CO: Colombian grower receives GAP certifications for MMJ operations

PharmaCielo has received the global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification for its propagation, flowering and medical cannabis production operations in Colombia.

“The GAP certification attests our commitment and best practices that we deploy in the production of the highest-quality medicinal-cannabis extracts while adhering to the most stringent international safety, environmental and regulatory standards,” said David Attard, CEO at PharmaCielo. “Receipt of Certificate #001, which is the first granted in the cannabis industry, is an important step and provides PharmaCielo with a competitive advantage in supporting export opportunities for our high-quality medicinal-grade extracts into international markets where such accreditation is required.”

PharmaCielo’s head of agricultural operations Marcelo Antunes de Siqueira displays the first GAP certificate issued for medicinal cannabis with some of the 450 employees at the company’s facilities in Rionegro, Colombia. Photo credit: SPR Group/PharmaCielo Ltd. 

The GAP certification awarded to PharmaCielo followed a rigorous evaluation of 276 parameters to ensure full compliance with the global standard. The evaluation took a full year to complete and included monitoring and evaluation of the Company’s processes from planting to post-harvest operations. The certification process also included assessment of complementing aspects such as obtaining plant material and measuring environmental impact, integrated pest and disease management (MIPE), standardized sanitation, operating procedures and use of phytosanitary products. The GAP standard also evaluates key workplace components of staff hiring practices and welfare as well as workplace hygiene and safety.

Certification was issued by SGS, one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies. Good Agricultural Practices codes, standards and regulations are guidelines which have been developed in recent years by the food industry, producers’ organizations, governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities.

“We are very proud of this accomplishment, which is in addition to the  ISO 9001:2015 certification PharmaCielo received last year, and would like to thank our employees for their relentless efforts over the past year,” said Andres Felipe Botero, Chief Operations Officer with PharmaCielo  Colombia Holdings S.A.S. “Being the first Colombian cannabis producer to be awarded a GAP certification is a testament to the dedication, commitment and professionalism of our entire staff in bringing to the market the purest of medical cannabis derivatives.”

“We are very pleased to be able to confirm that globally, PharmaCielo is the first cannabis producer to demonstrate the  ability to meet the necessary standards for GAP certification by SGS. We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that they meet the standards required for Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certification for the Company’s Processing and Extraction Centre (PEC),” said Ivan Dominguez Villamil, Managing Director of SGS Colombia. “The GAP certification is supportive of both the GMP and European GMP certification methodology, which ensures consistent production of high-quality, safe products and total traceability on a global basis.”

In addition to completion of the GAP certification, PharmaCielo has also announced it received approval for the listing of 10 new proprietary and unique tetrahydrocannabinol- (THC) and cannabidiol-dominant (CBD) cultivars with the national cultivar registry. With these 10 new strains, the company holds 30 registered cultivars that are available for commercial cultivation.

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