GMP certification is becoming a must-have for cannabis companies and their products. This article dives into the meaning of GMP certification, the process and the value to cannabis, the company, and the consumer.
What is GMP?
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. Each industry and product has its own set of GMP standards. The best practices of an industry sets the standards. Consistency, reliability, and trustworthiness of a product comes from following these standards.
A wide range of industries use the GMP system for manufacturing. The food and drug industries in particular adhere to GMP systems for the benefit of the consumer. GMP assures product users they are getting a quality product that’s safe for use. Only products made in places following GMP regulations receive the certification of approval.
GMP rules cover a great deal of the manufacturing and production process including:
- Raw Materials
GMP regulations require quality assurance in the cultivation, extraction, and packaging of cannabis.
The rules for GMP certification depend a great deal on the region where the cannabis is sold. Requirements of EU-GMP certification for cannabis vary from other GMP certifications. But the basics of GMP certification for cannabis remain the same. Despite the country or region.
The Basics of Cannabis GMP Certification
The main purpose of a cannabis GMP certification is to reduce risks to the consumer. GMP assures the manufacturing process does not pose a threat to the consumer.
The manufacturing of cannabis products is different from other products. GMP regulations for cannabis are designed to address the specifics of cannabis.
There are some basic International GMP principles for cannabis. These principles apply despite the country of cultivation or distribution. Principles include the following:
- Clean and controlled manufacturing processes
- Processes are verifiable and repeatable
- Any and all changes of the operation must be documented in a clear manner
- Record keeping is a must. All records (financial and product) must be kept. Record-keeping includes the complete batch history. From manufacture and distribution to the end user – usually referred to as ‘seed to sale’
- Recall procedures must be in effect.
- All complaints about products must be examined.
The WHO (World Health Organization) has its own version of the GMP regulations. These guidelines may one day help to shape the international cannabis GMP standards.
EU-GMP standards follow the WHO’s guidelines for pharmaceuticals. EU-GMP standards get updated to better suit collective member states.
An EU-GMP certification standardizes cannabis cultivated in Columbia and Lesotho. The cannabis may have different features according to the strain. But cultivation remains consistent due to GMP certification.
Why GMP Certification Matters
A GMP certification is like a gold star of quality. Cannabis cultivators in compliance with all the standards receive certification. Once certified, a company’s product will display the GMP label on the packaging. The certification helps the company gain access to export licenses, distributors, and consumers.
The GMP label lets patients know the cannabis is safe to use. An EU-GMP label on a cannabis product from a foreign country is a guarantee. It assures the product is safe to use and can be trusted. That guarantee is a far cry from the days of smoking whatever cannabis is available.
In a young industry, a GMP certificate is the best guarantee of trustworthiness. GMP certifications tell consumers the cannabis they’re about to use is quality.