Studying to work in the cannabis industry provides you with guidance on regulations and rules around cannabis products. With the upcoming introduction of legal edibles and extracts to the Canadian cannabis market, some changes are necessary to include standards that keep consumers safe when ingesting products.
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) started on January 15, 2019. These regulations include licensing, preventive controls, traceability, and preventive control plans—they will also affect cannabis products. The focus of these new regulations is on preventing issues and getting unsafe product out of the marketplace faster. Read on for more about preventive control plans.
Assessing Risk for Products sold in AGCO Cannabis Stores
Edibles and extracts won’t be available for sale on shelves until mid-December 2019 in Canada. Once they are, businesses will be required to show that they’ve properly assessed safety risks when producing the products. A preventive control plan shows that these risks have been covered.
Safety risks associated with cannabis products include:
- Residues or chemical contamination: Chemical control, monitoring of washing tank chemicals, and water quality.
- Infestations and pests: Because animals can carry diseases and come into contact with products, production facilities need to have plans in place to prevent, monitor, and control this.
- Handling: Hygiene and training for employees is essential when products will be handled by them—this prevents the spread of disease and bacterial contamination.
- Allergens: Any food product can contain ingredients that are harmful to some consumers.
- Expiration dates: When different components are combined in a recipe, all expiration dates must be taken into account.
- Mold: In storage, in addition to cleaning procedures, humidity is controlled to prevent mold growth.
Why Food Regulations Will Be a Part of Monitoring Edibles
Professionals working in AGCO cannabis locations need to learn about the upcoming changes with regards to legalization of edibles and extracts. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll have the ability to work with changes to a company’s preventive control plan. New edible and extract products will carry many of the same risks as other food products, so these items will be treated with the same level of caution.
Edibles have ingredients other than cannabis in them, to form recipes. These ingredients can:
- Be contaminated
- Require their own traceability and regulation
- Expire before other ingredients do
- Cause allergic reactions
As food products appear in cannabis stores, it will become important to monitor these aspects. While edibles do not fall under the Food and Drugs Act, they will be covered under the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations, providing guidelines for edible products.
Here’s what a Preventive Control Plan Includes for AGCO Cannabis
Preventive control plans include information about:
Anyone who holds a license to manufacture or process cannabis food products will need to not only create a preventive control plan, but they will be required to maintain and implement it continuously.
Preventive control plans require expertise in quality assurance, and if you work in an AGCO cannabis dispensary you may notice that preventive control plans must be reviewed and acknowledged by a Quality Assurance Person (QAP), who oversees production processes and can monitor safety. These professionals ensure that the growing of plants, in addition to their cultivation and processing to create products, all fall under standard operating procedures.
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