Last month, edibles became legal in Canada – but it wasn’t clear how they would be regulated until Health Canada released a guidance document in August, just weeks before legalization. Most aspiring edibles manufacturers, eager to jump into 2.7 billion dollar market, are still not even aware of these requirements. But those in the food industry will be familiar with the language and process behind the new regulations: they are clearly based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety program.
The good news is that some tools from the food industry, with the expert work of award-winning developers, can be adapted to suite the needs of the growing cannabis field, dramatically cutting down the set up and maintenance of the food safety programs necessary to ensure the safety of edibles.
When cannabis was initially legalized in Canada last year, we already saw that HACCP was a relevant (and very likely soon-to-be mandatory) tool for the budding industry. And in the interest of public health and safety, we released free example HACCP plans for cannabis companies to help new businesses get started the right way.
Now, we’re doing the same for the edibles industry, where the parallels to food are obvious (in that edibles are food products) and the requirements have already come down from Health Canada. HACCP isn’t just something you should have, it is something you need.
What is HACCP and Why Do Edibles Manufacturers Need It?
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a systematic method to control biological, chemical, and physical hazards associated with the food production and distribution process. Across the globe, governments are requiring that food producers create and maintain HACCP-based preventive control plans for their facilities. As legalization comes into force in more and more jurisdictions, regulators are requiring cannabis companies to follow this international safety standard.
It is from the HACCP standard that Health Canada derived the current regulations. We know this because spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau said so: “These new control measures are, in large part, drawn from and align with requirements that apply to food under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.” These regulations are designed to specifically reduce the risk of food-borne illness and contamination by requiring edibles and extract producers to create, among other things, hazard analysis (5.2.13) and preventative control plans (5.2.14) starting on October 17, 2019.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Going Manual
Cannabis companies already have to complete a mountain of regulatory paperwork to sell their products legally, and building and maintaining a HACCP plan is no mean feat. Already, federal requirements dictate that companies must submit a monthly report with 2,331 fields. It makes no sense to do all this work manually with the technology that is available today – technology that can automate regular tasks, make production way more efficient, and reduce costs in the short and long-term.
Learn more about Icicle’s Cannabis ERP System >>
Furthermore, the manual way of setting up food safety can take as much as two years, while automation solutions can speed that process up significantly. With Icicle’s ERP system, companies can be ready for an audit in as few as 90 days.
The benefits to automation technology like Icicle’s Cannabis ERP System also extend far beyond HACCP. With automation, cannabis traceability becomes an easy, granular, and cost-saving part of your business – and Icicle’s traceability module for cannabis companies goes far, far beyond the other options out there, especially traceability solutions designed for the cannabis industry that focus on legality rather than supply chain safety. With the introduction of legal edibles to the Canadian market (and markets elsewhere), this type of software is more useful — and necessary — than ever.