By Miriam Schaffer
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) refers to a system of practices required by a licensing agency to ensure that the products are manufactured according to certain standards. In the US, the FDA is the licensing agency for anything food, drug, or pharmaceutical related.
The main purpose of GMP is to protect the consumer from a harmful product. An important thing to understand about GMP is that measures of quality must be reached at every stage of manufacturing. This begins with the design of the manufacturing facility.
For example, grow facilities should be designed to allow for easy cleaning. The logic being that a cleaner facility leads to a cleaner end product, protecting consumer safety.
So how does GMP effect my Cannabis operation?
The short answer is it doesn’t. Yet. Because cannabis is federally illegal there is no recognized GMP. There are organizations popping up that are focusing their efforts on Best Practices, and while most people operating in the Cannabis business sphere would agree that this is a worthwhile step, without being legally bound we cannot expect full compliance.
Then why should I care?
As cannabis becomes more culturally acceptable, its federal legal status will most likely be affected. Once legality happens it will not be long before a federal licensing agency will apply rules for the grow and manufacture of cannabis related products. Hemp, the non psychoactive relative of cannabis is already moving in the direction of following GMP guidelines, with rules regulating its growth and manufacturing changing day by day. At some point, Cannabis might be federally legal and also exportable to other countries with legal cannabis markets. If this happens, GMP certified facilities will be a necessity.
Besides the fact that GMP might soon be the norm, there are other reasons why one might want to consider looking at GMP guidelines at this stage.
- Better quality product
- Long term money savings
- International Business – At Ceres Greenhouse Solutions we design cannabis greenhouses internationally, thus we have to comply with the GMP particular to the country we are supplying for.
So where should I look for GMP guidelines if they do not exist in the US?
In countries like Australia GMP is regulated. Organizations such as PharmOut provide classroom and online training. While this may be specific for Australia, it is a good base measure of understanding loosely how this would work in the US.
How does GMP relate to greenhouses?
GMP includes regulations related to:
- Facility operations
- Equipment used
- Storage of product
- Product Development
A well designed grow, built with GMP regulations from the start, will allow for a business to advance faster and more efficiently once federal legality happens.
Ceres hybrid facilities are designed and constructed to be GMP ready from the get-go. Surfaces are easy to wash and the modular design allows for biosecurity and cross contamination mitigation.
Save money. Save the headache.