Americans for Safe Access Becomes First and Only Accredited Cannabis Standard Setting Body

ASA’s Product Safety Certification Program, PFC, Internationally Recognized

Washington, DC —  American’s for Safe Access has achieved accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (Certificate #5284.01) standard for certifying bodies through their PFC Program. PFC is the first and only compliance program to obtain this international accreditation in the cannabis and hemp industries. This accreditation signifies that American for Safe Access’ PFC product safety program operates in a competent, consistent and impartial manner, giving clients and consumers the confidence and trust that is established by an impartial third party.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental organization that develops voluntary, market relevant standards that ensure the safety and quality of systems, products, and services. ASA’s accreditation was obtained from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). ISO/IEC 17065:2012 is a conformity assessment standard that was developed to create comfort for governments that need to shift oversight responsibilities (i.e. businesses that must adhere to the requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration) to third parties through certifications. 

ASA’s PFC Certification Program certifies cannabis and hemp businesses to the PFC Standard in the areas of Cultivation and Processing; Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling and Holding; Distribution and Dispensary; and Laboratory Operations. The PFC Standard was developed based upon the AHPA Recommendations for Regulators and AHP Cannabis monograph and was created to provide a consistent standard to cannabis and hemp cultivation and production and give consumers a recognizable brand signifying a thorough quality review of the product and processes to create that product. 

“This is an exciting day for patients and medical professionals utilizing cannabis therapeutics,” said Steph Sherer, ASA president and founder. “Since 2014, ASA’s third party certification, PFC, has taken the guesswork out of finding safe cannabis products for patients. And now, ASA’s ISO 17065 accreditation takes the guesswork out of certification programs for businesses and governments; there is only one internationally recognized program, and that's PFC”.

“This is very exciting news for Americans for Safe Access and an important achievement for the medical cannabis industry,” said Jonathan Fuhrman, program manager at A2LA. “ISO/IEC 17065 and product certification can play a decisive role in the evolution of cannabis as medicine.  With its high standards for competence and impartiality, adopting ISO/IEC 17065 represents a major win for healthcare providers and patients.”  

“Companies seeking the PFC Certification can now be assured that our assessments and audits are carried out by an organization that has been vetted by an internationally recognized accreditation body,“ said Heather Despres, director of the PFC Program. “We’re excited to be the first cannabis compliance company to achieve this accreditation, and we look forward to assisting companies with their compliance needs and ensuring that patients and consumers have access to safe, high-quality cannabis.”

"ISO accreditation has been instrumental ensuring consistency across the country as cannabis testing regulations continue to evolve.  While we continue to work towards testing standardization, ISO serves as an anchor for consumers providing a sense of quality, safety and efficiency." said Lori Dodson, deputy director, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

For more information on ISO 17065 and what this means for companies, industry, and regulators, please read our blog

ASA’s certificate in the A2LA Directory can be found here.