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As cannabis makes the uphill climb away from taboo and towards social acceptance (and, someday, legalization), we’re seeing increasing conversations surrounding consumer and patient safety. As the demand for legal cannabis continues to rise and more states come online, it is imperative to enact more rigorous and comprehensive testing solutions to protect the health of consumers.
Most cannabis smokers rightfully assume the flower they buy is both safe and free from harmful pathogens. Today’s data shows that although this can be true in many cases, it’s not always the case. The risk of contamination is present at every stage of the cultivation and processing and encompasses agricultural practices, manufacturing processes, and even packaging.
As other states begin to adopt rules and regulations regarding use by dates and cannabis shelf-life, antimicrobial cannabis packaging solutions are going to become key for producers.
Why Antimicrobial Cannabis Packaging is Necessary
Cannabis, like any agricultural product, is susceptible to contamination during various stages of cultivation, processing, and packaging. Contamination can still occur even when growers follow strict sanitation procedures through the supply chain from seed to sale. Beyond just the health of the plant, both medical patients and adult-use consumers can be adversely affected by microbial contaminants.
Microbial contamination of cannabis products represents one of the most significant threats to cannabis consumers, particularly immunocompromised patients who could develop harmful infections. For these patients, Aspergillus can be life-threatening, and both adult use and medical consumers are susceptible to allergic reactions to moldy flower.
To make this situation even worse, the issues with testing labs and allowing contaminated products to pass inspection have complicated things, causing consumers to lose trust that they can purchase quality and clean products. Focusing on safety, quality, and accurate labeling of cannabis products is vital to rebuilding customer trust.
As a product with so many benefits, cannabis requires a little extra care to ensure you get the most out of it and that it stays pathogen-free. With a little effort on the part of packaging companies, dispensaries, and consumers can ensure that their herb stays in premium condition no matter how long it takes to finish it.
You can have the perfect, airtight, light-proof container for your cannabis, but if the temperature is wrong and the slightest bit of moisture is present, it can all go up in smoke — and not in a good way. This perfect environment is also perfect for those once dormant pathogens to rear their ugly head and cause various issues.
This is where antimicrobial cannabis packaging shows potential.
Proving the Solution
To address these issues, Safety Net, in cooperation with SANA packaging and PathogenDX, will perform antimicrobial susceptibility tests using their proven antimicrobial biosecurity product to show their ability to eliminate pathogens on packaging products. This testing aims to show that it is possible to control pathogen growth, whether it happens during growing, processing, or after packaging, and how antimicrobial cannabis packaging could be the answer.
Antimicrobial susceptibility tests are mainly used to show whether a proven antimicrobial coating can have a positive effect on pathogenic microorganisms in cannabis when stored in various sealed containers or packages. The active ingredient in the antimicrobial solution forms a colorless, odorless, positively charged polymer, which chemically bonds to the treated surface. Once bonded to the surface of a container or a package, it destroys any pathogens that come into contact with it, whether airborne or on the surface of the cannabis product.
Safety is undeniably paramount when it comes to manufacturing cannabis products, and we firmly believe that prevention is the best solution to avoid microbial contaminants and avoid costly remediation. By partnering with SANA Packaging and PathogenDx, SafetyNet hopes to prove how antimicrobial cannabis packaging solutions.
SafetyNet Puts Safety First
SafetyNet’s mission has always been to be a leader in innovative, proven infection control & prevention solutions that promote safe and healthy living, and by testing and proving the effectiveness of their products and publishing their findings, they hope to become the gold standard for controlling pathogens throughout the cannabis industry.
The bottom line is that protecting cannabis from anything that can affect its quality is one of the easiest steps you can take to preserve it for the long haul. Like many things, the shelf life of marijuana depends on how you care for it. If you plan to store your stash for an extended period of time, antimicrobial cannabis packaging to prevent pathogens is the right approach.
Stay tuned for updates as the testing continues over the next few months!