Q&A: Asterra Labs’ Cromer highlights commitment to safety
Formed by a group of pharmaceutical industry veterans in January of this year, CBD product manufacturer Asterra Labs was created to meet growing demand for CBD products. The Nashville, N.C.-based company also saw a relative lack of companies with the regulatory know-how to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines, and wanted to focus on creating high-quality products made from American-grown hemp. As it prepares for its latest round of product introductions, Melissa Cromer, Asterra Labs vice president of sales and marketing, spoke to Drug Store News about what the future holds for the company and the CBD category.
Drug Store News: Asterra’s executives have a long history in the pharmaceutical industry with developing products. How will that transfer over to the CBD industry?
Melissa Cromer: Yes, we collectively have over 100 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and are using that experience and expertise to bring quality, safe, effective cannabinoid products to market. We are actively formulating new dosage forms to include combination products with various cannabinoids. In addition, we understand the need and value of clinical data, so we were very excited to be participating in a safety study being conducted by ValidCare, a CRO. This national clinical trial will measure the potential liver effects in healthy adults ingesting either full/broad-spectrum hemp-derived CBD or CBD isolate, with over 1,000 participants.
DSN: You are unveiling a new line of CBD products. Tell us about these items. What makes them unique?
MC: Our first product launch was immediate-release and extended-release tablets with potencies varying between 25 mg and 100 mg, packaged in unit-dose packaging to provide a consistent dosage form that is convenient and easy to take. Our next launch, which is scheduled for this month, will include various topicals, tinctures and gummies. We will be launching several topicals, including body cream, muscle balm, cooling cream and eye cream.
In addition, we will offer peppermint tinctures, as well as a variety of gummies in 10-mg and 25-mg potencies, including sour gummies, sugar-free gummies and vegan gummies. Our products are manufactured according to FDA’s CGMP regulations and tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure that they are safe, quality products. We provide a QR code on each package so that the customer can obtain test data prior to purchasing our product to ensure safety and potency.
DSN: How do you plan to help retailers on sell-through to consumers in terms of in-store and marketing support?
MC: We provide point-of-sale materials to include trifold brochures, slim jim rack cards and several display options to include counter displays, floor displays and shelf displays. We also offer employee training to include videos, presentations, sales materials, either in person or remote, to meet the needs of our customers. Our industry veterans are also available to speak at sales conferences or trade shows to provide support.
DSN: What does the future look like for your Asterra Labs?
MC: The future of Asterra Labs is bright. We are going to continue to develop and formulate new products, participate in clinical trials, and partner with quality suppliers to bring pharma-grade alternative medicines to the market. We want to be recognized as a quality, reliable, safe supplier of effective cannabinoid products and alternative medicines. Because of the current lack of regulation, the quality and ingredients in products being marketed today are oftentimes untested, putting consumers at risk if they don’t do their research and choose a manufacturer who voluntarily follows regulations. Thus, the FDA can step in to ensure that consumers who want to use cannabinoid products can do so safely. We look forward to FDA regulation in this market to provide legitimacy and ensure only safe products are made available to consumers like our products at Asterra Labs.