Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce Announces Nationwide "GACC Certified™" Testing and Purity Standards Program for Cannabis Products; Responds to Vape-Related Illness Outbreak

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Current laws make it impossible to assure the public that in every one of the 33 states where cannabis has been legalized…

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), a trade organization representing a major cross-section of the global cannabis industry, today announced the launch of a nationwide, voluntary industry certification standard for safety and purity in cannabis product testing. It is expected by the end of 2020 this program will be available to all state-licensed cannabis operations.  It gives licensed sellers and consumers confidence that the legal products that are approved under this program meet accepted safety and purity standards and are genuine. The standards and testing protocols are expected to meet or exceed the most stringent state standards currently in effect.

“Current laws make it impossible to assure the public that in every one of the 33 states where cannabis has been legalized, that there are uniform accepted standards for safety and purity even though consumers may well use legal product when in different states.  Until federal law is corrected this problem will continue to exist,” said Randal John Meyer, Executive Director at GACC.

“GACC wants to establish a means by which consumers can have confidence in the products they buy and to provide industry the tools to give this assurance. Members will have access to a coordinated national network of ISO certified laboratories that will use scientifically sound and accepted test methods to assure that cannabis meets the most appropriate safety and purity standards,” said GACC President Rezwan Khan. “By the end of next year, cannabis consumers will be able to look at a participating  product anywhere in the United States that it is legally sold, see our blue leaf, and know if it meets the rigorous standard of GACC Certified™ consumer safety testing.” 

GACC and each of its member companies believes that absent changes in federal law, it is incumbent on industry to establish consensus industry standards for safety and purity, and to create a serious and effective testing program.

Nominations for membership on the Standards Committee (terms are two years) will be open to the public beginning on Thursday, December 5, 2019, and closing on January 30, 2020.  The Board of GACC will determine the initial composition. Future members will include public nominations and will be determined by the GACCAST Standards Committee and reviewed by the GACC Board of Directors. It is expected that the GACCAST Standards Committee will take approximately nine months to establish the initial standards and protocols so that implementation can begin in 2020.

All current GACC members have pledged to support the development of this standards setting protocol and to adopt and implement it as well when it is effective.  This includes brands such as Raw Garden, DNA Genetics, Crockett Family Farms, Urbn Leaf, La Familia, and Team Elite Genetics, and all derivative cannabis products from DNA Genetics’ and Crockett Family Farms’ genetics.

To accommodate the entire legal cannabis industry’s access to this program, GACC will be creating a new, membership class, the Standard Membership, that will involve minimal costs for participation, and that will provides access to the GACC Certified™ Program. Interested companies may inquire through the GACC website here: https://globalcannabiscommerce.org/gacc-certifiedtm/. GACC is also planning to arrange for testing discounts for members who use the GACC network of laboratories.

GACC President Rezwan Khan added, “Our goal is to ensure this program isn’t cost-prohibitive for any cannabis companies of any size. Cannabis has needed a voluntary unifying force for safety certification for years to increase consumer confidence in its products. Well, here it is—with a number of major cannabis brands already pledging widespread adoption.”

GACC has previously partnered with solo Sciences to ensure that medical patients and adult consumers do not unwittingly purchase counterfeit or illicit vape products. Through the partnership, solo sciences will be offering GACC members a substantial discount on anti-counterfeiting, instant product recall solo*CODE™ technology. “The combination of the voluntary GACC Certified™ consumer safety standard, particularly when combined with members’ access to substantially discounted solo*CODE™ anticounterfeiting technology, allows GACC members to provide their consumers with the confidence they need that anywhere in the United States they legally purchase a participating cannabis product, our blue leaf means it’s safe and genuine,” said GACC Executive Director Randal John Meyer.

Enclosures:
Fact Sheet Regarding GACC Standards Committee

About The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC)
The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC) exists to provide policymakers and legislators with the guidance necessary to take the nascent cannabis industry from the grey market into a global provider of medical and adult-use cannabis products. GACC advocates in front of government policymakers and legislators in order to legalize and regulate the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, or use of medical and adult-use cannabis products globally. For more information contact Randal John Meyer, executivedirector@globalcannabiscommerce.org

GACC recently released “ground-breaking” model cannabis legislation, which would legalize cannabis in the United States with a comprehensive regulatory framework for safe access, justice reform, and respect for state laws. GACC is represented in Washington, D.C. by K&L Gates LLP.

Fact Sheet Regarding GACC Standards Committee

How does the GACC Certified™ standard-setting process work?

Like other industry standard setting organizations, the GACC Cannabis Standards and Testing Committee (“GACCAST”) will feature:

  • A Standards Committee made up of between 20 and 45 qualified professionals from industry, the public sector, medicine, and consumer safety, and scientific and other relevant disciplines. Service on the Standards Committee will be voluntary, and the committee will be balanced with a mission of achieving consensus.
  • A transparent process for setting standards and testing protocols.
  • The Standards setting process includes:
    • Public comment opportunities;
    • Identifying parameters for safety, and how those parameters should be measured. It is expected that the starting point will be current strict standards imposed in California, as well as those currently in use in other states. 
    • Testing protocols that meet sound scientific methodology including the use of labs that are certified by the International Standards Organization, likely under ISO/IEC 17025.
    • A network of reliable testing organizations in states where cannabis is legal.
    • Periodic review of standards and testing methodologies to ensure they remain current and appropriate.

How can companies participate?

The GACC Certified™ Program is open to any state-licensed cannabis business. Businesses can obtain GACC Standard Membership for the token fee of $1.00 a year, granting access to the program. Under the program, a cannabis business can use the GACC Certified™ label to indicate a product meets the rigorous standards using proper testing protocols adopted by GACC. Products that meet GACC Certified™ protocols may be labeled as such, demonstrating to consumers that the product is “blue leaf” safe.

Are there any other requirements?

The GACC program includes an effective anti-counterfeiting system to ensure that any product that claims to be GACC certified is genuine. GACC members receive a substantial discount on anti-counterfeiting, instant product recall solo*CODE™ technology. It is not required that a participating member in the program use solo*CODE™ technology specifically, but an effective system is essential for sellers to be confident that their products are genuine and safe.

Who can serve on the Standards Committee?

The Standards Committee will be comprised of qualified stakeholders from industry, the public sector, medicine, and scientific and other appropriate disciplines serving 2-year terms. Nominations are open to the public. The Committee will aim for a composition of at least:

  • 4 Hard sciences professionals (medicine, biology, etc.)
  • 1 Former FDA/HHS official
  • 1 Former EPA official
  • 1 Former USDA official
  • 6 Cannabis industry representatives
  • 1 Former OSHA/work place toxicologist
  • 3 Former state cannabis officials from legal states
  • 3 Laboratory professionals

SOURCE NEWSWIRE

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