The National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) is introducing a national Cannabis Accreditation Program, the first-of-its-kind in Canada.
The Cannabis Wise program will recognize industry high performance in health and safety, and promote quality control, compliance with new laws and regulations, and responsible cannabis use.
“The goal of Cannabis Wise is to create a recognizable and trusted brand that provides reassurance for cannabis consumers and regulators that retailers and producers are committed to quality assurance throughout their day-to-day operations,” says Barinder Rasode, CEO of NICHE Canada.
The first phase of the program, which launches today, is a consultation period with government partners, education institutions, community organizations, reputable producers, municipally-approved dispensaries and prospective retailers in Canada to seek input on specific priorities.
An advisory committee of subject matter experts will be established to guide the development of accreditation and audit criteria for the Cannabis Wise program.
“In collaboration with our industry partners, we will develop nationally recognized standards and best practices that will advance health and safety, and drive continual improvement in the cannabis industry,” says Rasode.
- The Cannabis Wise program will be voluntary and will feature a pledge of performance from retailers and small producers regarding twelve metrics:
- Compliance with all federal and provincial standards and regulations as well as compliance with municipal licensing and by-laws
- Implementation of enhanced safety and security measures
- Maintaining rigorous workplace safety standards
- Establishment of training programs for staff
- Secure and integrated technology systems, particularly related to the protection of customer data
- Professional financial controls and oversight
- Established program to ensure age verification
- Maintenance of current web-site and/or social media platform that provides customers and regulators basic information about the organization and products
- Developing community engagement, corporate social responsibility and public education programs
- Established referral relationship with health care practitioner
- Inclusive hiring practices
- Annual renewal
The consultation phase is expected to be completed in early 2018, and the Cannabis Wise program will launch next Spring.