As cannabis legalization sweeps across the country, many food safety regulations for edibles have been enacted. As of this writing, there are 37 states with medical cannabis programs and 18 states with legalized recreational use for adults. This year promises to be another busy one for state legislators, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Regardless of whether an edibles manufacturer is supplying the medical or recreational-use market (or both), a component of its food safety program should be a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. HACCP in edibles production is critical to food safety.

This blog from ImEPIK will review the components of a HACCP plan and how it helps address potential food safety problems during the manufacturing process.

Why Edibles Should Have Safety Plans Similar to Those in the Food Industry

Cannabis Chocolate MuffinsCannabis is still illegal at the federal level (hence the differing state regulations). Still, marijuana industry experts agree that legalization will occur and that for edibles producers, robust food safety programs are best practice.

Three Senate Democrats (Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker) recently announced plans to file a federal legalization bill in April and asked fellow lawmakers to provide input.

“This is an issue of individual freedom and basic fairness that clearly transcends party lines,” according to a letter from the senators to colleagues. “However, one major hurdle continues to stand in the way of states’ ability to make their own decisions about cannabis — the continued prohibition of marijuana at the federal level. As more and more states move to legalize cannabis for both adult and medical use, the federal government has an important role to play.”

That role includes taking steps to standardize food safety, most likely through Food and Drug Administration oversight.

HACCP and Cannabis Edibles

HACCP programs have been used in the food industry for decades; a working group’s revisions were adopted in 1997. They included an updated list of 7 HACCP Principles:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis.
  • Determine critical control points.
  • Establish critical limits.
  • Establish monitoring procedures.
  • Establish corrective actions.
  • Establish verification procedures.
  • Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, aka FSMA, introduced Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls to upgrade conventional HACCP plans. (FYI: These plans are sometimes referred to using the acronym HARPC, though the FDA discourages use of this term.) This new approach assesses hazards, sets preventive controls, monitors their effectiveness, and establishes corrective actions. Then follows verification measures and establishing record-keeping procedures.

By developing comprehensive HACCP and food safety plans, edibles companies can evaluate the entire process, including packaging and shipping, to highlight potential areas that pose a food safety threat.

ImEPIK Food Safety Training Sets Edibles Companies on the Right Path

Prepare for the advent of federal cannabis legalization and use HACCP in edibles production by relying on ImEPIK’s training solutions. Courses are 100% online and self-paced.

Cannabis courses are beneficial for production line employees and managers and cover:

Contact ImEPIK for more information on how to get ready for the federalization of marijuana