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Medical Cannabis Certification at Emerald Cup

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: December 9, 2016

Patient Focused Certification

A project of Americans for Safe Access

Contact:  Jahan Marcu (215) 828-9183

Medical Cannabis Certification at Emerald Cup

Americans for Safe Access Attends Emerald Cup to Demonstrate and Discuss Patient Focused Certification for Medical Cannabis Products with ASA’s Chief Scientific Officer

What: PFC certification for Medical Cannabis, product label demo and panel discussion
Who: Jahan Marcu, Ph.D – Patient Focused Certification, Americans for Safe Access – Finely Hall Booth #8

Kristin Nevedal – Humboldt’s Finest, Patient Focused Certification – Little Cow Palace Booth# p53/54

When: Saturday December 10th

KRAFT STAGE – CULTIVATION

1:00-2:15pm – Certifying Your Farm: The Importance in 2017

FINLEY STAGE – SCIENCE AND COMPLIANCE

2:45-4:00pm – Terpenes: Creating the New Nomenclature for Cannabis

Where: Finley Hall Booth #8

Sonoma County Fairgrounds

1350 Bennett Valley Road

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

http://theemeraldcup.com/faqs

Why: As the medical cannabis industry develops, Patient Focused Certification (PFC) will be central to standardize dosage and meet applicable health and safety regulations. PFC is the only certification developed through the APHA standards and with state government contracts.

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Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, with  over 100,000 active members in 50 states . ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and caregivers.

Maine Medical Cannabis Business Achieves National Certification

Auburn, ME – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is pleased to announce that Remedy Compassion Centerimage002 of Auburn, Maine has been certified for cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of medical cannabis products under ASA’s Patient Focused Certification(PFC) program. PFC is a project of ASA, and the only nonprofit, third-party certification for the medical cannabis industry based on quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and theAmerican Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP).

The AHP Cannabis Monograph and the AHPA cannabis guidelines offer the most comprehensive regulatory and product safety guidance as well as Best Business Practices for the production of cannabis and cannabis products. Since the release of AHPA’s guidelines in 2012 and the Cannabis Monograph in 2013, components of these guidance documents have been included in several states’ regulations. Recently, ASA announced a joint collaboration with the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to expand the PFC program by offering a new accreditation program based on the requirements of both ISO/IEC 17025 and the PFC program.

“This tremendous achievement demonstrates Remedy Compassion Center’s commitment to producing and distributing cannabis medicines of the highest quality, purity, and safety for their patients”, said Kristin Nevedal, PFC Program Director. “Remedy Compassion Center has become a model for other cannabis operations and regulators in Maine,” added Nevedal.

Remedy Compassion Center is the first business to be awarded certification for Cultivation, Manufacturing, and Dispensing in the country and is the first New England medical cannabis operation to engage in the PFC program.  Maine’s overall product safety rating in ASA’s 2016 State of the States Report was an ‘F’, andRemedy Compassion Center has made great strides towards improving the state’s rating by implementing the best practices outlined under PFC certification and their commitment to producing high quality cannabis products.

“Going through the process of PFC certification has brought numerous benefits to our business and our patient consumers,” said Tim Smale, Owner and Director ofRemedy Compassion Center.  “The PFC program has helped us attain the highest levels of quality and consistency in our products, which has given caregivers and practitioners confidence in recommending cannabis therapies.  As a result, our business has increased by 40% over the past year.  The program has also saved us potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring we were prepared for regulatory inspections,” added Smale.

Remedy Compassion Center joins a growing list of PFC certified cannabis businesses since the program was officially launched in 2015, including Harvest of Tempe in Arizona, Sonoma Lab Works, Berkeley Patients Group, Humboldt Green Farms, Humboldt Hills Farms and Peace in Medicine in California, New Mexicann in New Mexico, and The Werc Shop and Dockside Co-op in Washington.

Further information:

Remedy Compassion Center

Patient Focused Certification

PFC Brochure

AHPA Guidelines

AHP Cannabis Monograph (Abridged version)

PFC/A2LA Press Release

PFC Certification Training Event – July 11-15

PFC and A2LA Partner to Develop the First Internationally-Recognized Cannabis Laboratory Accreditation Program

A2LA Photo OpManufacturers, dispensaries, caregivers and patients alike seek reassurances that the medicinal Cannabis products, materials or services they produce or purchase can be trusted to meet their own expectations, conform to prevailing purity requirements, and are truly safe to sell and consume. In practice, this means that the source Cannabis material is submitted to, and is tested by, a trusted, appropriately-accredited laboratory. Choosing a technically competent laboratory for such analyses serves to minimize potential risks inherent to producing, supplying and/or receiving essential, pharmacologically-active products. A laboratory’s technical competence is therefore crucial to the manufacturer, the dispensary, the cultivator and, most importantly, the patient.

Appropriate testing of Cannabis products and materials can be both expensive and time consuming, even if they are done correctly the first time. If initial processing or testing is carried out incorrectly, the costs and time involved in re‐testing can be even higher – as the product may have appeared to have failed to meet specifications or expectations. Accordingly, choosing a technically competent laboratory can serve to minimize chances of re‐testing or engaging costly recall plans. Choosing a competent laboratory can be difficult, as it involves finding an organization with the appropriate certifications and/or accreditation.

