NCIA to Offer Cannabis Food Safety Class


If you have been following the cannabis industry for the last few months, you have probably heard time and time again about the issues facing the edible marijuana market. According to critics, the edible marijuana packages are poorly labeled, have little standardization and get users too high from small doses.

Consequently, you continue to hear frightening stories of people committing terrible crimes or foolish acts due to “reefer madness.” Two stories that the news media particularly like to parade around are the story of a student jumping from his hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie and the man who shot his wife after eating edible cannabis as well.

Of course, the media leave out little, yet important, details about these stories; for example, according to MSNBC, the man who shot his wife while high on edible marijuana was also on prescription pills at the time. Then again, I suppose the headline of “Man Shoots Wife While High On Pills” doesn’t quite grab readers like “reefer madness.”

Acknowledging the issue of edible cannabis, the National Cannabis Industry Association is now taking steps to avoid further issues. On July 28, 2014, the NCIA announced the launching of its ServSafe Food Safety Basics course specifically designed for the cannabis industry.

“The interest in edibles and other infused products keeps growing,” Taylor West, NCIA deputy director, said in a press release. “We know our industry is under a microscope, and we want to make sure cannabis product-makers continue developing the highest quality and safest products possible.” By providing cannabis food handling training, the NCIA hopes to provide some form of standardization for edible marijuana.

The NCIA also announced its Sell-SMaRT™ Responsible Cannabis Vendor training course, which will train budtenders how to check IDs, provide quality customer service and handle potentially dangerous scenarios like robbery. Maureen McNamara, Cannabis Trainers™ founder and NCIA member, has developed the cannabis food handling course and will also teach it. McNamara has been a ServSafe instructor for the last 18 years, and this will be her first ServSafe class focused on edibles.

The first ServSafe training course will be held on August 6, 9am-12pm at the Colorado Restaurant Association in Denver. In addition, the first Sell-SMaRT training course will take place on August 19, 12 pm – 5 pm at the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.

For those looking to enter the cannabis industry, this is a great chance to get involved. NCIA certification for food handling and budtending will give you a critical advantage over other applicants to cannabis-related jobs. You can feel confident submitting your application to whichever cannabis business you choose; NCIA certification will ensure you have the skills and qualifications to fulfill industry requirements.

If you own a cannabis-related business, this is a great opportunity to distinguish your business from the competition. While having the best bud still counts in the cannabis industry, so does having properly trained employees. People will frequent your store not only because you have quality goods, but also because your staff is properly trained and they feel confident in your hands — that alone is worth the price of attending the NCIA’s training class.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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