IMPORTANT NOTE/ DISCLAIMER RIGHT UP FRONT: 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 cultivating 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.
Clean Green Certified Medical Cannabis
The Clean Green Certified program is comprised of three parts: a legal compliance review, a review of the manner in which the medicine is grown, and a standard agricultural crop inspection. Taken together, the program helps to ensure a grower’s legal compliance as well as distinguishing the quality of the product from others available to qualified patients.
Clean Green Certified is a program modeled on the USDA National Organic Program, ensuring environmentally clean and sustainable methods. Clean Green inspects all inputs, from seed or clone selection, soil, nutrients, pesticides, mold treatments, dust control, and source of electricity, to methods of harvesting and processing.
This program reduces the environmental impact of cannabis crops, ensures legality, and regulates what chemicals go into ingested medicine. A certified operation is licensed to use the Clean Green Certified label on their products after an annual review requiring yearly on-site inspections and third party laboratory testing.
The Legal Compliance Review: This portion of the program allows a grower to openly and confidentially discuss their compliance issues or concerns with a compliance attorney, on their farm site. Topics discussed may include the number of plants being grown, the number of current patient recommendations to cover the number of plants, or other methods to justify the number of plants a grower is growing. Topics also covered are location of plants, public viewing of plants, the security of the growing location, addressing any perceived nuisances as a grower, and other topics regarding the situation of the garden.
Each farm seems to have their own questions and concerns and this is a comfortable format to frankly discuss and ask any questions the grower has.
A dollar spent in compliance is worth ten dollars spent in a defense.
A Review in the manner in which the medicine is grown: Certification requires an application be filled out detailing how the medical cannabis is being grown. Questions such as; the source of water, source of electricity, how a farmer is protecting against soil erosion, what are the border areas (are they natural vegetation allowing for beneficial insects, or are the plants next to a toxic area…etc.), how does the grower combat pests, weeds and diseases, etc.
Once the application is completed, an onsite crop inspection is scheduled.
During the inspection it is confirmed that the methods the farmer stated in the application are in fact the methods being used on site. There is a thorough review of all of the inputs the grower is using: fertilizers, pest control sprays, potting soils etc.
The Clean Green Certified Program allows the same inputs that are allowed under the USDA Organic Program. We use the same input review standards as the USDA Organic Program in determining what can and cannot be used as a growing input.
Using clean, sustainable methods does not mean going without nutrient amplification or pest control in the garden; there are many inputs allowed under the Clean Green Certified Program, and we will assist a grower in sourcing allowed inputs if needed.
We also developed the Best Practices Certification program in 2008 for growers who use synthetic fertilizers. Best Practices allows for the limited and responsible use of some approved synthetic inputs. Best Practices growers must also participate in carbon footprint reduction procedures, yearly inspections and legal preparations.
A standard agricultural crop inspection: This portion of the program includes a close examination of the growing plants themselves. Here the plants are examined for excess molds, mildews, pest problems, or other agricultural problems. Samples are collected and sent to qualified laboratories to be tested for fertilizer and pesticide residue. The plants are looked at for cleanliness, free from excess wind borne dust, dirt, or manures.
The growing area is observed for soil erosion and border areas that support beneficial insects and birds helping to keep pest populations in check. This portion of the program looks at the overall health of the plants, the growing area, and the cleanliness of the plants. The processing room or area is inspected and discussion is had regarding the need for a clean processing facility for the medical cannabis.
Contamination of a crop is often most likely to occur in the processing areas as the entire crop is being concentrated into a smaller area. Discussion is had as to the manner in which to process the medical cannabis so it will not degrade quickly, and that it is stored in a safe, secure and healthy manner.
We hope that you as a grower/member or as a collective see the advantages of becoming a Clean Green Certified Operation. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have.
If your operation does not have these practices in place yet, no problem; our services are tailored to fit your needs. Our team can help you develop and implement these standards, no matter what stage your operation is currently at.
We are also qualified to inspect the post harvest processing and handling of cannabis crops.
Processor/Handlers are the people who get the cannabis from the garden to you in the store; raw or processed.
Click here to go to the CGC Cannabis Processor/Handler/Dispensary page.
We also have the Clean Green Certified Product Licensing Program for concoctions, contraptions and concepts to be identified as Clean Green Certified for use on cannabis.