As legalization rolls through Canada, parts of the United States, and other countries around the world, the cannabis industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. But when it comes to food safety, are you prepared? To help, we at Icicle Technologies Inc. are providing free HACCP plans to the industry.
Most people think of cannabis as a drug and subject to the same regulations as other pharmaceutical products. The reality is that as a plant that must be grown and harvested, cannabis has a lot more in common with food products than pharmaceutical ones (check out our article on the Top 4 Food Safety Hazards for the Cannabis Industry). Furthermore, the dried herb is only one form that the product takes in the market. The growing edibles industry now encompasses the usual suspects like brownies, but also new cannabis-infused wines, spirits, teas, chocolates, and more (check out this list of the 10 best edibles of 2017 to see how this sector is expanding). The application of food safety regulations to edibles is abundantly clear.
This means that when it comes to safety of cannabis products, cannabis producers looking to take part in the industry boom must create and implement food safety programs to ensure that their products meet industry standards of health and quality.
HACCP for the Cannabis Industry
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a systematic program to control biological, chemical, and physical hazards associated with the food production and distribution process. Across the globe, governments are requiring that food producers create and maintain a HACCP plan for their facilities. The cannabis industry should be no different in embracing this international safety standard.
We at Icicle Technologies Inc. believe that every company, regardless of size or sector, should be able to create and maintain a HACCP plan to secure public health. For that reason, we have created four sample, comprehensive HACCP plans for cannabis producers:
- Cannabis: for the grower
- Infused Coconut Oil: for low tech extraction, infusing, without the chemical solvent
- Cannabis Concentrate: distilling process involves extraction for pure THC.
- Cannabis Dispensaries: for distributors.
These plans can act as a starting point for a robust food safety program for the cannabis industry. But don’t be fooled into thinking that heaps of binders will bring your business into compliance with the best advantage. Innovative technology – in particular automation – is your friend when implementing food safety programs, especially with an eye toward traceability and other aspects of food safety.