be grown, manufactured, and sold to the public became highly regulated. As such, many businesses either couldn’t or chose not to comply with the changing rules. 

Canadian Cannabis Companies Operating Unlicensed: Closures and Losses

In order to apply for a retail license for their medical cannabis company, all merchants were required to close their doors on or before October, 17th, 2018—the day The Cannabis Act came into effect. They would be allowed to reopen upon receiving the proper retail license.

However, a large number of merchants and retailers failed to meet this deadline, therefore rendering themselves unable to apply for the correct licensing. 

Although cannabis access had increased under the new regulations, a large number of previously successful businesses were forcibly shut down by law enforcement in the months that followed. The punishment for failing to keep up with the new laws was up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year in prison.

Canadian Cannabis Regulation: A Missed Opportunity

While businesses that failed to adhere to new regulations faced complicated legal trouble as well as catastrophic losses in revenue, not all businesses suffered as a result of the changes. 

In the year that followed, the new regulations resulted in an increase of more than 6,500 jobs in the cannabis industry. Licensed producers of cannabis in the country reported a revenue increase of 92% in 2018 and 52% in 2019.

The divide between companies that embraced regulatory changes and the rascals that resisted them demonstrates the importance of prioritizing licenses, registrations, and other safe commerce measures in order to successfully navigate this complex and volatile industry. 

Many compliant companies enjoyed the success that was promised as a result of legalization. The rascal businesses that resisted: they no longer exist.

Qredible®: Supporting Businesses in a Rapidly Evolving Landscape

In the U.S., it is estimated that over 428,000 people are employed full-time in the legalized cannabis industry. As the industry becomes increasingly legalized, that number could reach 1.75 million. The potential for revenue loss and closure poses a massive threat not only to individual business owners but also to entire communities and the economy as a whole. 

Qredible was created to support and protect businesses navigating this evolving regulatory landscape by improving access to valuable technological tools that mitigate risk and promote growth.

Rapidly shifting requirements pose massive challenges to businesses in all areas of the supply chain. Qredible was designed to help them avoid fees, fines, penalties, closures, revenue losses, legal conflicts, and reputational damage.

Proactive Regulatory Compliance with Qredible® 

Businesses in Qredible will have an easier time passing through regulatory requirements as they arise. Not only will they have a comprehensive picture of how their operation is performing with regard to compliance, but they will also be able to actively monitor their licenses, registrations, and certifications for compliance-related risks and concerns. This effectively limits the risk of legal action or repercussions as a result of an expired license or inapplicable registration. 

Using AI compliance monitoring, your team can electronically track and monitor marketing content and product labeling. You will be warned about violative language that could easily become a target for opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers and watchful regulatory agencies. 

Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence has enabled Qredible to create a virtual resource that saves businesses from expensive legal and compliance bills. 

I wonder: how many Canadian companies were forced to exit the business as a result of the rising cost of compliance? A recent survey found that over 86% of Canadian companies had at least one compliance violation in their online messaging, suggesting that many were unable to afford or simply did not prioritize compliance services that could have protected their business. 

Protecting Everyone in the Supply Chain

There are many benefits for merchants, suppliers, and other cannabis companies in Qredible. But, by supporting these businesses through changing regulations—and by encouraging proactive compliance—Qredible is also helping protect ancillary businesses.

These businesses include: 

  • Landlords
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Trucking and logistic companies
  • Venture capital and private equity companies

Landlords leasing space to dispensaries that fail to adhere to compliance standards could be subject to fines and fees and even lose their ability to operate their business. 

Other ancillary businesses such as financial institutions and transportation companies benefit from the ability to validate and verify their business partners’ compliance with regulations. Using Qredible, they can access the critical documentation they require. And because the platform is blockchain enforced, they can do so with confidence knowing the documentation can be trusted.

Ultimately, those who stand to lose the most from poor business practices are consumers. With the increasing presence of fentanyl across the country, the threat to public health is very real. Qredible is currently available to businesses, but will soon be accessible to consumers. 

The increased access to validated information will empower consumers to make better purchasing decisions. This will disincentivize corner-cutting in the industry and encourage businesses to engage in better practices, resulting in safer commerce for all. 

It is not the intent or mission of Qredible to tell consumers which company or brand to purchase from, but rather to provide a central digital repository to learn and research the brands that interest them. Similarly, CARFAX does not make judgments about which car to buy, but it provides important details on specific brands and vehicles. Consumers can then make informed decisions with that knowledge.

Making Compliance More Affordable

As it currently stands, the industry has quality control standards for legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD products. With medicinal CBD products especially, federal regulations are stringent. There are countless rules regarding what a company can or cannot say in its labels, marketing, and messaging. These are all very important to ensure that consumers are not misled. 

In the past, companies had to hire a high-priced attorney to manage, monitor, and address any disputes with regard to messaging and public reputation. With Qredible, much of this job can all be done automatically with artificial intelligence—at a fraction of the cost. 

One of the main reasons consumers continue to purchase black- and grey-market cannabis is the price. And it’s always cheaper to sell unlicensed… until you get caught. Qredible allows businesses to protect themselves from potential risk while raising the value of their product without sacrificing their competitive price point. 

Regulatory Advocacy for a Safer Industry

We believe in proactivity when it comes to compliance. Catching, diagnosing, and solving quality control issues before they lead to revenue loss, legal conflicts, and reputational harm. 

By doing this in advance of anticipated legislation, we help drive good quality regulatory framework through technology. Our plan is to work proactively with state and federal regulators—they have their hands full in a big and rapidly expanding industry. 

The FDA, for example, does not have the resources to maintain the same level of control as they do over pharmaceuticals. They and the industry at large need affordable tech solutions like Qredible to promote safe commerce and better practices. We are hyper-focused on ensuring that the industry becomes safer for all participants and to that end: knowledge is power!

The Future of the Legalized Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp Industry is in Qredible® 

Ultimately, Qredible is here to advocate for and support the success of the entire industry. We believe in protecting businesses with valuable technological tools. Our goal is to advocate for the industry’s best interest when it comes to important policies and regulatory decisions.

The future of Qredible is in building meaningful relationships with governments and regulatory bodies. That foundation of trust will streamline the introduction of new regulations that the industry desperately needs to thrive, without suffering the same losses as were seen in Canada.

When the rascals in Canada failed or refused to participate in the new changes impacting the industry, they paid a dire cost. They are no longer in operation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The years following federal regulation in Canada saw many positive growth trends that make me feel optimistic about the future of the industry in the U.S. as well. 

I believe that the future of the cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry will be in Qredible: trust, transparency, and support. Join us and you’ll see what I mean. 

Qredible is the only digital registry of verified and validated legalized cannabis, hemp, and CBD brands. Want to be in Qredible? Get started today.