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A Complete GPP Canada Guide For Licenced Producers (2024)

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Ameer Asghar
Ameer is an enthusiastic writer who believes in the remarkable potential of the cannabis plant to lead people towards natural health alternatives, steering them towards a path of improved well-being and health.

Get a head start on navigating the ever-changing landscape of GPP regulations in Canada with this informative guide.

Are you looking to learn more about GPP Canada? From understanding the requirements to finding the right facility, navigating the licensing process, and ensuring your business is compliant, GPP Canada has become the key to success for many in the industry. Dive into the different aspects of GPP Canada, and unlock the secrets to a thriving cannabis business. Let’s get started.

What Is GPP?

Thumbs Up - GPP Canada

Implementing Good Production Practices (GPP) is crucial in the cannabis industry to ensure safe, consistent, and high-quality products. Licensed Producers (LPs) adhere to these standards to demonstrate their commitment to quality and address safety concerns. 

With GPP in place, LPs can effectively combat issues related to contamination, inconsistent potency, and other quality defects, thereby enhancing consumer trust and safety.

How GPP Differs from Other Quality Assurance Standards and Regulations

GPP goes beyond what are commonly considered “best practices” to include a comprehensive set of quality standards specifically developed for the cannabis industry. GPP encompasses specific quality standards tailored for the cannabis industry, ensuring compliance with regulations from cultivation to manufacturing. Unlike general best practices, GPP addresses the unique challenges of cannabis production, including potency and sanitation. Implementing GPP demonstrates LPs’ commitment to producing safe and consistent cannabis products.

GPP Canada Regulation Requirements

Requirements - GPP Canada

Health Canada’s GPP program mandates that licensed producers adhere to specific requirements and standards. Licensed producers must maintain an active GPP program to guarantee cannabis products are uniform and consistently meet quality standards for their intended use. The program requires the following:

Quality Assurance from Seed to Sale

To maintain the quality of the product at every stage from seed to sale, licensed producers must follow strict sanitation procedures during all stages of production. 

Quality Control Testing Programs

Establishing quality control testing programs throughout production ensures the quality and standardization of the product. 

Sanitation Procedures

Strict sanitation procedures at all stages of production guarantee the final product is clean and adheres to quality standards appropriate for its intended use.

What Health Canada Looks For In Regards To Good Production Practices

Quality Check - GPP Canada

Standard Operating Procedures 

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a set of written instructions that detail the routine operations of a facility. They ensure that work is carried out efficiently, to a consistent standard, and in compliance with GPP regulations. SOPs should include key features of the cannabis facility and its conduct, including: 

  • Sanitation of the space
  • Employee hygiene
  • Production techniques (e.g. cloning and propagating)
  • Sampling and testing of the product
  • Storage of the product.

Creating a Space for Cannabis Quality Assurance

After setting up a facility, professionals should pay close attention to all the surfaces in the building to ensure that they comply with Good Production Practices. In particular, floors, ceilings, and walls should be non-porous, chemically resistant to degradation from disinfectants, non-absorbent, sealed without cracks, durable, and cleanable

Sanitation Procedures

A crucial part of upholding Good Production Practices is implementing a sanitation program. The facility and all employees should abide by routine sanitation practices. The construction of the facility should allow for thorough cleaning of all exposed surfaces, with sinks and wash stations for equipment, and sanitizing stations for employees.

Key Elements of GPP

Cannabis Facility - GPP Canada

Implementing Quality Management Systems (QMS) is essential for maintaining consistent product quality in the cannabis industry. This involves establishing protocols for product testing, quality control, and continuous improvement. At our facility, we prioritize adherence to these standards to produce high-quality products meeting GPP requirements.

Facility Design and Maintenance

Designing and maintaining facilities according to GPP standards is crucial for cannabis cultivation, processing, and storage. Our priority is to ensure a safe and secure environment by adhering to these standards, including layout, security, ventilation, and pest control. Following GPP guidelines ensures that our facility meets the requirements for producing high-quality cannabis products.

Personnel Training and Hygiene

Employee training on GPP principles, safety protocols, and hygiene practices is vital for minimizing contamination risks and ensuring regulatory compliance. It’s essential to educate our personnel thoroughly to uphold high standards of hygiene. By providing comprehensive training, we equip our team with the necessary knowledge to maintain compliance and minimize risks in our operations.

Sanitation and Cleaning Procedures

Establishing thorough sanitation protocols for equipment, surfaces, and work areas to prevent cross-contamination and maintain cleanliness throughout the production process. Sanitation and cleaning procedures are integral to our GPP approach. Our team is diligent in following these procedures to ensure that our products meet the highest quality standards.

Record-Keeping and Documentation

Detailed record-keeping is crucial for our GPP strategy, encompassing cultivation, processing, quality control, training, sanitation, and testing. We maintain thorough documentation to demonstrate compliance with regulations and ensure traceability and accountability throughout our operations. These records showcase our commitment to maintaining high standards in every aspect of our production process.

