I think everyone can agree that there is a need for developing and implementing robust public quality standards for the sake of patient protection. Determining who the best entity is to carry out this charge is left to be seen here is Florida.
Regulatory standards are most definitely needed. However, if this means waiting on the FDA and DEA to have input when cannabis is still a scheduled 1 controlled substance , then that will be very difficult and progress towards implementing much needed quality and safety standards will likely be very slow, maybe even too slow for the sake of patient safety. So having a state sanctioned organization to help achieve this goal might be instrumental in making appropriate progress in this area and that is what other states have done.
So again, the question is how do we balance access for patients to quality controlled production of medical cannabis products with less delay than waiting for the FDA and DEA to get on board and I think that the state needs to lead the charge in this. Let’s look at what other states have done and evaluate that. Not reinvent the wheel. Many states have quality control guidelines in place and the issues of consistent, high quality, safe products has more to do with enforcement with the grows and subsequent product manufacturing steps. We can also see if and how horizontal vs vertical integration affects these quality standards. I’m not sure if that’s been studied in other states but it’s worth looking to see if it’s been studied.
- What have other states done for safety measure and quality standards and testing?
- What have been the successes and pitfalls of these efforts?
- What has been the limiting factor in ensuring quality and compliance by the grows and lab testing entities?
- What committees have been set up in each state that have been successful in developing and regulating quality and safety standards?
I seems like there have been a few entities that have come forward proposing to take on this task and are willing to have an open forum for inclusion of public input and stakeholder participation of multiple entities. That’s crucial for getting a wide range of input and I’m sure navigating that will have it’s own challenges with special interest groups and the politics surrounding all of that.