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The triple digit acronym GMP* (together with the four digit one GACP**) is a tough nut to crack. Well, fear not, we are here to shine light in this dark world. What is it, what is its purpose and what are the benefits of adhering to GMP? Good Manufacturing Practice made easy – the answers are all below.
Why is GMP important?
Without a GMP certificate, you will not get a GMP manufacturing license. This means no importing into Europe and no selling to pharmaceutical companies – both of which are currently the biggest and most profitable market for cannabis cultivators. A GMP certificate will show that you are serious about cultivating, manufacturing and achieving certain standards. Further, it will demonstrate that you are able to produce a consistent quality, which is a highly regarded commodity if you want to be taken seriously as a manufacturer. It will make you look more professional and will certainly play a role in a higher price for your merchandise.
What exactly is GMP?
It is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimise the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.
The GMP, is a guidance document which you are expected to follow so that the manufacturing of any given medicine is done appropriately. GACP is applicable to the cultivator – everything from when the seed is planted to when the flower is harvested. GMP can start to be followed after the flower has been separated from its roots.
Both GACP and GMP are about showing you are consistent and that you have the process under control. By having the process under control it means that
- with GACP you have used only permitted pesticides
- your tasks are homogenous and consistent
- you can control the parameters in which the plant is growing and monitor this control
Why is it important for me to adhere to GMP rules?
GMP is a medicinal rule that is implemented to keep the patient safe. The first rule of any medicine or treatment is to do no more harm than is already known. Your product should be safe for the mind and body. Both the product and the process have to be the same over and over again. Most treatments nowadays are long term treatments, so it has to be consistent. If something is playing a role in making the patient better, it has to be the same throughout.
Are there any benefits to the GMP apart from compliance?
It helps you not forget what the critical factors are, prevent contamination and how to document every step of the way. In other words: Do what you say, say what you do. It divides the manufacturing processes into smaller parts to guide you from point A to point B. So it is like a road map to your manufacturing process and it also teaches you to be responsible.
*GMP = Good Manufacturing Practice
**GACP = Good Agricultural and Collection Practice