Should California Medical Marijuana Distributors Be Subject to Food Safety Laws?

In Colorado, the legalization of marijuana doesn’t mean that distributors and sellers are free from government oversight. While a lot of the focus on marijuana-laws relates to controlling access to THC, there is also a growing concern about the safety of food products used to make edibles. brownies-964880-m.jpg

The way that brownies and other edible marijuana food products are produced can have a profound impact on health and, in many ways, the risks of food-borne illnesses could far outweigh any potential dangers associated with using cannabis products. Those who make marijuana-based products need to know the law and follow it to avoid problems.

If you are facing criminal trouble as a result of your medical marijuana business or your use of medical marijuana, Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can help.

Food Safety an Important Issue for Marijuana Sales

According to the Claims Journal, activists, producers and officials in the medical marijuana industry are largely in agreement that food safety testing is long overdue for sales of edible cannabis items. There have been at last eight million food and drink products sold this year containing cannabis, and food safety testing is seen as a necessity to bringing credibility to the industry.

For most types of food products, federal laws set basic safety standards. However, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, there are no national rules applicable to those who produce food-based marijuana products. Local and state governments are left to try to assemble safety and health food regulations to make sure that those who sell cannabis consumable products follow appropriate precautions to keep the food sanitary and safe.

In Colorado, the Department of Revenue requires that facilities that manufacture medical marijuana meet the same sanitation requirements that are applicable to any type of retail food establishment. This includes regulations on hand-washing and refrigeration.

According to Food Safety News, the regulations that Colorado has created to deal with food safety issues are the first comprehensive set of regulations to address this issue. However, some of the provisions, including those requiring foods to pass tests for common contaminants including salmonella and E. coli, have not gone into effect yet.

In Washington, regulators have addressed the food safety issue by adopting limits of how many “colony forming units” of molds, bacteria and yeast are considered acceptable in food products. There is zero tolerance for the presence of E. coli or salmonella.

Even as some states start to take steps forward, though, the fact that the federal government has not yet accepted medical marijuana nationwide limits the type of regulations that can be instituted to ensure that marijuana food products are safe.

The need to protect the public from food-borne illness is one more reason why the government needs to act to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana and to make cannabis-use permissible nationwide.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

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