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St. Louis food quality and safety firm expands into marijuana industry

CSQ's certification program and standards are designed to serve as protection for brands by minimizing risk and ensuring regulatory requirements are met.
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis company that started in pest control in the 1940s and evolved into a major player in food quality and safety certification has expanded into the marijuana industry.

ASI Food Safety, which provides auditing, training and consulting, has added a new division, Cannabis Safety & Quality (CSQ), that provides quality certification with third-party accredited audits and quality certification from seed to sale, much as it has done for years in the food and dietary supplement industries.

"We are the only certification program in cannabis accredited by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) National Accreditation Board," said Tyler Williams, 27, founder and chief technical officer of CSQ. His mother, Charray Williams, bought ASI in 2015 with a Small Business Administration loan after working there for 15 years. ASI revenue totaled about $5 million in 2020.

CSQ's certification program and standards are designed to serve as protection for brands by minimizing risk and ensuring regulatory requirements are met. CSQ designed the standards in 2020 to meet national and international requirements.

CSQ released the standards Jan. 4 and awarded its first certifications to New York-based Curaleaf, a provider of cannabis products in 23 states, and Florida-based retailer One Plant. Thirteen of the top 25 cannabis companies based on revenue or valuation have committed to getting certified, Williams said.

As for his own qualifications, Williams has a bachelor's degree in business management and is completing a master's degree in food safety and certification in international food law, all from Michigan State University.

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