What is Clean Green for Cannabis Processor/Handlers?
The Clean Green Certification for cannabis processor/handlers was established in California in 2004, and has since expanded to 7 other states. The Clean Green cannabis processor/handler certification is for the processor/handler who maintains a clean and sustainable business environment. This environment is one in which Clean Green cannabis can be made into a clean, sustainable final product for the consumer. The Clean Green program allows this quality processor/handler to be distinguished from the rest– with a label that stands for legal compliance, consumer quality and environmental stewardship.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER Medical cannabis is not yet legal under Federal Law and the Clean Green Certified Program does nothing to make it legal under Federal Law. There are still stiff Federal sentences handed out for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis– medical or otherwise. An interested party is advised to research the Federal sentencing guidelines prior to any participation in a State Sanctioned medical or recreational cannabis program.
What kind of operation needs a processing/handling certification? The Clean Green processor/handler certification is for outlets or dispensaries that sell cannabis and/or cannabis products to consumers and for any business that processes cannabis into derivative products (edibles, oils, tintures, etc.). In some cases (ex. a dispensary that grows some of its own medicine or an edibles company that grows cannabis that is used in their certified baked goods), businesses will need both a processor/handler and a crop producer certification.
What is the Clean Green Certification for Processor/Handlers? Clean Green Certified is a program modeled on existing national and international agricultural standards, ensuring environmentally clean and sustainable methods. In order to become a Clean Green certified processor/handler, the facility must follow legal and responsible business practices. These practices require that the facility act in accordance with Clean Green standards, which incorporate Federal and State food handling guidelines. The facility must handle, clean and store their Clean Green cannabis so as not to come in contact with toxic chemicals or other cannabis that is not grown in accordance with the Clean Green program. The operation should put in place a Carbon Footprint Reduction Program, and train their staff to handle Clean Green cannabis and customers appropriately.
Why be Clean Green Certified as a Processing/Handling Operation? The Clean Green logo certifies that the cannabis is provided to the consumers in a clean and sustainable manner throughout the supply chain. Outlets and processing facilities for cannabis products such as edibles or oils that process a Clean Green certified farm’s cannabis may use the Clean Green name and logo only if they are certified as a Processing/Handling operation. As cannabis is progressively becoming legalized at a state level, processing/handling facilities are coming under the radar of compliance and regulation. Clean Green certified operations follow strict guidelines that will prepare your facility for dealing with this legislation. The Clean Green certification reassures your customers about the cleanliness and professionalism of your operation. Clean Green certified dispensaries have the advantage of being part of a larger Clean Green community of educated consumers and responsible farmers.
What does it take to become Clean Green Certified as a Processor/Handler? The first step to Clean Green certification as a processor/handler is to ensure that your facility meets our eligiblity requirements. Once eligibility has been determined, your facility will need to request an application. This application details the facility’s procedures for the processing and preparation– and, in certain cases, for the concentration and cooking– of products for review. Questions address topics such as the source of electricity, your procedures for ensuring marketplace legality, the types of substances used in your processed cannabis products, the methods employed for sanitizing your work surfaces, staff training, etc. Once the application is completed, an onsite processor/handler inspection is scheduled. During the inspection it is confirmed that the methods the processor/handler stated in the application are in fact the methods being used on site. There is a thorough review of the record keeping system of your Clean Green operation. The inspection will involve mock recall and trace-back exercises that will prove the facility’s ability to keep track of Clean Green cannabis and protect it from contamination. Your facility will know whether or not it has passed inspection 2-4 weeks after the on-site inspection. The certification is valid for one year from the date your certificate was issued.
What is the cost for the Processor/Handler Certification The yearly cost for a processor/handler certification is $2000. We ask that you make an $800 deposit prior to the on-site inspection to cover the costs of sending an inspector on-site.
Steps to Processor/Handler Certification – Useful Links