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ASA in the News
By Cannabis Industry Journal Staff for Cannabis Industry Journal
Late last week, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) granted ISO/IEC 17065 accreditation to Americans for Safe Access (ASA). This is the first accreditation ever issued to a product certification body in the cannabis market.
ASA is a member-based organization founded in 2002 that seeks to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for medical purposes and research. Back in 2016, A2LA and ASA partnered on a collaboration to develop the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program.Read more
By Kevin Knodell for the Honolulu Civil Beat
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz reintroduced a bill on Friday that would allow doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in states that already have established medical marijuana programs.
The Senate bill, officially called the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, would create a temporary five-year window for veterans to use medical marijuana. It also would direct the VA to research how medical marijuana impacts veterans trying to manage chronic pain and if it could help reduce opioid abuse.Read more
By Jonathan D. Salant for NJ Cannabis Insider
Efforts by cannabis advocates are underway in Washington to try to convince the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to allow physicians at VA hospitals to recommend cannabis in states where the drug is legal.
A number of veterans have said that THC is a preferred alternative to opioids to treat pain, or to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD.
“Countless veterans suffer from severe post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and other major issues resulting from their service to our country,” said Debbie Churgai, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, the advocacy group leading the effort.
“These heroes should not be faced with another battle at home when trying to obtain medical cannabis, a medicine that is safer and less addictive than the more commonly prescribed opioids for their symptom relief.”Read more
By Jeff Smith for Marijuana Business Daily
A handful of states could pass significant medical marijuana reforms this year, providing for additional licensing opportunities and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for existing operators and ancillary services.Read more
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“There are states, particularly Colorado, that are going to begin requiring testing on vape pen vapors, looking specifically at heavy metals content. California also requires vape pen testing for Vitamin E acetate. My hope is that we will see a lot more testing and regulation of these products in the future.” - Heather Despres, PFC Program Director
By Elissa Esher for GreenState
“Currently, in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, many apartment complexes make residents sign agreements saying they will not consume it. That means medical cannabis patients do not have access to areas where they can consume their medication.” - Heather Desperes, PFC Program Director
By Andrew Ward for Benzinga
Drug policy advocacy groups face more of a challenge, according to MPP's Lindsey. MPP receives its funding from individual donors and cannabis brands.
The director said that reform efforts are victims of their success, where funding can dry up as the public assumes the fight is mostly over. A state ballot initiative costs millions of dollars and is a standard part of the process.
Contributions largely support ballot efforts, as well as lobbying and staff payroll.
Lindsey said the work continues after a law passes.
"If we 'legalize' but still put more or less the same people in jail for cannabis-related activity, we haven't really achieved our goal of ending prohibition," Lindsey said.
By Janeen Wright for Greenhouse Grower
It is also certified for cultivation under the Americans for Safe Access’ (ASA) Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program. PFC is a non-profit, third-party certification program for the medical cannabis industry that helps patients and healthcare providers identify reliable, high-quality medical cannabis, businesses, products, and services.