FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General FAQs

New standards or revisions to current standards are developed by Technical Working Groups (TWG) organized by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The new standard or revisions to current standards then go through two comment/review periods by both the TAC and industry stakeholders (the general public). New standards and revisions to current standards follow the same 8 step process.

  1. TAC purposes new standard or revision. This includes the following information:
    • Purpose of the new standard or revision
    • Scope of the new standard or revision
    • Estimated timeframe to develop new standard or make revisions
    • Identify resource needs, such as the need for scientific and technical input
  2. Formulate a TWG of industry experts
  3. Draft new standard or make suggested revisions
  4. TAC comment period
  5. First revisions
  6. Public comment period
  7. Second revisions
  8. Publish new or updated standard

The CSQ standards are used by cannabis cultivators, extractors, and manufacturers to protect their brand and the health of consumers.

Cannabis Safety & Quality (commonly referred to as CSQ) is a division of the private standards development company ASI Global Standards, LLC, a subsidiary of ASI, LLC a global safety and quality company that provides several services to regulated industries such as food and beverage, dietary supplements, and cannabis.

CSQ is a Certification Program Owner (CPO) which manages the development of its own free to use private industry standards which are licensed out to approved Certification Bodies (CB) who provide 3rd party certification to the standards.

The annual registration fee must be paid via the CSQ website before an audit can be completed. This ensures that the facility’s information, including audit scope, stays current and up-to-date year to year. The CSQ registration fee is one of 3 income sources for CSQ which help us keep the lights on and continue developing industry standards and best practices.

A CSQ registered consultant is someone who has undergone a thorough application process and has been determined to meet the CSQ requirements for registered consultants. Registered CSQ consultants can provide you with counseling on how to successfully implement and maintain a CSQ system within your facility. Note that registered consultants are independent from CSQ and are “use at your own risk”. To find a registered CSQ consultant Click Here.

Technical Working Groups (TWG), when developing a standard, apply risk analysis and rely on independent scientific advice provided by industry experts, trade associations, government organizations, etc. which are organized in advance by the CSQ Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

We found that most “Cannabis Standards” were just copy and paste from FDA’s requirements such as 21 CFR 117 for cGMPs. While cGMPs cover some of the basic safety and quality requirements needed by the cannabis industry, they don’t cover everything.

CSQ was made for the cannabis industry, by the cannabis industry. CSQ included multiple industry stakeholders in the development of the CSQ Certification Program. We even conducted several test audits at multiple cannabis growers and manufacturers around the U.S. Additionally, we are taking extra steps, through our public comment period, to let industry stakeholders that didn’t get a chance to provide input on the standard to let their voices and opinions be heard.

Government bodies may use the CSQ standards to help develop local regulations to ensure safe, good quality products to their citizens. By introducing legislation and regulation that is consistent with the CSQ standards, governments may reduce the risk of recalls and outbreaks due to poor safety and quality practices. Government bodies may also write certification to CSQ (or equivalent) into law.

Currently, in the United States, there are two states which require a third-party audit per their regulations – Florida and New York. CSQ has been approved by both regulating bodies as an acceptable third-party certification.

Are you a regulator looking to enhance current regulations or develop new regulations in your state/province or country? Please reach out to info@csqcertification.com to learn how CSQ can offer free assistance and support.

All locations wishing to become CSQ certified should go to our Getting Started page and follow the 8 simple steps to certification. Please note that CSQ does not perform CSQ audits. Locations wishing to become certified must go through a licensed Certification Body (CB). Click here to check out a list of our currently approved Certification Bodies.

There are several costs associated with becoming CSQ certified, including the annual registration on the CSQ website, the cost of the annual certification audit, consultant fees (optional) and CSQ 101 training (optional).

Audits are conducted by licensed CSQ Certification Bodies (CB), on behalf of CSQ. The audit shall be scheduled directly with the CB you have selected. Click Here to contact one of our licensed Certification Bodies.

CSQ recommends a minimum of 60 days of records. For locations that must get certified before they are open due to local regulations can obtain a 6-month provisional certificate.

A certified location must score above a 70% on their certification audit, ensure all non-conformances are closed out, and maintain their annual registration and certification cycle.

The following table shows the minimum and maximum day limits for each stage of the audit. Audit duration will be different for each facility depending on complexity of processes.

 

Offsite Documentation Evaluation

1-2 days

Onsite Facility Evaluation

1-3 days

Offsite Report Writeup

1 day

  • Training
  • Registration Fees
  • Application Fees

To find out more information on how to become a Registered CSQ Auditor, Technical Reviewer, or Consultant click here.

An annual registration fee of $78 is payable upon approval of the application for Consultants, Technical Reviewers, and Lead Auditors.

Click Here to apply.

Not yet! CSQ was built around both ISO requirements and the GFSI Benchmarking requirements. CSQ has been in open communication with GFSI for the past two years and plans to benchmark the standards in 2021.

The CSQ Certification Program is voluntary in nature. However, certain government bodies and/or national and international retailers may either write CSQ certification into law or make it a mandatory requirement to sell products within their retail stores.

CSQ covers any cannabis plant and/or manufactured cannabis products no matter if it is Hemp, CBD, Medical, or Recreational. We believe that no matter the form or use of cannabis it should be made lawfully and within compliance of local regulations and industry best practices.

 

Example products include:

Growing and Cultivation – Whole Flower, Pre-Rolls, etc.

Extraction – Kief, Dry Sift, Bubble Hash, Rosin, Live Resin, Shatter, Wax, Tinctures, Distillate, RSO, etc.

Food & Beverage – Baked & Snacks, Confectionary, Preserved Foods, Beverages, Food Ingredients, Food Additives, Dry Animal Food & Feed, etc.

Dietary Supplements – Tablets, Capsules, Gummies, Liquids, Energy Bars, Powders, etc.

Annual Certification Audits are done in the following three stages:

  1. Offsite documentation Evaluation
  2. Onsite Facility Evaluation
  3. Offsite Report Writeup

Every certified location is required to receive an unannounced audit every 3 years.

The CSQ logo may be used on everything except for final product packaging. Examples include product displays, marketing material, brochures, flyers, advertisements, press releases, company website, internal documents, etc.