ASA Certifies 1st Cannabis Companies Under New Program

Americans for Safe Access has begun certifying cannabis businesses as part of a new program that seeks to verify the quality and reliability of medical marijuana on the market.

Two dispensaries – New MexiCann Natural Medicine in New Mexico and Harvest of Tempe in Arizona – as well as the Phoenix-based lab AZ Med Testing are the first businesses to qualify for the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program.

The program relies on quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia.

The review process for certification includes a physical audit of the business, a staff training audit, a complaint process and at least one surprise audit per year. Businesses that are awarded certification can exhibit the group’s seal in their marketing.

The certification is not a legally binding requirement for cannabis businesses.

It remains to be seen if this particular program – or any industry-wide certification program – can gain traction in such a fragmented industry.

Some businesses have balked at what they consider high costs to get certified under the ASA program. Certification fees run $5,000 a year on the low end to $20,000 annually on the high end, depending on the size of the operation and other factors.

But the program is off to a good start: The organization said that 16 additional businesses located in Arizona, Colorado, California, Maine, New Mexico and Washington as well as Washington DC will also soon receive PFC certification.

5 comments on “ASA Certifies 1st Cannabis Companies Under New Program
  1. Glenn Charles on

    Hate to break it to you, but they know they’ll have to pass it on to patients. If the price gets too high because of it, they lose customers and close shop or go underground. **I have no personal knowledge of underground business, but I’m positive one group here at least did just that. However, I’ll no longer do business with them since it isn’t legal.

    Reply
  2. James on

    This just adds another layer of bureaucracy, no one needs a “new” herbal standard. If ISO works for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, airlines, etc., then why would a weed smoking company need a new quality standard? It’s just a revenue generator for those trying to push it. I say provide good customer service and if you are required to comply with a QAS, go ISO.

    Reply
  3. David Caspino on

    I watched Asa support gangs cartels and some of the worst people in the industry. Now 20k will buy you an endorsement? Patients only want high quality and low prices, not the gouging they are getting from these 3 dispensaries. Remember that ounce of weed cost $63 to produce and Seles for $300 or more at these dispensaries.

    Reply
  4. Bud Master Bhurlbert on

    In Arizona, we are working in collaboration with AZ Med Test who just received their certification. This is a big move towards improving the quality standards for cannabis products in Arizona.

    As a patient myself, I’ve been burned by buying low- quality, (maybe even contaminated with pesticides) high-priced cannabis.

    Dispensaries at this point are only regulated by their own ethics and values. We have the list of the highest quality Dispensaries on http://www.strainboard.com.

    This will make it easier for patients to identify and retain a trusted dispensary where they can trust their meds are safe and of the highest quality.

    We don’t need new indoor cannabis farmer mistakes being sold on the market. Pesticides, e-coli, bugs, hair and other contaminants are not uncommon.

    Support dispensaries who not only test, but they have gigantic dense nice tasting and effective buds.

    Bud Master BHurlbert

    Reply
  5. clif Croan on

    Thank God. Legitimacy and standard operating costs to help with quality control are arriving in the medical cannabis field.

    Reply

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