Certified organic labeling program arrives for cannabis in 2020

Do you know what's in your grass? #WhatsInMyWeed

Do you know what's in your grass? For the majority of cannabis users, the answer is an unequivocal statement from dispensaries, growers or manufacturers of by-products (i.e. edibles, topicals and tinctures).

2020 cannabis sustainability symposia

The #WIMW campaign highlights the link between organic food and cannabis. By reminding customers that they insist on organic, fair trade, cage free, grass fed and more about what they eat, we urge them to demand the same transparency and quality of their cannabis.

The Cannabis Certification Board (CCC) asked the same question during its first launch campaign. A cornerstone and a continuous message for the non-profit association, #WhatsInMyWeed, aims to bring out more clearly the link between organic foods, fine foods and cannabis. It is still a necessary reminder that buyers give priority to the purchase of only organic, fair trade, cage-free and grass-fed products (the list goes on ...) at the grocery store, while Concerning cannabis, there is much less concern with the transparency and quality of what people inhale and ingest.

In December, during MJBizCon annual in Las Vegas, the Denver-based standards body quietly announced an industry-wide cannabis certification program. This extensive labeling system, which lasts for years, will apply a CCC “Organically Grown” sticker on eligible products in addition to all the labeling of cannabis already required by law, which varies by state.

The CAC launched the projet last month and estimates that the development of the standard will take at least six months and that it will require a period of public consultation, mandatory for all high-level certifications. The standard will have different labels for indoor, greenhouse and outdoor hemp and marijuana production, as well as for cannabis by-products. Once the standard is in place, candidates for the “Organically Grown” certification will have to go through a month-long process that includes multiple inspections to obtain certification.

“The bulk of the problem the industry has faced lies in false organic claims,” said Amy Andrle, co-owner of L'Eagle, a Denver-based marijuana business and a founding board member of the CCC. "Certification will help to clarify the market and inform consumers about what they are buying. And since this is the first cannabis label that everyone, growers, consumers, owners, can clearly understand, a premium can be applied to products certified on the legal market ”.

Before being known as the CCC, the organization was designed in 2015 as theOrganic Cannabis Association by its co-founder and current chairman of the board, Ben Gelt. Realizing the synergy between its mission and that of the Portland-based Ethical Cannabis Alliance, the two organizations merged in 2018 to formally form the CCC in order to concretize their master plan.

“Growing clean cannabis has been a practice we have been practicing for years, but converting that knowledge into a political standard is the best way to protect public health and educate consumers across the country, Honestly, a standard organic is a natural progression for the cannabis industry and sustainable production ”.

In comparison, “USDA Organic”, the best known label applied to food and other agricultural products - considers hemp under its certification umbrella following the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp producers in the United States can now cultivate in certain regulated situations, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) confirming that organically managed hemp can be certified organic.

Gelt believes the growing recognition of hemp by the USDA will only help the CAC cause.

"We are excited about this news because any effort to promote transparency and increase consumer choice in cannabis is in line with our mission," said Gelt. The “Organically Grown” standard will stand up to scrutiny and help cannabis consumers make more informed choices about the products they buy. ”

The published scientific literature has already identified pesticide residues in cannabis smoke (flower). As concentrates and edibles are becoming more and more popular, it is important to understand the practices of pest control (use of pesticides) in all facets of the cultivation and production process.

“I look forward to seeing the biological standard prioritize integrated pest management and that the EPA and USDA (not just DEA) participate in studies on pyrolysis [breaking down large molecules into small molecules in the presence of heat] and the regulation of cannabis, ”adds Leslie McAhren, who worked as director of research and executive director at CG Corrigan for nine years and uses her role on CCC's cannabis sustainability working group . "This will allow us to better explore the effects on human health of pesticides used in the cultivation of cannabis."

This new certification was made possible by five founding sponsors, including L'Eagle, CG Corrigan and House of Cultivar. Organically Grown will complement existing clean cannabis certifications, including Sun + Earth, Envirocann, Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) and The Cannabis Conservancy (TCC), with ongoing fundraising initiatives.

Since its first annual conference in Denver in 2016, the CCC Cannabis Sustainability Symposium has continued to spread to other cities. Each event connects industry executives, advocates, scientists and thinkers to define a strategy for a sustainable future of cannabis while giving decision-makers the tools to implement immediate changes in their own activities.

Tags : AlimentaryBioHempconsumersLawpesticideUS