In response to concerns over the safety of marijuana edibles, the National Cannabis Industry Association, an education and advocacy group for the legal pot market, announced earlier this week plans to launch a food safety training program for pot professionals who earn a living preparing and selling weed-infused products.

Medical marijuana is now legal and nearly half of the United States, and with the recreational market expected to expand into Oregon and Alaska later this year, the volume of marijuana edibles sold in the United States will increase exponentially. It is for this reason the NCIA has decided that now is the appropriate time to start teaching cleanliness and diligence throughout the cannabis industry.

“The interest in edibles and other infused products keeps growing,” NCIA deputy director Taylor West said in a statement. “We know our industry is under a microscope, and we want to make sure cannabis product-makers continue developing the highest quality and safest products possible.”

The curriculum is based on the food safety practices created by the National Restaurant Association, and will be taught by food service professional, Maureen McNamara, who has been teaching these principles to food industry workers for nearly two decades. The course will cover food borne illnesses, proper personal hygiene, temperature control, cross contamination, sanitization and emergency procedures.

Since Colorado’s recreational market began in January, marijuana-infused products have become increasingly popular, with the NCIA estimating pot edibles laying claims to nearly two-thirds of the market share. And with more cannabis customers expected to gravitate towards these types of products in the future, the industry is expected to not drop the ball on quality and safety.

“This is a great example of how the industry is self-regulating to make marijuana-infused products as safe as possible for consumers,” said Art Way, with the Drug Policy Alliance. “We applaud NCIA for taking this important step forward.”

Food safety classes are currently underway. Anyone interested in taking the courses can email the NCIA: Info@thecannabisindustry.org

(Photo: chow.com)

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.