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Medical Cannabis Standard? --- But which one?

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We are now setting up our new Bird's-of-a-Feather (BOF) group for this topic which is positioned as a part of our Level II "Pro" section. We invite your participation.


There are many medical standards for C+H, globally, so which is best?

A growing number of countries have implemented legal frameworks for the cultivation and use of medical cannabis. In December 2020, the UN recognized the medical value of cannabis. As a consequence, the market requires strict adherence to quality systems and cultivation procedures like compliance with guidelines such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) Good Agricultural & Collection Practices (GACP). Therefore, independent verification for compliance by third parties is becoming common practice in the industry. 

Another is the Israeli Medical Cannabis Standard (IMC-GAP). This standard is maintained by the Israeli Medical Cannabis Agency (IMCA) - Ministry of Health, for all imports of medical cannabis into Israel. It may become the baseline for the USA's USDA standard in the future.

Other Standards to Be Aware of:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines: WHO Guidelines on good agricultural & collection practices (GACP) for medicinal plants - Geneva 2003

European Medicines Agency (EMA GACP): guideline on Good Agricultural and Collection Practice (GACP) for starting materials of herbal origin(July 2005);

Guidelines of the Dutch Government for Cannabis for Medical Use: Guidelines for cultivating cannabis for medicinal purposes, Nederland, December 2002;

International Standard for Good Agriculture Practice: GLOBALG.A.P. IFA 4.0 (FV), March 2013.

The scope of many medical C+H standards cover medical Cannabis propagation, cultivation and post-harvest processes for example the WHO and EMA GACP guidelines. Certified organizations will receive both a certificate and  GACP compliance certificate if your organization is pursuing WHO or EMA GACP guidelines.

As of 2022, medical cannabis farms around the globe are looking for guidance on C+H Medical standards certification. The following countries are examples: Lesotho, Uganda, South Africa, North Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Canada, and Colombia. Also farms in Uruguay, Australia and other European countries will be certified.


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We help our Member firms by showing them how to...

1. Insert the Medical Cannabis Good Agricultural Practices Standard in our GRC system (Governance Risk Compliance)

2. Build internal controls and assign them to Control Owners.

3. How to deploy a Control Self-Assessment for internal use.

4. How to guide and manage your 3rd and 4th parties adoption of the Standard or those vendors who might be affected by the Standard.

5. How to audit the enterprise.

6. How to audit 3rd and 4th party providers.

7. How to leverage Shared Industry Intelligence (SII) where our members actively share cleansed industry benchmarking data such as Risks, Operational Losses, Cyber Threats and peer average and best-in-class performance data.


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