1994: Hemp Foods are pre-DSHEA, But Just Barely

In 1994 I introduced the first perishable hemp food, HempRella cheese alternative. We were at Booth #1 in the foyer entrance of the huge ExpoEast natural food trade show in Baltimore. Coming down the escalator to enter it, you couldn’t help but notice us and our hemp leaf signs, we were <right there>. The booth was swamped for most of the show, people were intrigued and loved the samples.

That a full-color full-page picture of me in Inc. magazine was on board most flights to Baltimore ensured many were stoked to see what I had up my sleeve next. They were not disappointed when they learned it was a cheese made from hemp, similar to my TofuRella, VeganRella, and AlmondRella.

But more importantly, dozens of regulators from FDA routinely attend it, based a short distance away in Washington DC.

A month later, FDA announced the DSHEA deadline, that foods marketed before that date were grandfathered in but new ones had to go through a regulatory process (either GRAS or NDI). Thus, hempseed foods just sneaked in under the deadline, ironic as hempseed has been food for thousands of years around the globe. 

While other hempseed foods existed out west, FDA didn’t likely know about them. HempRella was the first perishable hemp food, was imported from Canada by an established food marketing company with coast to coast distribution in mass market and natural food, and got rapid distribution in the US and Canada. It was even sold in the Travis AFB PX.

Read about that DSHEA cut-off here: https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/regulatory/dsheas-25th-anniversary-industry-vets-critics-respond

Our booth on the right, and the escalator on the left
Susie and Rus behind the booth
Page 68, Inc. magazine, September 1994

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