GMP, GPP and GACP are three acronyms you’ve probably seen before if you’re keeping up with the cannabis industry. They may only be a few letters long, but these three acronyms can make all the difference when it comes to compliance and producing a high-quality product that is safe for consumers. Before we tell you how each of these acronyms will help your cannabis business succeed, we should first tell you what each of them mean.
GMP – ‘GMP’ stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, and is a system for ensuring that products are consistently manufactured and controlled according to quality standards appropriate for their intended use. The purpose of GMP is to minimize the risks involved in any production process which cannot be eliminated through testing of the final product. GMP covers all aspects of the production process (including raw materials, premises, equipment and personnel), and involves detailed written procedures, in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which are essential for each process that could affect the quality of the finished product. Most importantly, GMP ensures that finished products are effective and safe for market distribution.
GPP – ‘GPP’ stands for Good Production Practices, and is the current standard required by Canadian Licensed Producers of cannabis under Part 5 of the Cannabis Regulations. Part 5 of the Cannabis Regulations requires licence holders to follow GPP to help ensure cannabis is produced consistently and that all activities conducted by licence holders with cannabis meet the appropriate quality standards. GPP requires Licensed Producers to have a quality system in place which includes written SOPs, a sanitation program, recall procedures, properly maintained and calibrated equipment, trained and qualified employees and more. GMP and GPP are similar systems which support the consistent production of quality products, however GMP is more robust and takes quality standards one step further compared to GPP.
GACP – ‘GACP’ stands for Good Agricultural and Collection Practices, and provides general technical guidance on growing, collecting and processing of medicinal plants and herbal substances for the sustainable production of herbal products classified as medicines. GACP follows the same concept as GMP and GPP for manufacturing, processing, packaging and storage. The main goal of GACP is to ensure consumer safety by establishing appropriate quality standards for medicinal plants and herbal substances. Under GACP, it is important that medicinal plants and herbal substances are produced hygienically to keep the microbial load to a minimum, and that plants and/or substances are not adversely affected during cultivation, collection, processing and storage. GACP contributes to the quality assurance of medicinal plant materials used as the source for herbal medicines to improve the quality, safety and efficacy of finished herbal products.
As you can tell from the terms above, GMP, GPP and GACP all share common elements, and all are concerned with ensuring a consistent, high-quality product is produced. When running a cannabis business, all three of these practices must be understood and applied in order to produce a safe, consistent and effective finished product that can be released for sale to the public and/or medical patients. All manufacturing processes need to be strictly defined and well controlled to ensure your cannabis products are made in accordance with predefined specifications. Having a solid quality management system in place that meets GMP, GPP and GACP will help your business avoid incidents such as deviations, mix-ups, failures, contamination and other avoidable errors.
Auditing for GMP, GPP or GACP can help ensure your business is complying with all applicable guidelines. Regular audits of your quality management system can be performed internally or by third-party audits teams. Holding a third-party audit is a great way to stay ahead of the curve because it will allow an outside party to carefully review your company’s processes and procedures and provide you with an unbiased perspective on your current practices. The ultimate benefit of a third-party audit is for you to gain an understanding of where your team stands in terms of compliance, as this will be the most important factor in determining the success and profitability of your business.
How we can help you
At Cannabis License Experts, we provide you with the guidance to plan your GMP-, GPP- and GACP-compliant business, acquire funding, navigate the legal requirements, and acquire the appropriate licence for your operations. As the Canadian cannabis industry develops, more and more licensed producers will be needed to meet the demands of consumers. Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs and more. Our Edibles Compliance division can provide you with a solid plan for your edibles business to help get your products on store shelves. Contact us today to discover how we can license and legalize your cannabis business to meet federal or provincial regulations.