Product quality management is still an emerging field in cannabis production. This has mostly to do with federal prohibition, and partly because legalization and its attendant demand moved faster than research could be done. This has created a situation where many veteran operators do not fully understand the risks posed by microbial contaminants in cannabis production. This is risky for both operators and consumers. 

Growing clean cannabis requires a quality management approach that encompasses the entire production process. Just as the HVAC, lighting, and watering have to be in balance for the plants to grow well, quality management in cannabis requires an understanding of which parts of the process are most vulnerable to product contamination, and a coordinated effort by staff and leadership to ensure that appropriate process controls are maintained. To help companies accomplish this, we have developed two continuing education courses: Cannabis Contaminants and Cannabis Microbiology and Pathology. 

Cannabis Contaminants covers the four main types of contamination commonly found in cannabis–residual solvents, pesticide residues, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants–and how to prevent them from causing harm to your business and customers. Cannabis Microbiology and Pathology is an in-depth look at the risks posed to cannabis operations by microbes. At over 140 slides, this course is packed with information on the microbes associated with cannabis, and provides practical guidance on how to avoid major risk. 

Microbial contamination can destroy entire crops, cause batch failures and recalls, or cause serious health problems in both employees and consumers. Until there are uniform quality standards in the industry, the onus is on producers to safeguard their customers, employees, and businesses. Fortunately, NCRPS has a stepwise process to identify and control product risk across an entire vertically integrated cannabis operation. Product contamination doesn’t have to keep you up at night, we can help.

Author:
Andrew Hatch
Director of Product Safety

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