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Cannabis Industry Witnessing Landmark Changes: Federal Guidelines Updated

Officials from federal, state, and local institutions have come together to make important decisions regarding the marijuana industry. They voted to approve the inclusion of two new cannabis items in a federal handbook. These additions aim to establish model standards for cannabis definitions, packaging and labeling requirements, and best practices for storing flower to prevent moisture loss.

This move is significant as it brings clarity and consistency to a rapidly growing industry. With these new guidelines in place, consumers can be assured of quality and safety when purchasing cannabis products. The measures will also benefit businesses by providing clear instructions on how to properly package and label their products.

In a major breakthrough, the marijuana proposals put forth by the Laws and Regulations Committee at the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) conference were successfully passed by members of the House of Representatives and House of Delegates. The package, which required 27 votes to pass, received a resounding 33 votes in favor. This decision marks a significant step forward in the federal regulation of marijuana.

During their annual meeting, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) made important changes to federal cannabis guidelines issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last year. However, certain items were left pending for further review, and were finally addressed in this week's meeting.

Michael Bronstein said the vote, "is the most historic for cannabis standards and a culmination of ATACH’s pioneering calls for industry wide standards in 2014."

Bronstein, president of the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), went on to say "This means state and federal regulators will use material that ATACH members helped develop through the ASTM International standards process, as universal cannabis standards that will be referenced in the NIST handbook."

In a proposal put forward, basic labeling requirements for cannabis products have been outlined. The aim is to provide consumers with clear information about what they are purchasing.

Under these guidelines, cannabis product labels must prominently display the word "Cannabis" in capitalized and italicized form. Furthermore, products must indicate whether they contain "0.3% or less Total Delta-9 THC" or "more than 0.3% Total Delta-9 THC."

In addition to this, the proposal requires that the back or side panel of cannabis packaging includes a clear declaration of the labeled cannabinoid per serving or application. This declaration must be in milligrams, ensuring accurate dosing information for consumers.

These new labeling requirements would come into effect from January 1, 2025. The aim is to promote transparency and consumer safety within the cannabis industry.

Another change to the handbook, when unprocessed cannabis is being stored, offered for sale, sold, bartered, exchanged, or undergoing ownership transfer, the water activity level must adhere to a strict threshold of 0.60 (± 0.05).

This significant change aims to regulate the quality and preservation of bulk cannabis, ensuring that it meets the necessary standards before reaching consumers. As the industry continues to evolve, such updates are crucial to maintaining consistency and transparency in cannabis sales.

When it comes to bulk sales of liquid cannabis, there are some important regulations to keep in mind. According to the guidelines, the ideal temperature for measurement is set at 20 °C (68 °F). When delivering products, it is essential to ensure that the temperature falls within a range of ± 2 °C (5 °F). Remember, it is strictly forbidden to artificially heat the liquids beyond these limits. And that's not all - the standard water activity level of 0.60 (± 0.05) also applies to liquid cannabis.

These recent developments, spearheaded by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, highlight a collective effort to bring standardization and transparency into the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. The new packaging and labeling guidelines, set to take effect in 2025, together with strict quality controls for preserving cannabis, are significant strides toward a safer and more regulated marketplace. As the cannabis industry continues to flourish, such initiatives ensure consumer trust and foster sustainable growth.

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