Development of a universal, internationally-recognized Cannabis-specific laboratory accreditation program – between ASA and American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) –will significantly advance both patient and public safety, globally, and will solidify PFC as a provider of a vital, accredited Cannabis certification program {Please insert link to Press Release}.  The program will combine the expertise and resources of the country’s largest accreditation body with the scientific rigor and knowledge base of the nation’s largest medical Cannabis advocacy group. Accredited and certified laboratories under this program will achieve the clarity of the principle of “tested once, accepted everywhere in the world.”

For more than a decade, ASA has worked with technical committees composed of global experts from industry, consumer associations, academia, clinical researchers, NGOs, and government – working to create true and reliable standards for Cannabis and the Cannabis industry. Over the last 10 years, ASA and PFC, with their partner groups, have published the Cannabis Best Practices with AHPA and the AHP Cannabis Monograph – standards that have been adopted in Cannabis-medicine regulations by 16 States thus far.

The ISO and PFC standards were developed for, and continue to be improved by, a consensus of prevailing scientific understanding, and will further ASA’s mission of ensuring safe access to Cannabis for research and therapeutic use.  Implementation of and compliance with the requirements of the PFC and A2LA program will effectively address those concerns associated with Cannabis health and human life, and will legitimize and streamline those laboratories tasked with serving the Cannabis community.

Implementation of a Cannabis-specific laboratory accreditation program –  based upon the requirements of both ISO/IEC 17025 and ASA’ s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Program – will result in far-reaching benefits for the myriad of laboratories tasked with Cannabis analysis. A few of the benefits are as follows:

  •   Confidence in meeting regulatory requirements
  •   Enhanced quality of processes and procedures
  •   Reduced errors, preventing re-testing of products
  •   Enhanced reliability and confidence in results
Increased technical competency of staff and personnel

  •   Increased client satisfaction
  •   Improved reputation and image of Cannabis testing labs
  •   International acceptance

Additionally, implementation of ISO/IEC 17025 Cannabis laboratory specific accreditation provides a system for continuous improvement of daily laboratory practices. The A2LA/PFC Cannabis laboratory accreditation program will be internationally recognized by ILAC, which means that the resulting analysis can be a “passport” when submitting results to contractors, governments, or manufacturers that require independently verified laboratories.

 

More information:

Press Release

Patient Focused Certification

A2LA Cannabis Accreditation Program

 

Patient Advocacy Group Partners with Internationally-Recognized Accreditation Body

Washington, DC – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) are excited to announce a collaboration to develop a cannabis specific laboratory accreditation program based upon the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and ASA’ s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Program.  This joint accreditation program will be recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) by virtue of A2LA’ s status as an ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) signatory for the accreditation of laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025. This accreditation program will offer the highest level of recognition and provide the most value to the laboratory and users of the products tested.

“A2LA is pleased to partner with ASA to offer a cannabis testing laboratory accreditation program to ISO/IEC 17025 that also includes the additional laboratory requirements from ASA’s Patient Focused Certification Program”, said Roger M. Brauninger, Biosafety Program Manager for A2LA.  “We believe that, by meeting these combined criteria, laboratories will be able to provide confidence to patients as well as regulators that their test results on these products are consistent, accurate, reliable and legally defensible.”

This program affirms laboratory operations are compliant with state and local regulations and helps cannabis testing laboratories adhere to the same standards followed by the laboratories used and inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as well as many other regulatory agencies.  This accreditation program comes at an opportune time when many states are requiring testing laboratories to meet ISO/IEC 17025 standards as well as state requirements.

“We are very excited to see the PFC program join the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation efforts to help fully establish a robust and reliable cannabis testing foundation”, said Jeffrey Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop, a PFC-certified cannabis testing laboratory.  “It is a great testament to ASA’s commitment to quality in their PFC program by partnering with a world-renowned accrediting body to set a new standard for cannabis testing labs.”

For patients, this means the highest level of product safety is being ensured by adherence to an internationally-recognized program based on existing standards and best practices.  These guidelines for cannabis operations were issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, an industry stakeholder panel, and have already been adopted by 16 states.

“This joint accreditation program builds on the solid foundation of the PFC certification standards and will provide assurance that all regulatory requirements are being met by the laboratory, and that 3rd party inspectors, auditors, and assessors are receiving proper training”, added Kristin Nevedal, ASA’s PFC Program Director.

The two non-profit organizations will offer their first joint training course at A2LA’s headquarters in Maryland on July 11-15th.  During this course, participants will receive training on PFC’s national standards for cultivating, manufacturing, dispensing, and laboratory testing of cannabis and cannabis products, combined with ISO/IEC 17025 training.

Further information:

State Officials and Experts Applaud New Report that Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nation-wide

(Washington, D.C.) – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” today. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative and regulatory proposals in 2016, this  groundbreaking report will provide state lawmakers with timely tools they need to improve their medical cannabis programs to truly meet the needs of the patients they are meant to serve.

Eighty-one percent  of Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana according to a May 7, 2015, Harris Poll.  This broad support has led to unprecedented progress in state medical marijuana programs in 2015.  Nineteen states introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the year. In addition, many of the twenty three states with current medical marijuana laws passed legislation to expand or improve their programs in 2015, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Other states, like Nevada and Vermont, expanded and improved their programs through new regulations.