Manufacturing of Medical Cannabis Products Permitted in San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
- Posted by Erica Treeby
- On October 31, 2016
- breaking, California, cannabis, dispensary, distribution, edibles, manufacturing, MCRSA, medical cannabis products, regulations
San Francisco’s medical cannabis program has been in existence for over a decade–since the enactment of the Medical Cannabis Act in 2005. The Act, codified by Article 33 of the Public Health Code, outlines the permitting guidelines for San Francisco’s medical cannabis dispensaries (“MCD”s). Changes to the Act are expected over the next couple of years, however. In response to the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”), comprised by AB 243, AB 266, and SB 643, counties are rushing to modify their current regulations to align with the new state law.
San Francisco’s Department of Public Health (“DPH”), which is tasked with overall management of the local medical cannabis program, created a set of regulations for commercial manufacturing and preparation of edible cannabis products. Per section 3308(d) of the Code, MCDs are only permitted to sell or distribute cannabis products that are manufactured within the state and have not left the state before arriving at the MCD.
Baked medicinal products (i.e., brownies, bars and cookies), tinctures and other non-refrigerated type items are permitted to be both manufactured and sold at an MCD, as long as the cannabis product is prepared by a MCD member. Due to the potential for food-bourne illness, edible cannabis products requiring refrigeration or hot-holding are prohibited from being manufactured for sale at an MCD. However, exemptions may be granted by DPH on a case-by-case basis; exemptions for cannabis products such as ice cream may require a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plan before distribution may be approved.
A substantial portion of DPH’s regulations focus on the packaging and labeling of medical cannabis edible products. A product’s label must include a warning if it contains nuts or other allergens; a warning that the item is a medication and not a food; and the statement that the product is to be kept away from children.
Additionally, the label must indicate the date of manufacture, along with the net weight of medical cannabis in the package. Packaging that could be deemed attractive to children or resembles candy is expressly prohibited. Finally, the words “MEDICAL CANNABIS” must be easy to read and proceed the food name of the product.