Wednesday, August 3, 2016: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
223-224 (America's Center - St. Louis)
The emerging market for edible cannabis products is growing steadily in the U.S., whether for medical or recreational end use. Since 2014, there have been several recalls of cannabis products for reasons of microbial contamination. Other areas for concern include pesticide and allergen residues, environmental monitoring, proficiency testing, method oversight, and inconsistent and varied state regulations. It is incumbent upon food safety professionals and regulators to guide this emerging industry, using good science, proven HACCP approaches and sound analytical methodology. As more states move toward legalization, growers and formulators alike need to be mindful of the microbiological (and chemical) risks associated with scaling operations and delivering safe product to consumers. The intent of the symposium is to leverage regulatory, commercial, microbiological, and analytical expertise to present the current state-of-affairs in the cannabis industry. The purpose for this symposium is to begin a broad discussion on the current science of cannabis products, regulatory framework, current microbiological and chemical methods utilized, sampling protocols, manufacturing challenges and need for standardization/proficiency management within the context of food safety. IAFP has several potential roles to play in this emerging marketing, the least of which is bringing sound microbiological and allergen science to regulators setting specifications for finished product testing.
[For the first time in conference history, AOAC held a 90-minute introductory symposium on the topic of cannabis testing methodology at the 2015 conference in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the topic of product safety was not addressed during the meeting. The symposium proposed here for IAFP 2016 would be a logical continuation on what was discussed at AOAC 2015.]