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Medical marijuana manufacturing guidelines issued by herbal medicine industry group

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

medical marijuanaThe American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) released its long-awaited medical marijuana manufacturing guidelines July 22, completing its compendium of industry standards which include regulatory recommendations for cannabis from seed to sale. The AHPA manufacturing guidelines come as licensed Colorado business At Home Baked sees the country's first medical marijuana product recall. A new nationwide program called Patient Focused Certification (PFC), a project of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), aims to bring greater standardization to the medical marijuana industry. The PFC program uses the recently completed AHPA guidelines in combination with standards set by American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) for the plant's identity, purity, quality and botanical properties. Together, these standards have the means to bring greater accountability to the industry and increased safety for patients.

"Although medical marijuana is one of the safest medicines used today, it's important for patients to have industry standards that ensure the highest product quality and reliability," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. "The AHPA guidelines issued today not only provide a blueprint for product recalls, like the one in Denver, but also establishes sound manufacturing procedures that will help avoid such recalls in the future."

The recent product recall of medical marijuana-infused edibles was announced by the Denver Department of Environmental Health on July 17 because of "possible contamination from unsanitary equipment" and "use of equipment not intended for food manufacturing." Although there have been no complaints or reports of sickness so far, the line of edible products has been recalled from the dozens of dispensaries across the state of Colorado where they are being sold.

Patient advocates have voiced concerns that while the recall procedure for the County of Denver appears adequate, numerous other counties in Colorado as well as many medical marijuana states do not have an agreed-upon protocol for ensuring product safety. While most medical marijuana states have adopted requirements for testing of products, it is a smaller subset of these states also require training of industry staff.

ASA has been offering trainings to the medical marijuana industry for over a decade and holds a permit from the District of Columbia for mandatory industry trainings. PFC industry trainings and certifications are developed in conjunction with the Cannabis Training Institute (CTI). The program certifies cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and laboratory technicians to ensure adherence to AHPA and AHP standards. Fifteen medical marijuana businesses have either achieved or initiated PFC certification in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, Washington, and the District of Columbia. (ASA, July 22)

Graphic: Herbal Remedies

 

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