Amazon used to be flooded with capsule filling machines. One search could yield hundreds of products available. Past Amazon sales statistics show that over 5000 units a month were being sold!
So what happened?
The D.E.A. happened.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency finally cracked down on capsule filler regulations. For well over ten years, they’ve been requiring small businesses to log and submit sales records of capsule fillers, but they always ignored the big retailers like Walmart or Amazon. This was was a thorn in the side of small retailers, but most complied. When I was selling capsule fillers, I once had three D.E.A. agents show up at my home to make sure I was keeping records. It was quite intimidating, but luckily they were very nice guys.
Keeping these records was definitely an inconvenience for my business. It was time consuming, monotonous, and the worst part was that I felt like I was tattle-tailing on my customers. These people were buying bulk medicinal herbs and empty capsules so that they could save money and control what ingredients were in their supplements. Avoiding such things as fillers and possibly lead-contaminated supplements. This was none of the government’s business. The D.E.A. said that this was because someone could put MDNA or similar drugs in capsules, so the filling machines had to be regulated. Such nonsense if you ask me. If a drug dealer wants to fill capsules, they’re going to find a way.
Anyway, the record keeping process that is necessary to follow the D.E.A. requirements is beyond the scope of what any large retailer is capable of. It takes a personal touch to scan each order, log a serial number of an individual unit, and jot down the buyer’s name, address, phone number, and more. To avoid any legal problems, Amazon no longer allows the sale of these items.
Is there any good news?
Yes, now that there’s no longer a market saturation of cheap Chinese knockoffs, you can simply choose from a few good, time-tested capsule filling machines on the market. They’re available from small businesses who could really use the sales boost.
My absolute favorite capsule filler is the Capsule-It, available from Herb Affair. This is the one that the Chinese knockoffs were trying to copy. You can fill 100 capsules at a time and after a small learning curve, you can make them in about 10 minutes per batch, if you buy pre-separated capsules. That’s the secret to easy capsule filling with this particular unit. Currently, Herb Affair only sells separated capsules in size 00, but you can easily find them on Amazon in the other sizes.
You can rest assure that capsule filling machines are not gone from existence, just gone from the mega, impersonal warehouse retailers. At least now when you buy one, you can feel good that you’re helping small independent business succeed.
Thank you for the info. I was getting totally annoyed that i wasn’t using correct search terms. Though I can find the capsule filling machines on the European Amazon sites. So your explanation makes sense. Unlike the DEA.
You’re welcome, Jodi.
So I just bought one off Etsy(prob a cheap Chinese knockoff). Does that likely mean my name and address are registered with the DEA?
I’m making my own supplements, but should I be expecting a knock on my door at some point?
The DEA does not check up on individual purchasers, as far as they tell me. In my opinion, it is just bureaucratic paperwork to justify their existence. They have to look like they they’re doing something. The manufacturers of capsule fillers in the US have to disclose their customers, so anyone who is buying in bulk for resale, will be on the DEA’s radar, and they’ll have to submit their customer info as well. If your seller was someone just selling a few units, they might not be submitting the info at all and you don’t have to worry.
Thanks for the post!