The Cannabis Industry Standards Game Heats Up

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Medible review the cannabis industry standards game heats up

As the Green Rush goes, so goes the myriad of business services opportunities being pursued. One company, the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is doing so by creating standards that will hopefully have the federal government look upon your company favorably if your cannabis company adheres to their new standards system.

Last week, the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), a for profit venture led by CEO Joshua Laterman and President Andrew Kline, announced the “First-Ever Cannabis Industry Standard of Public Review, Addressing Packaging and Labeling” in a press release.

The new packaging and labeling standard addresses key public health and safety concerns, including:

  • Child-resistant packaging guidelines for all cannabis products
  • Consistent labeling that identifies the cannabis product’s origin, cultivator and processor
  • Inclusion of warning statements regarding health risks associated with cannabis consumption, such as advising consumers to not drive or operate heavy machinery while using the product, and that the intoxicating effects of the product may be delayed after consumption
  • Avoiding packaging and labeling that appeal to minors
  • Requirements and methods for listing all ingredients present in the product
  • Inclusion of major food allergen warnings and information on cannabis edibles based upon U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines
  • Guidelines on how to address health and medical claims for cannabis products

NACB, self-described as  “THE FIRST AND ONLY SELF-REGULATORY ORGANIZATION IN U.S. CANNABIS”, currently has a limited Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) membership of the 19 companies listed below but is also vetting applications from other licensees.

  • GTI
  • Dixie
  • Cresco
  • Aunt Zelda’s
  • Buds and Roses
  • Ebbu
  • eTain
  • ForwardGro
  • Franklin Bioscience
  • Local Product of CO
  • Love’s Onion
  • Matirx NV
  • Mesa Organics
  • Ajoya
  • Takoma Wellness Center
  • Nebu
  • Wonderleaf
  • Lovena
  • Green Farm

Although SRO memberships are currently free, NACB anticipates a future fee structure based on size of the organization. Concurrently last week, NACB announced that it would be offering a separate affiliate membership program and will begin vetting Ancillary Business membership applications in the near future.  In a posting on the NACB website, Kline wrote,

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“NACB Plans to Launch Blue Ribbon Affiliate Program for Ancillary Businesses

At the heart of the NACB’s mission is helping licensed cannabis businesses communicate that they operate ethically, responsibly and with integrity. Since our launch last year, hundreds of products and services companies that wish to work with our members and the greater cannabis community have contacted the NACB hoping for similar support. At the same time, our members have said that when it comes to identifying consultants, building supply manufacturers, payment systems, real estate firms, marketing agencies and other partners, they simply don’t know who to trust.

That’s why we are creating the NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliate Program. Products and services companies who are recognized as Blue Ribbon Affiliates will have been rigorously vetted by the NACB for ethics, integrity and fair trade practices, and join an exclusive group of businesses that are accepted by – and promoted to – the cannabis community as trustworthy partners.

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Any product or services company interested in selling to NACB Members and other licensed cannabis businesses in the U.S. can apply to become a Blue Ribbon Affiliate. Learn more here.”

The full NACB press release from last week can be seen below.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

PRESS RELEASE

NACB Releases First-Ever Cannabis Industry Standard for Public Review, Addressing Packaging and Labeling

NACB National Standards address the highest priorities of regulators With regard to public health and safety

DENVER and WASHINGTON, DC (January 24, 2018) – The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the first and only self-regulatory organization (SRO) for U.S. licensed cannabis businesses, has published for comment the NACB Packaging and Labeling National Standard. This is the first of many NACB industry standards to be created and adopted by the SRO’s members. The Packaging and Labeling National Standard, like other NACB standards to come, is designed to help NACB members protect consumers and demonstrate to regulators, financial institutions and the public that NACB members operate at the highest levels of ethics and responsibility. The NACB Standard is available for public review and comment on the NACB website at www.NACB.com today until February 21, 2018.

“The NACB believes that self-regulation is the most effective course of action for our members to control their own destiny in the face of regulators’ growing need to intervene,” said Andrew Kline, President of the NACB and a former federal prosecutor. “The creation and adoption of national, voluntary standards that are aligned with regulators’ priorities takes input from government, NACB members, and subject matter experts into careful consideration. Through this process, the SRO identified product packaging and labeling as our first priority because it impacts so many issues related to health and safety.”

The new packaging and labeling standard addresses key public health and safety concerns, including:

  • Child-resistant packaging guidelines for all cannabis products
  • Consistent labeling that identifies the cannabis product’s origin, cultivator and processor
  • Inclusion of warning statements regarding health risks associated with cannabis consumption, such as advising consumers to not drive or operate heavy machinery while using the product, and that the intoxicating effects of the product may be delayed after consumption
  • Avoiding packaging and labeling that appeal to minors
  • Requirements and methods for listing all ingredients present in the product
  • Inclusion of major food allergen warnings and information on cannabis edibles based upon U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines
  • Guidelines on how to address health and medical claims for cannabis products

“Consumer education and awareness regarding the effects of cannabis products is a key concern for everyone working in the industry,” said Pete Kadens, Co-Founder and CEO of NACB founding member Green Thumb Industries (GTI). “It’s important that all cannabis consumers are made fully aware of what they are purchasing and consuming. Following these product labeling standards will ensure that marijuana products are used safely, are secured in packaging not accessible to anyone under the age of 21, and that consumers have all the information about the product they require.”

NACB National Standard Review Period

The NACB Packaging and Labeling National Standard will be posted online at NACB.com for a four-week period – until February 21 – during which anyone can offer their comment. Every comment will be reviewed and considered, and may result in a revision of the standard. Following the review period, a new draft of the standard will be circulated to NACB members for a final vote to approve and adopt it.

For more information on the NACB and to review the proposed NACB Packaging and Labeling National Standard, visit www.NACB.com.

Compliance with the NACB National Standard

Non-compliance with the NACB Packaging and Labeling National Standard, as with all NACB standards, can result in expulsion from the NACB or other consequences.

To help aid members in complying with the requirements of state governments and the NACB’s National Standards, the NACB expects to launch a technology solution exclusively for members in 2018. The technology platform is also expected to help members meet the rigorous due diligence required by financial institutions and business partners, by creating an auditable ledger of compliance and financial records.

About the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is the first and only self-regulatory organization for U.S. cannabis, with a mission is to support the compliance, transparency and growth of legal cannabis businesses. Led by a team of government, legal, banking and data security experts, the NACB helps member businesses establish voluntary national standards that demonstrate unerring business and compliance practices to consumers, regulators and financial institutions. The NACB also provides members access to expertise, tools and services that are intended to help them enhance the value of their business and navigate the complex web of constantly shifting regulations they face every day. The NACB is a division of First American Holdings, a technology and business services company. For more information, visit www.NACB.com.

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