The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce has created an industry certification designed to vouch for the safety and purity of marijuana products.

GACC launched in Washington, D.C. in April 2019 to lobby for reforms to federal and international laws and to end barriers to cannabis trade. Members include Urbn Leaf, 420 Central, Alternative Herbal Health Services, Central Coast Agriculture, Solutioneers, and DNA Genetics.

It has now announced plans for a voluntary certification standard covering the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry. The group hopes it will be available to all licensed growers by the end of 2020.

The idea is to give both retailers and consumers confidence in the safety and purity of the marijuana products they are buying.

GACC believes that the industry must take matters into its own hands in the absence of federal laws governing safety standards. Marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, although 33 states have legalized it for medicinal purposes and 11 have done so for recreational use.

There are no uniform standards for safety and purity and this situation will persist unless the federal government legalizes it. That process is underway, but it faces a long and bumpy road ahead and it may prove unsuccessful.

In the meantime, GACC will work on consensus industry standards for safety and purity, and to create a serious and effective testing program. Members of the trade group will have access to a national network of ISO certified labs that can test products to ensure they meet rigorous standards.

“By the end of next year, cannabis consumers will be able to look at a participating product anywhere in the United States that it is legally sold, see our blue leaf, and know if it meets the rigorous standard of GACC certified consumer safety testing,” said GAAC president Rezwan Khan.

The tests will be designed to meet the strictest standards currently demanded at state level. A public consultation process will run until Jan. 30, 2020, and then it will take nine months to establish the initial standards and protocols.

All current GAAC members have pledged to implement the program when it becomes effective. Any licensed producer can join the certification program for a nominal fee of $1 per year and then display the blue leaf if they pass the tests.