Article by Solomon Israel, Leaf News
To the uninitiated, a career working in quality assurance for the cannabis industry might seem like a bit of a lark.
“Because a lot of people think it means that we smoke a lot of weed and say how good it is — we get that joke a lot,” said Chris Stone, director of quality at Vancouver Island-based Broken Coast Cannabis.
Reality is much different, explained Stone, who has a background in quality assurance for other regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and food. Quality assurance in Canada’s regulated marijuana sector is all about creating a controlled manufacturing environment, “so that if we’ve produced a product that the end consumer views as ‘good’ this week, we should be able to produce it again next week,” he said.
Achieving that goal while complying with complex Health Canada regulations that govern everything from security clearances to record-keeping to pest management is a tall order. That’s why Stone and others launched a new industry group, the C-45 Quality Association, in Winnipeg Thursday at the culmination of a three-day conference. Stone is the association’s inaugural president.
The group is named after federal Bill C-45, which legalized marijuana for recreational use last October. The law has multiple goals, two of which have received the vast majority of media attention: keeping kids away from weed and curtailing the black market for the drug.
But another explicit purpose of legalization is giving Canadian adults a chance to access quality-controlled cannabis, said Tom Ulanowski, president of Coquitlam, B.C.-based Nextleaf Labs. His company is applying for Health Canada licences to process cannabis and research it, and plans to produce cannabis extracts from plants grown by other companies.