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    State Officials and Experts Applaud New Report that Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nation-wide

    (Washington, D.C.) – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” today. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative and regulatory proposals in 2016, this  groundbreaking report will provide state lawmakers with timely tools they need to improve their medical cannabis programs to truly meet the needs of the patients they are meant to serve.

    Eighty-one percent  of Americans favor the legalization of medical marijuana according to a May 7, 2015, Harris Poll.  This broad support has led to unprecedented progress in state medical marijuana programs in 2015.  Nineteen states introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the year. In addition, many of the twenty three states with current medical marijuana laws passed legislation to expand or improve their programs in 2015, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, California, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Other states, like Nevada and Vermont, expanded and improved their programs through new regulations.

    PFC to Work with Regulators to Ensure Highest Level of Industry Compliance

    Baltimore, MD – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has been selected to provide training for compliance inspectors operating under the authority of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The auditors are charged with ensuring members of the state’s new medical cannabis industry comply with all applicable regulations, which were finalized by the Commission in August. 

    In addition to developing its own rigorous compliance protocols, Maryland has adopted the American Herbal Product Association’s (AHPA) Recommendations to Regulators in the areas of: cultivation, distribution and manufacturing. AHPA’s guidelines offer seed-to-consumption product safety and quality control measures that will ensure rigid oversight of the state’s medical cannabis industry.

    Auditor training will be offered through the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, a project of ASA with extensive experience training members of the cannabis industry to meet strict regulatory compliance guidelines. PFC has trained thousands of employees of the medical cannabis industry and is currently under contract with the District of Columbia to train all medical cannabis staff to achieve comprehensive regulatory compliance.

    Industry Leaders Advocate Best Practices for Regulation, Labeling & Manufacturing of Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp Products

    Washington, DC — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee, in coordination with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), announces the release of a joint statement advocating for implementation of best practices for the regulation of consumable, topical, and inhalant cannabis and hemp-derived products to ensure quality and consumer safety.  These best practices were developed with the input of numerous industry experts and establish common language and defined terms for the transparent and accurate labeling of these products to support responsible commerce and informed use of the cannabis plant.

    AHPA, ASA and HIA will be promoting these best practices at the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference being held March 27-31, in Washington, DC.

    Medical Marijuana Businesses Seek Regulatory Compliance in California Despite Failure by Legislature to Adopt Statewide Policy

    Redway & Laytonville, CA — Multiple medical marijuana businesses from northern California — Sonoma Lab Works and Peace in Medicine, with dispensaries in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa — were certified earlier this month by Patient Focused Certification (PFC), a nationwide program that verifies the quality and reliability of products sold to patients, as well as quality control standards, calibration, and evaluation processes for labs that test medical marijuana products.

    PFC is a project of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the only nonprofit, third-party certification for the medical marijuana industry based on new quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP). ASA formed PFC in part to fill the vacuum left by states like California, which have so far failed to adopt statewide regulations aimed at protecting patients.

    Increased Certification of Medical Marijuana Businesses in Washington State Ensure Quality & Safety for Patients

    Seattle, WA — Two Washington State-based laboratories — The Werc Shop and Phytalab — have recently been certified under a nationwide program that verifies quality control standards, calibration, and evaluation processes for labs that test medical marijuana products. These certificates were awarded by the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program, which also certifies the quality and reliability of products sold at licensed medical marijuana businesses.

    The Werc Shop and Phytalab test medical and recreational marijuana products produced, manufactured, and sold throughout Washington State. PFC is a project of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the only nonprofit, third-party certification for the medical marijuana industry based on new quality standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP).

    New Medical Marijuana Manufacturing Guidelines Issued by National Herbal Medicine Industry Group

    Washington, D.C. — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) released its long-awaitedmedical marijuana manufacturing guidelines today, completing its compendium of industry standards which include regulatory recommendations for cannabis from seed to sale. The AHPA manufacturing guidelines come as licensed Colorado business “At Home Baked” sees the country’s first medical marijuana product recall.

    A new nationwide program called Patient Focused Certification (PFC), a project of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), aims to bring greater standardization to the medical marijuana industry. The PFC program uses the recently completed AHPA guidelines in combination with standards set byAmerican Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) for the plant’s identity, purity, quality and botanical properties. Together, these standards have the means to bring greater accountability to the industry and increased safety for patients.