Company: Cannabis Safety & Quality
Title: Founder and chief technical officer
Tyler Williams is a self-professed “super nerd” when it comes to food safety, quality and regulation.
He has a master’s degree in food safety and a certificate in international food law. He’s been involved in the food safety industry since completing his undergraduate degree and began working with cannabis companies about five years ago when some of the larger multi-state operators began requesting third-party food safety audits.
But those audits quickly moved outside the food safety realm to include components that were specific to cannabis, and Williams saw the opportunity for a cannabis-focused certification program, leading him to launch Cannabis Safety & Quality in 2020.
The company started performing official audits in 2021, offering a tiered approach to certification, so companies can choose the right level of inspection for their business. To date, the company has conducted more than 100 audits.
With legalization spreading across North America, Williams believes these audits will become a “fact of life,” much as they are in the dietary supplements, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries. Oftentimes, these audits are not even required by the government, but by the retailer.
“Let’s say you’re making macaroni and you want to sell your product to Walmart, you have to get an audit from a certification body to sell that product in Walmart,” he explains.
Williams says he hopes the industry will embrace self-regulation to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from over-regulating businesses or turning cannabis into a pharmaceutical industry.
“We want to help the industry mature and show that it’s legit and show that we can produce safe, quality products and not kill people,” he says.