The Hemp Trades Association UK Limited, officially adopted the trading name of the Cannabis Trades Association UK at the first AGM in May 2017. Attended by the Members at the time, the Directors were appointed and although at the time the CTA had already been formed several months, it gave us the right and capability to legally use either name as required.
From day one, the CTA was set up to be a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. This means that every member holds a share and therefore has a say in what we do and how we do it. It also means that no member or director benefits financially from the financial capability of the Association. All our surpluses are turned into useful things for the Association such as Conferences, Trade Events and of course travelling representing our Members throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Indeed, as the ONLY non-profit company in the sector and the largest in the world we ensure our membership is represented fully in Europe, ensuring our Members are not victims to the legal challenges our industry sometimes throws up.
We have earned our seat in Europe and have now travelled many times to represent our Membership in front of the EFSA and UN. Of course. We also work with the UK authorities closely and are fully recognised stakeholders with the MHRA, NICE, DoH, FSA and the various Trading Standards Offices around the country. We also deal with many veterinary bodies throughout Europe including the VMD in the UK.
We also have relationships with many EU states and independent states, such as The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Poland, Austria, Lithuania Ireland and the Isle of Man.
As of January 2018, we represent around 700 members (and growing) and around 2000 sellers from 12 EU states, America and Canada making us the largest body of its kind anywhere in the world. We employ 8 team members and 3 external contractors to keep things up and running. The CTA isn’t a part time hobby or a home business, it’s a full time operation staffed by a dedicated knowledgeable team who work for our membership and the public, to ensure cannabis products are available for all, marketed correctly, safely and honestly.
CTA UK is committed to changing Cannabis perception from “weed” to a raw material that can help transform the UK economy. Cannabis has many uses that are only just starting to be developed.
CTA UK wants to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs & researchers to look at cannabis in a new light. The more we understand Cannabis the more uses we find.
The potential of Cannabis is one of the most misunderstood secrets of the modern world. We should learn from the past where cannabis was a stalwart of economies around the globe
CTA UK works with members and Government to create Standards and a Certification & Registration system to ensure all cannabis industries are legitimate and producing the highest quality products.
Of course, our work has not stopped - we are active on many fronts - one of which is now forming CTA's through all member states of Europe. The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Lithuania and Poland are all due to come online in the next few months. The CTA Europe has already been formed to make this a reality and even companies in the US and Canada are talking to us about the American and Canadian CTA. Our systems and processes are so far in advance of any associations already in existence that it simply makes commercial sense to all agree that the CTA is the dominant force going forward, worldwide.
We have often been criticised for not having a more "hempy" view, this we took on board early on. We had someone very much in mind to fulfil this role. However as often happens politics played a part and we've been working hard in the background working with HempTank (the EU's authorised think tank for all things hemp), to ensure that growers across Europe have a reason and benefits to join us as the largest group of hemp businesses in the world.
"To be recognised and acknowledged by the trade, the public and Government as the only association in the sector with the expertise and knowledge to ensure the safety of each and every Member product".
The CTA's seal of approval is earned, never given, we are the only association testing, vetting, and checking each and every member and their products to ensure safety, legality and of course to ensure products are marketed correctly and compliantly.
Remembering the words of the MHRA back at our meeting on November the 2nd 2016..."if the industry does not work together to ensure the standards and advice is consistent and above all legal, there will not be an industry". Something we've taken very much to heart.