Preventative Measures

Health Canada requires a Preventative Measures Program (PMP) for high-risk operations to manage hazards and controls, ensuring food safety. At our facility, the PMP is integral to our GPP strategy, maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety. This program prevents food safety risks and aligns with regulatory requirements.

Contamination Control

Contamination control is integral to our GPP strategy, encompassing prevention and cleanup measures. We prioritize preventing contamination and have protocols in place to address any incidents promptly. Rigorous contamination control measures are vital for upholding our high operational standards and ensuring product quality and safety.

Benefits Of GPP Compliance

Benefits - GPP Canada

As a GPP-compliant producer, I can guarantee that the cannabis products that reach consumers have undergone stringent quality control and safety checks. This ensures that the product they purchase is free from contaminants and meets the standards set by Health Canada. By adhering to GPP guidelines, producers like us can ensure that consumers receive safe and quality products that meet their expectations and needs.

Maintaining Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

GPP compliance allows us to meet the regulatory requirements set by Health Canada, ensuring that our operations meet the standards necessary for the production of cannabis products. This helps us avoid any fines or penalties that may arise from non-compliance and allows us to operate within the legal framework set by the government. By following the GPP guidelines, we can be sure that our practices align with the regulatory framework and operate in a manner that is both legal and ethical.

Enhancing Brand Reputation and Consumer Trust

By following GPP guidelines, we can enhance our brand reputation and build consumer trust in our products. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand that is GPP compliant because they know that the products have undergone strict quality control and safety checks. This helps us build a loyal customer base and retain customers who are satisfied with the quality of our products. GPP compliance can set us apart from competitors who may not adhere to the same standards, giving us a competitive edge in the market.

Implementing GPP Practices To Stay Compliant

Implementing GPP Practices - GPP Canada

Gap analysis is an essential tool for ensuring that your cannabis production facility complies with GPP requirements. By examining your current practices against industry standards, you can identify areas that need improvement. This process involves a detailed review of your operations, from cultivation through to packaging, to pinpoint any gaps between your current practices and the necessary standards.

Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are critical in maintaining compliance with GPP standards. They document detailed procedures for every aspect of your operations, ensuring consistency and adherence to legal requirements. SOPs cover all facets of your production process, including cultivation, processing, and packaging, and provide a reference point for employees to follow.

Staff Training and Education

Training and educating your employees on GPP principles, procedures, and best practices are essential to maintaining compliance. By ensuring that your staff understands the importance of GPP standards and how to follow them, you reduce the risk of non-compliance issues. Regular training sessions should be conducted to keep employees informed about any updates to regulations or procedures.

Facility Upgrades and Maintenance

Facility upgrades and regular maintenance are necessary to comply with GPP standards for cleanliness, ventilation, and security. Maintaining a clean and well-ventilated facility is essential for successful cannabis cultivation, while robust security measures are vital to protecting your product and business. Investing in upgrades and maintenance helps you stay compliant and ensures the smooth operation of your facility.

Establishing Quality Control Measures

Implementing stringent quality control measures at every stage of your production process is necessary to monitor and ensure the quality and safety of your products. Quality control measures should cover cultivation, processing, and packaging, and include regular testing and inspections to identify any potential issues. By establishing quality control measures, you create a culture of quality and safety within your facility.

Continuous Improvement

Establishing processes for ongoing evaluation and improvement of your GPP practices is essential for long-term success. By seeking feedback, conducting audits, and staying informed about any regulatory updates, you can continuously refine your operations to meet the latest standards. Continuous improvement ensures that you remain compliant with GPP requirements and operate at the highest level of quality.

Uncomplicate Your Cannabis Production, Try GrowerIQ Today!

Uncomplicate Your Cannabis Production With GrowerIQ

GrowerIQ Administration - GPP Canada

Grower IQ is an essential tool for GPP Canada. It’s easy to slip into a poor state of recordkeeping with every single action required to be documented by Health Canada. The dozens of transactions between production, inventory, quality, and finance must be meticulously recorded in a presentable form for Health Canada. These batch records can be hundreds of pages long.

GrowerIQ is a complete cannabis production management platform. Ours is the first platform to integrate your facility systems, including sensors, building controls, QMS, and ERP, into a single simplified interface. GrowerIQ is changing the way producers use software – transforming a regulatory requirement into a robust platform to learn, analyze, and improve performance. Our platform helps:

1. Produce the best quality products

2. Connect your QA team to the rest of your operations

3. Track Accounts, Orders, and Shipments in one place

4. Capture new markets through high-quality standards

5. Report & capture data in one place. 

Uncomplicate Your Cannabis Production. Try it today!

Discover how GrowerIQ’s seed-to-sale software can help you set up all of the administrative components of a successful cannabis cultivation operation, without any hassle. Questions we haven’t covered? Please reach out and let us know. GrowerIQ serves clients coast to coast, and we’re ready to help your team today.

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About GrowerIQ

GrowerIQ is a complete cannabis production management platform. Ours is the first platform to integrate your facility systems, including sensors, building controls, QMS, and ERP, into a single simplified interface.

GrowerIQ is changing the way producers use software - transforming a regulatory requirement into a robust platform to learn, analyze, and improve performance.

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