The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (“GACC”) is developing a legal and safe cannabis industry certification standard, GACC Certified™. “Safe” means a safe product and safe and responsible medical and adult use. Though cannabis is currently legal or medical use in 33 states, and for adult use in 10 states, not every state has standards and testing protocols to ensure that legally grown cannabis does not present unwarranted health, safety or environment risks due to contamination. Currently there is a patchwork of state regulations that both set standards and require that cannabis be tested.
GACC is currently accepting nominations for its Cannabis Safety Standards Committee (GACC Cannabis Standards and Testing Committee, or “GACCAST”) which will establish a set of Standards for a wide variety of adulterating substances and identify the levels of those substances that may not be exceeded in cannabis products. The Committee will further develop consensus testing methodologies to detect the presence of these substances.
The goal of the GACCAST to reach consensus on such Standards and have them accepted as industry wide consensus standards. In doing so it can help ensure that users of cannabis in any state where it is legal, are not being exposed to contaminated or adulterated product, even if the particular state does not have its own standards. The Committee intends that the most stringent standards adopted in any state be incorporated into the industry standards. The GACCAST committee will use procedures similar to those used by other industry standard setting organizations.
Those companies that utilize the Standards developed by the Committee will be able to certify that their product meets the GACC Industry Cannabis Safety Standards. All current GACC members that produce cannabis products have pledged to adopt and implement the GACC Certified™ Standard for their products by the Summer 2020.
Committee nominations close on April 30th, 2020.
In order to ensure industry-wide access to GACC-Certified™ labels, GACC has created a new member class, Standard Membership, that pay only nominal dues ($1.00 USD per annum) for access to labeling and that GACC Laboratory Testing Network.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the GACC Certified™ standard-setting process work?
Like other industry standard setting organizations, the GACC Cannabis Standards and Testing Committee (“GACCAST”) will feature:
- A Standards Committee made up of between 20 and 45 qualified professionals from industry, the public sector, medicine, and consumer safety, and scientific and other relevant disciplines. Service on the Standards Committee will be voluntary, and the committee will be balanced with a mission of achieving consensus.
- A transparent process for setting standards and testing protocols.
- The Standards setting process includes:
- Public comment opportunities;
- Identifying parameters for safety, and how those parameters should be measured. It is expected that the starting point will be current strict standards imposed in California, as well as those currently in use in other states.
- Testing protocols that meet sound scientific methodology including the use of labs that are certified by the International Standards Organization, likely under ISO/IEC 17025.
- A network of reliable testing organizations in states where cannabis is legal.
- Periodic review of standards and testing methodologies to ensure they remain current and appropriate.
How can companies participate?
The GACC Certified™ Program is open to any state-licensed cannabis business. Businesses can obtain GACC Standard Membership for the token fee of $1.00 a year, granting access to the program. Under the program, a cannabis business can use the GACC Certified™ label to indicate a product meets the rigorous standards using proper testing protocols adopted by GACC. Products that meet GACC Certified™ protocols may be labeled as such, demonstrating to consumers that the product is “blue leaf” safe.
Are there any other requirements?
The GACC program includes an effective anti-counterfeiting system to ensure that any product that claims to be GACC certified is genuine. GACC members receive a substantial discount on anti-counterfeiting, instant product recall solo*CODE™ technology. It is not required that a participating member in the program use solo*CODE™ technology specifically, but an effective system is essential for sellers to be confident that their products are genuine and safe.
Who can serve on the Standards Committee?
The Standards Committee will be comprised of qualified stakeholders from industry, the public sector, medicine, and scientific and other appropriate disciplines serving 2-year terms. Nominations are open to the public. The Committee will aim for a composition of at least:
- 4 Hard sciences professionals (medicine, biology, etc.)
- 1 Former FDA/HHS official
- 1 Former EPA official
- 1 Former USDA official
- 6 Cannabis industry representatives
- 1 Former OSHA/work place toxicologist
- 3 Former state cannabis officials from legal states
- 3 Laboratory professionals