While GACP was developed by the WHO in 2003 for all medicinal herbs, the GACP standards differ from region to region. In Thailand, where cannabis was decriminalized, pending the upcoming Cannabis Act, the plant will be legal only for medical and research purposes, hence GACP standards for all commercial growing will be required. GACP stands for Good Agricultural and Cultivation Practices. The Thai GACP regulations will implement the meticulous documenting of cultivation practices, including the lineage and origins of all plants produced. The Thai Guidelines for GACP were derived from the EU Guidelines. Much as PDPA was a localized version of GDPR.
The GACP standards in certain states in the USA and Canada, where cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes, are a bit more relaxed. Furthermore, while there might be overarching federal guidelines or standards provided by agencies like the FDA or USP, individual states can also have their own regulations, guidelines, or interpretations of best practices regarding the cultivation and collection of medicinal plants. While these differences may be quite minor, they still exist and may cause issues.
We also note that while the USA can differ from state to state, GACP in the EU is under the jurisdiction of the EMA, who set out guidelines for each member country to follow.
US and Canadian GACP standards place a heightened emphasis on laboratory testing for cannabinoid content, pesticides, and contaminants to guarantee product safety. Additionally, they entail detailed requirements for record-keeping, traceability, and labeling, enhancing transparency and accountability across the supply chain.
Furthermore, the US and Canada commonly integrate Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) into their cannabis regulations, ensuring adherence to rigorous quality control measures during cultivation, processing, and packaging. In Thailand GACP and GMP are separated and are quite different in scope.
To summarize, while Thai GACP standards for cannabis cultivation emphasize regional factors and traditional practices, US and Canadian standards are typically more comprehensive. They incorporate stringent testing protocols and quality control measures to ensure the safety and consistency of cannabis products within an evolving legal framework.
The European standards are closer to the Thai GACP requirements. The best option for growers looking to export is to obtain the GACP certificates for the country that they’re growing in, as well as the market that they are looking to enter. GACP Asia provides certification for all international cannabis markets and can provide advice on dealing with government entities overseas. To get started, we recommend that you complete our self-assessment so we can see what you’re working with click here to see more: https://gacpasia.com/our-services/self-assessment/.