ISO Certifications in Cannabis

ISO certifications are not required in the cannabis industry. However, as they are key to the pharmaceutical industry, and tie in well to the various GMP certifications, they are worth consideration.

ISO Standards for licensed cannabis producers are an extremely cost-effective way to reflect that they are making efforts to provide higher quality products and services within the cannabis industry. Very simply, ISO Standards Certification confirm that they properly document and follow the processes and steps they perform in operations delivering their products. It’s really not complicated. If your firm is following a GMP standard, your firm will have documented every step along the way, and the ISO certification is simply an additional independent verification of your adherence to the highest standards.

For Cannabis, the ISO certifications 9001, 13485, 14001, and 22000 are the most relevant.

ISO 9001 Certification 

SO 9001 outlines how a properly organized company should run its quality management system, and can looks at any or all of the following areas:

  • Manufacturing
  • Processing
  • Distribution
  • Packaging
  • Security
  • Safety
  • Testing
  • Customer Service

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, if it is involved in the cannabis industry it likely deals with one or all of these areas and being a recognized standard of excellence it can improve customer satisfaction, as well as help your firm mitigate risk and improve overall business performance. At a high level, while GMP certification focuses on quality assurance, ISO is more focused on quality management systems. If you have achieved a GMP certification, you had to put in place a QMS and almost certainly will be able to receive an ISO certification as well. This is the most comprehensive of the ISO certifications to consider.

ISO 13485 Certification

SO 13485 deals with the requirements for a quality management system in an organization that produces or provides medical devices and related services. This could include vape pens. ISO 13485 can also be used by suppliers that provide service products including quality management system-related services to the organizations that make the devices.

ISO 14001 Certification

This certification should be important to any organization that has a thorough and complete ESG policy in place as its focus is on validating the best practices for organizations wishing to reduce their environmental footprint by way of a rigorous environmental management system. The policy reflects the management principles of continual improvement involving five core elements:

  • Environmental policy
  • Planning
  • Implementation and operations
  • Verification and remediating actions
  • Ongoing Management review

Essentially this certification is an independent certification of the environmental component of an ESG policy, and your firm’s adherence to it. But, if you have made the effort in this area, it’s likely that your firm will have also have done the same in the Social and Governance aspects of your business.

ISO 22000 Certification

Operations making food products such as edibles that contain cannabis derivatives may find that ISO 22000 certification helps in gaining an increasingly positive market perception of their products. Again, if you obtain a GMP certification, you’ve done the hard work.

  • Cannabis Industry Certifications
    • Good Agricultural Collection Practice – GACP
    • Good Manufacturing Practice – GMP
    • Current Good Manufacturing practice – CGMP
    • European Good Manufacturing Practice – EU-GMP

Other certifications that would be helpful, and whose processes definitely should be considered are:

  • Global Certifications of relevance:
    • ISO Certifications: ISO-9001; ISO-13485; ISO-14001;