As more Canadian firms are green-lit by Health Canada to produce medical marijuana, British Columbian bio-pharma company MediJean announced its intention to create quality assurance standards they believe should be followed by all in the industry.
MediJean, who were given approval by Health Canada to grow medical cannabis for R&D purposes, implemented a “Product Safety and Security Plan” based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, as a press release explains. MediJean says their plan “will exceed microbiological and chemical standards as stated by both the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) guidelines and those set by British Pharmacopoeia.”
Pete Martin, with over 35 years of experience in the quality assurance, quality control and quality services field, leads the Quality Assurance Department at MediJean. He brought an organized, systematic approach to product safety and security from a bacterial, chemical and quality perspective, which includes ensuring plant safety, the release states.
Such stringent guidelines including keeping plants away from contamination and poor growing conditions, while ensuring the medical marijuana is mould free, without the use of gamma radiation.
“We know gamma radiation is a preferred method for some in the industry, but it is not fool proof,” as Martin explains. “Although it can kill the viable mould and possibly the mould spores, it will not impact the aflotoxins, many of which are carcinogenic. For us, it is important to protect our patients from being exposed to those. We also know that gamma radiation destroys the essential oils, called terpenes, which are naturally produced by the plant and play an important synergistic role in the body.”
MediJean believes that if patients are seriously evaluating medical marijuana providers, they must consider the quality assurance standards that companies are adhering to in Canada.
“Quality assurance is an initiative that we are taking seriously,” said Jean Chiasson, chief executive officer at MediJean. “We have built a team that will ensure our standards meet or exceed the safety, quality and consistency of a ‘Ready to Eat Food’ product. It is our policy at MediJean to not only deliver quality, but breed it, to guarantee that patients who use our medicine get the best medical marijuana available.”
MediJean has applied to produce 90,000 kilograms of marijuana in the first year but the firm is still waiting on Health Canada to grant them a licensed producer permit. As of April 1, 2014, only approved companies can deliver medical marijuana to Canadians.
Photo of Pete Martin courtesy MediJean