Improving Standards in the Cannabis Supply Chain
Original story from Valens GroWorks
Valens GroWorks, a licensed cannabis producer, is going to great lengths to ensure quality and consistency throughout its operations. With three subsidiaries that cover the product life cycle from seed to sale, and a company-wide commitment to adhering to the strictest standards of quality, Valens is aimed squarely at the high-value market for cannabis extracts and related products both in Canada and internationally.
As the cannabis industry comes of age, gains acceptance among a wider population, and develops more rigorous standards, companies that produce trusted, consistent, safe, and proven products should win out. The science of cannabis is really in its infancy due to long-standing legal difficulties with studying the plant, but it is moving forward now at increasing speed. Along with the science of how cannabis works comes the necessity to consistently produce and test for certain characteristics, like cannabinoid and terpene profiles, in order to achieve the desired results. And, as several Canadian producers have discovered, selling products with unapproved additives can lead to a disastrous erosion of public trust.
ISO Certified Lab
Valens recently announced that its wholly-owned lab, Supra THC Services, obtained ISO 17025 accreditation for cannabis testing. Achieving such accreditation validates the laboratory and its results, engendering trust for the company’s clients. According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), this certification standard makes it so “test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.”
Supra is the first cannabis-focused, licensed Canadian lab to achieve the certification. With recent product recalls due to pesticides fresh in both consumers’ and licensed producers’ minds, the ISO accreditation could be a major boon to the company’s testing business. But the implications go deeper than that. Valens is developing its own line of products, utilizing the company’s state of the art production and extraction techniques. Having these products tested in the ISO-certified lab should help the company validate its products and meet even the strictest regulations, whether in Canadian or international markets.
Supply Chain Control
One thing about extracted and derivative products is sure: like the old computer programming adage GIGO, if you put garbage in to the front end of the process, you’ll get garbage out of the back end. In order to produce consistent and high quality end products, the best cannabis raw material must be used. Right now, the highest standards for production in the industry come out of Europe. With that market emerging as a major target for cannabis trade, companies are smart to meet those standards.
Valens Farms, another Valens GroWorks subsidiary, recently announced the progress being made on the company’s 400,000 square foot greenhouse cultivation and production facility in Armstrong, BC. The facility is a joint venture with a real estate development company, and is already permitted to expand up to 800,000 sf if the companies choose. Importantly, it is being built to European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The addition of this high volume, state of the art facility will allow the company to ensure the highest quality of cannabis as a starting point for its derived products.
Those products will be developed through the company’s third subsidiary, Valens AgriTech. That company’s 17,000 sf facility houses cultivation, extraction, and research activities and is in the process of becoming GMP-certified. Valens also recently moved its Supra THC Services operation there, increasing the company’s efficiency and utilizing the synergies between the subsidiaries. Valens AgriTech holds a Dealer’s License that allows for cultivation, processing, oil production, and sales of those oils through licensed producers. The company is in the late stages of the ACMPR application process to become its own Licensed Producer.
Put it all together and you have a company that is committed to the highest quality standards on the planet throughout the cannabis life cycle. Valens may seem like a small licensed producer located in the heart of British Columbia, and it is. But the company’s goals extend far beyond the Okanagan region, and it appears that the foundation is in place to achieve those goals.