Consulting and Auditing Services

Third-Party Verification, HACCP Plans and Consulting for New Industry Regulations

Two years ago, the United States government legalized the production and processing of industrial hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill. For the first time in over 80 years farmers nationwide* were able to grow and sell hemp. While the limitations inherent in that bill don’t allow for its use as a food ingredient or dietary supplement, its production for fiber, seed, and CBD has fueled massive interest and expansive growth of this amazing plant. In a relatively short period of time, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors up and down the supply chain have been pushing field production and processing capabilities to higher heights (no pun intended!). Just to be clear, industrial hemp has an allowable THC level of <0.3%; anything higher is illegal at the federal level. Though there has been much change since 2018 (some of it ongoing) and still no small amount of uncertainty about where the final FDA rulings regarding food and dietary supplement use, banking, and other critical issues will land, the industry forges on.

Apple Leaf has over a decade working with farmers and processors on a wide-range of food safety issues in many agricultural and food industries. The leap to hemp is relatively short and so we’ve been increasingly involved in the evolution of the industry, helping farmers and processors alike meet regulatory and market demands, primarily by working with growers and processors to assist them with their GAP and GMP programs. As well as being industry consultants, Apple Leaf has a solid team of active auditors conducting independent third-party audits to help ensure supply chain reliability and regulatory compliance.

2019 had a wide range of new issues that shed light on the many opportunities and hurdles that will surely face the industry again in 2020. Among these are rapidly increasing field production in the face of limited production technology and information, bottlenecks in processing and lab testing, and marketing and labeling issues.

Today, Apple Leaf LLC is here to help you with:

  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program development that ensures not only regulatory compliance but helps your business create a solid sustainably-oriented production program. Fertility, water use, weed control, insect and disease management, strain selection, and harvest technology are just a few of the issues we’re here to help with.
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) program development to ensure not only regulatory compliance but quality assurance and continual improvement through effective post-harvest handling and processing protocols.
  • Third-party Auditing services. Many processors require third-party GAP audits so they and their customers have a high level of quality assurance. In some states, like NY, regulatory agencies require GMP audits in order to manufacture and sell hemp based CBD products. Whether you need a third-party GAP audit to satisfy processor and handling requirements or a GMP audit to satisfy regulatory and marketing requirements, we’re here to assist.

For more information, please contact Apple Leaf at:

East Coast – Mike Biltonen – 845-674-5124 – mike@usappleleaf.com

West Coast – Rob Koch – 845-853-3020 – appleleaf2@gmail.com



*Industrial hemp is legal at the federal level (THC <0.3%), but is regulated differently by each state. Check with your local and state authorities to determine how you can legally grow or process industrial hemp. As well, the FDA is still sorting out their own regulations that could change the 2020 production landscape. Apple Leaf is staying on top of all these issues, so stay tuned.