NICHE Canada Introduces Cannabis Accreditation Program
The National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) is introducing a national Cannabis Accreditation Program, the first-of-its-kind in Canada.
The CannabisWise program will recognize industry high performance in health and safety, and promote quality control, compliance with new laws and regulations, and responsible cannabis use.
“The goal of CannabisWise is to create a recognizable and trusted brand that provides reassurance for cannabis consumers and regulators that retailers and producers are committed to quality assurance throughout their day-to-day operations,” says Barinder Rasode, CEO of NICHE Canada.
The first phase of the program, which launches today, is a consultation period with government partners, education institutions, community organizations, reputable producers, municipally-approved dispensaries and prospective retailers in Canada to seek input on specific priorities.
An advisory committee of subject matter experts will be established to guide the development of accreditation and audit criteria for the CannabisWise program.
“In collaboration with our industry partners, we will develop nationally recognized standards and best practices that will advance health and safety, and drive continual improvement in the cannabis industry,” says Rasode.
The CannabisWise program will be voluntary and will feature a pledge of performance from retailers and small producers regarding twelve metrics:
Compliance with all federal and provincial standards and regulations as well as compliance with municipal licensing and by-laws
Implementation of enhanced safety and security measures
Maintaining rigorous workplace safety standards
Establishment of training programs for staff
Secure and integrated technology systems, particularly related to the protection of customer data
Professional financial controls and oversight
Established program to ensure age verification
Maintenance of current web-site and/or social media platform that provides customers and regulators basic information about the organization and products
Developing community engagement, corporate social responsibility and public education programs
Established referral relationship with health care practitioner
Inclusive hiring practices
The consultation phase is expected to be completed in early 2018, and the CannabisWise program will launch next Spring.