Nico Haché with CCI discussing best practices for medical cannabis operations

The cannabis industry's higher practices

Whether you’re a large, multi-national corporation, a spirited start-up looking to gain a foothold, or simply any company in between, you would all be aware of one thing - the cannabis industry is heavily influenced by strict regulations – even more so than food horticulture. Everything related to cannabis crop must be carefully outlined if a facility wants to obtain a cultivation license. That’s where Cannabis Compliance Inc., the original consulting company in Canada to offer a breadth of cannabis services comes into play. Nico Haché, one of CCI’s senior cultivation consultants understands this differentiation better than most. “I come from a commercial horticulture background. I worked in the flower industry, ornamentals, nursery, forestry and cannabis; I have hands-on experience in both controlled environments and open fields,” he explains.

Nico Haché, senior cultivation consultant with CCI

Food vs cannabis
According to Nico, although the distinctions between traditional and cannabis horticulture are apparent, he feels that some of the specifics used around growing cannabis can in fact greatly benefit food horticulture as well. “In the cannabis industry, regulations are very strict when it comes to cultivation,” he says. “But not only that. Everything is carefully outlined: how materials need to be cleaned, and also the types of materials used for the construction of the facility. Additionally, there are biosecurity measures for employees as they need to be extremely clean to be able to access growing rooms.”

Higher practices
Nico goes on to describe how operations of any scope should not overlook the need to implement ‘higher practices’ – exercising best horticultural procedures, integral for compliance. Take higher sanitation and record-keeping routines for example. “Whether you call them differences or not, I think that general horticulture would benefit from them as well,” he points out. “If you want to have a viable and efficient process in any horticulture operation, you’re better off implementing these ‘higher practices’ at the forefront.” Nico further explains how other horticulture crops address contamination. “In the floriculture and ornamental world, emphasis is on the aesthetic of the final product, what it looks like compared to the cannabis industry where emphasis is on prevention of contamination for product safety.”

Empowering growers
CCI provides its clients with end-to-end business solutions at every stage of a company’s business cycle, helping growers achieve success right from the get-go. “We like to be involved in the early stage of the project,” Nico says. “In this way, we can advise growers on best practices with regards to every single aspect of the process.” Offering a vast array of services, including: facility design, implementing quality management systems, cultivation and extraction planning, security design and implementation, product licensing, workforce training and recruitment, and financial modeling, CCI provides their clients with current industry knowledge - ensuring that they have the confidence to make the best business decisions. For instance, “one of the biggest issues is crop protection, as there are extremely strict rules on pesticide use,” Nico remarks. “There could be instances of difficulties controlling certain pests, and not knowing pest management control technology can lead to even bigger issues. This occurs more often when a grower lacks the understanding of integrated pest management.” Nico takes care to point out that it is of the utmost importance to grasp the different elements to factor when assessing potential issues. “For instance, powdery mildew is not only caused by the HVAC not doing its job,” he explains. “Maybe the watering practices are a factor, maybe it’s the sanitation program or maybe it is a cross contamination issue.”

Embracing change
In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, it’s essential to be equipped with the knowledge that will help with making the best business choices at various stages of business development. Nico strongly points out that CCI has been embracing change ever since its inception. “We roll with changes,” he says. “We want to be ahead, in order to constantly have in mind the bigger picture and thus passing on to our clients our vast knowledge.”

For more information:
Cannabis Compliance Inc.

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