Products intended for human consumption are subject to rigorous safety protocols & labeling requirements. These are defined by layers of regulations enforced by federal, state & local agencies. Unfortunately, while safety standards exist for cannabis & cannabinoid products, they vary greatly from state to state & several markets operate without any oversight.

Adverse events caused by contamination & label inaccuracies could be addressed through improved product safety protocols, regulations & proper oversight; until then, consumers should understand the implications for their safety in the various markets.

For over 20 years, Americans for Safe Access has been implementing strategies to meet the immediate needs of medical cannabis patients while building a movement to overcome political, social, economic & legal barriers for a national medical cannabis program. ASA’s work led to the creation of the medical cannabis market, initially as a way to remove patients & their providers from the battlefield of the war on drugs.

As ASA created a legal framework that moved cannabis production from home grows into commercial settings, product safety became a top priority in our advocacy. Working with global experts, ASA coordinated the creation of the first globally recognized product safety protocols for cultivating, processing, testing & distributing cannabis for human consumption to guide companies & governments in providing safe products to patients in this new arena.

In 2008, ASA brought together global experts, including the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) & the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), to create product safety recommendations for cannabis intended for human consumption.

PFC was born from this collaboration, turning recommendations into standards that are transparent, globally recognized & attainable for businesses throughout the cannabis supply chain. PFC Standards incorporate local laws & regulations while drawing from authoritative sources like AHPA's Recommendations for Regulators, AHP's Cannabis Monograph, federal regulations on dietary supplements, food safety, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) & Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

Product safety standards refer to a system of processes & procedures implemented throughout a supply chain to ensure that products are safe for their intended use, possess the composition, purity, & identity they claim & can be effectively recalled if safety is compromised. They can be mandated by state & federal regulations or can be adopted voluntarily through self-regulation.

Unfortunately, while safety standards exist for cannabis & cannabinoid products, they vary greatly from state to state & several markets operate without any oversight.