Requirements for Selling Roots and Herbs Online
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Pamela Littlejohn
Posted on: May 16, 2001

My husband gathers roots and herbs, and after seeing all the sites on the internet we were thinking of making our own page. Could you tell me if you have to have a special permit to sell roots and herbs on line, or do you know where I can write to find this info?

At the moment in both Canada and the United States there is no special requirement for selling dried herbs. That you are thinking of selling online does not change that.

Both countries, however, are in various stages of formulating new regulations governing the sale of herbal medicines. When they are brought into effect in the respective countries they will impose licensing and other requirements that will affect your husband’s business. A key will be whether or not you are selling directly to consumers: that seems to be a special concern of regulators on both sides of the border today in 2001. Both countries intend to impose Good Manufacturing Practices rules on herbal medicines as well as product and site licensing.

It is too early to predict exactly how onerous the new regulations will be, and how vigorous enforcement will be. Our best guess is that there is still a 2-3 year window before any new regulations take effect.

For more information contact the Natural Health Products Directorate in Canada or the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

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