Patient Advocacy Group Partners with Internationally-Recognized Accreditation Body
May 31, 2016 | Melissa Wilcox
Washington, DC – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) are excited to announce a collaboration to develop a cannabis specific laboratory accreditation program based upon the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and ASA’ s Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Program. This joint accreditation program will be recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) by virtue of A2LA’ s status as an ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) signatory for the accreditation of laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025. This accreditation program will offer the highest level of recognition and provide the most value to the laboratory and users of the products tested.
“A2LA is pleased to partner with ASA to offer a cannabis testing laboratory accreditation program to ISO/IEC 17025 that also includes the additional laboratory requirements from ASA’s Patient Focused Certification Program”, said Roger M. Brauninger, Biosafety Program Manager for A2LA. “We believe that, by meeting these combined criteria, laboratories will be able to provide confidence to patients as well as regulators that their test results on these products are consistent, accurate, reliable and legally defensible.”
This program affirms laboratory operations are compliant with state and local regulations and helps cannabis testing laboratories adhere to the same standards followed by the laboratories used and inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as well as many other regulatory agencies. This accreditation program comes at an opportune time when many states are requiring testing laboratories to meet ISO/IEC 17025 standards as well as state requirements.
“We are very excited to see the PFC program join the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation efforts to help fully establish a robust and reliable cannabis testing foundation”, said Jeffrey Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop, a PFC-certified cannabis testing laboratory. “It is a great testament to ASA’s commitment to quality in their PFC program by partnering with a world-renowned accrediting body to set a new standard for cannabis testing labs.”For patients, this means the highest level of product safety is being ensured by adherence to an internationally-recognized program based on existing standards and best practices. These guidelines for cannabis operations were issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, an industry stakeholder panel, and have already been adopted by 16 states.
“This joint accreditation program builds on the solid foundation of the PFC certification standards and will provide assurance that all regulatory requirements are being met by the laboratory, and that 3rd party inspectors, auditors, and assessors are receiving proper training”, added Kristin Nevedal, ASA’s PFC Program Director.
The two non-profit organizations will offer their first joint training course at A2LA’s headquarters in Maryland on July 11-15th. During this course, participants will receive training on PFC’s national standards for cultivating, manufacturing, dispensing, and laboratory testing of cannabis and cannabis products, combined with ISO/IEC 17025 training.