Ensuring Consumer Safety
Designed with consumer health and safety in mind, the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has announced a partnership with the National Industrial Hemp Council of American (NIHC) via the NIHC Verify program to offer a joint recognition accreditation program to hemp testing laboratories in the United States. This new program is recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), helping to move the industry forward towards consistent laboratory testing practices thereby ensuring consumer safety. The NIHC Verify program is operated by NIHC and takes the first step towards product safety.
Laboratory accreditation is an indicator of the quality and competence of an organization, based on international standards, and is the most appropriate way to ensure an organization’s competence in performing a specified task. Through accreditation, customers, clients, and stakeholders gain confidence and assurance in the validity of test results. The partnership between A2LA and the NIHC Verify program is outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which expresses the details of the joint accreditation program. The program is based on requirements from ISO/IEC 17025, a global standard for testing and calibration laboratories.
This program was further developed to establish a benchmark for hemp testing laboratories that are accredited to conduct the following testing (at a minimum):
- Heavy Metals
- Residual Solvents
- Meet an internationally recognized standard which is accepted by global government regulators
- Minimize risks while remaining ahead of regulatory requirements
- Demonstrate test laboratory commitment to consumer and patient health and safety
- Scientifically verify facilities add here to the strictest industry safety standards
How to Apply
Once participants are NIHC members, they must obtain, adhere to, and pass an A2LA audit on the following documents listed: https://a2la.org/accreditation/hemp-cannabis-recognition- program/
For information on an A2LA accreditation, contact A2LA: info@A2LA.org
After the audit is passed, and all non-conformances are met, participants will be presented with a joint A2LA/NIHC Verify certificate.
For information on the combined certificate and use of logo, contact Lakshmy Mahon:
NIHC has established a global laboratory directory in partnership with Global Data Vision (https://globaldatavision.org/) to further promote transparency, and to provide consumers and customers the opportunity to review labs that are testing hemp-related products. Participants approved for the A2LA/NIHC Verify certificate will be allowed one complimentary location listing.
NIHC is a government-appointed partner promoting the safe production and use of hemp internationally through standards development, advocacy, research, and education. The NIHC Verify program supports the organization’s mission to promote testing transparency, standard requirements, consumer confidence, and ultimately product safety.
Visit the NIHC Global Directory (https://nihc.theglobaldirectory.org)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the ASTM +NIHC HEMPQ Certification program different than NIHC Verify?
Yes. The ASTM +NIHC HEMPQ Certification program is a certification program that audits a lab’s internal processes in accordance with 16 different ASTM standards. The ASTM +NIHC Certification audit includes a Quality Management System (QMS) document review, a Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) program assessment, and Facility assessment.
The NIHC Verify program allows producers to use the Verify Mark on products evaluated at an ASTM +NIHC certified test laboratory for one year on product pending an annual surveillance audit.
Do I have to use an ASTM +NIHC certified Test Laboratory in order to use the NIHC Verify Mark?
Yes. The NIHC Verify Mark is only available to those producers/retailers who utilize an ASTM +NIHC certification test laboratory for product evaluation, and is an NIHC member in good standing.
How do I get my lab listed within the NIHC Global Directory?
Labs may visit https://nihc.theglobaldirectory.org/ to have their laboratories listed within this global database which is intended to increase product testing visibility and transparency.
How much does the NIHC Verify program cost?
The NIHC Verify program is a member benefit to NIHC members in good standing who utilize a laboratory that has completed the ASTM + NIHC certification audit.