Control Union Certifications B.V. is a certification company that has been active since 1920. Control Union certifies companies in various fields such as (organic) agriculture, food safety, social, sustainable forestry, textile, aqua, sustainability and more. The company operates locally in over 70 different countries offering certification at local prices. Recently Control Union ventured into the cannabis industry with the Control Union Medical Cannabis Standard (CUMCS).
“It is a fast-growing industry,” Eerik Schipper, account manager with Control Union, says. “A lot of companies start cannabis production from zero, or they transfer to cannabis from another crop. We see in the market that, when they start growing cannabis, there is no quality standard for the whole process.” The need for standardization is crucial within the cannabis industry, as the pharmaceutical aspect demands products to be consistent in terms of quality.
The need for standardization
Eerik continues explaining that sometimes growers are already professionals, but the lack of a commonly accepted quality standard results in products being pulled off the shelves as they are not high-quality enough. “Especially in a medical industry, such as cannabis, it is important to have a standard that needs to be met by the produce,” he says.
According to Eerik, growers do not only need quality standards, but normally they need more turnkey. “Control Union operates for this with other companies for consultancy and greenhouse building, and we have a laboratory that can help analyze. We also collaborate with more companies to serve clients a complete package.”
Eerik Schipper with Control Union Certifications
Educating the market
Because of this, on January 31st this year, Control Union held a one-day event in Bangkok titled “Invest Cannabis Asia”, where over 200 local and international participants were able to discuss, learn and share experience in market trends and opportunities for medicinal cannabis production, research and development in the region. “Asia is a very advanced market, specifically in relation to legislation,” Schipper points out. “Despite Asia being one of the most severe regions when it comes to drugs, several governments are closely looking at it, and a couple of initiatives have emerged recently. Besides this, it is also important to educate the market.”
The future of standardization
Eerik Schipper predicted that in the next few years the cannabis industry will seek for standardization. “Then after a couple of years, when the market is more mature, there will be more quality standards. In turn, more companies will step in in countries where legislation allows it. Thirdly, we expect that our Cannabis Medical Standard will be one of the widely accepted standards.”