Association Hopes to Standardize Cannabis QA/QC Practices Across Canada and Around the World – LPC
Cannabis QA/QC (quality assurance and quality control) is just as important as any food or drug for health and safety. In fact is more complicated since cannabis falls into both categories. There are further challenges to maintaining consistency with THC potency levels and other characteristics because it’s a plant. This is particularly important with cannabis edibles.Yet many might be surprised to know that cannabis QA/QC is not standardized across the industry.
But that might be about to change. At the end of the C-45 Quality Summit in Winnipeg last April, some delegates announced the launch of the C-45 Quality Association. This new professional association is “focused on education, community building and advocacy”. Its core purpose is to create cannabis QA/QC standards across Canada and perhaps around the world.
Tom Ulanowski, president of Coquitlam, B.C.-based Nextleaf Labs, sees the association’s potential.
“The point of this organization is for all of us on those front lines to come together and go, ‘Yeah there’s many ways to do things, but what’s the best way?'” he said.
That’s important because cannabis QA/QC is “the foundation of this industry,” Ulanowski said. “No product gets sold without our signatures.”
It’s also important for compliance purposes. Health Canada has regulations for minimum standards, but it doesn’t provide instructions on how to reach those standards. Ulanowski said that leads to producers and processors developing their own cannabis QA/QC practices. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but historically industry-wide standards tend to be more effective.
“At every step along the process, we need to prove that what we’ve done adheres to the regulations,”
Benefits of Association Extend Beyond Quality Assurance – LPC
Jodi McDonald, president of Edmonton-based cannabis testing laboratory Keystone Labs, became the C-45 Quality Association’s secretary. She said that there will be tremendous value in everyone in the cannabis QA/QC community coming together with one voice.
“Right now there’s a huge backlog in communicating with Health Canada,” McDonald said. “Part of that is, we all have the same questions.”
“The idea is that as an association, we can communicate with Health Canada as a single voice,” she said.
More than 200 people attended the three-day C-45 Quality Summit conference in Winnipeg to discuss cannabis QA/QC. The name for both the summit and the professional association comes from Bill C-45, which became the Cannabis Act of 2018.