PCP – The New “Buzzword”
Have you heard the word? Have you heard the new “buzzword”? PCP (also known as Preventive Control Plan) is swiftly making its way around the cannabis industry, and for good reason. It’s a critical component that all licensed processors of edibles and extracts must be mindful of and adhere to – which is especially true since cannabis legalization 2.0 (coming into effect on October 17th) is right around the corner. Let’s now take a closer look at the PCP and its significance to you and the success of your operation.
What is a PCP?
Preventive Control Plans are very detailed analyses, plans and records that your organization must prepare. The new regulations require that licensed processors have a fully implemented and written PCP for all edible cannabis or cannabis extracts being manufactured. The development and implementation of a complete PCP can be an exceptionally thorough and sizeable task to undertake (especially if this is new to you). Here are three key areas of operation that you, as the licensed processor, should consider:
- A PCP Team. Your team should include a healthy balance of managers and operational experts – from those involved in receiving raw materials, to production and storage, and all the way through to shipping and distribution of finished product. Keeping hazard identification top of mind during the evaluation process helps with better examining all aspects of your operation, facility, equipment, practices, and products.
- Complete documentation. Covering: a description of products you intend to produce, the processing specifics (inputs, equipment, technology), the intended use, target customers, and a significant amount more. Flow diagrams and plant schematics need to be ironed out, product composition and ingredients must be well described and permissibility with regulations needs to be confirmed.
- Examination of the entire processing flow. This includes a systematic and comprehensive evaluation, end-to-end, in order to identify potential hazards that can result in illness from consumption of the finished edible cannabis product or extract. Each ingredient and process step must be assessed to identify biological, chemical, and physical hazards that could potentially pose a risk to the finished product. Control measures need to describe what, when, how, and who will be responsible for the activities.
Why do you need a PCP?
For two reasons. First, it’s a non-negotiable requirement – second, it all comes down to risk avoidance. Product rejections and recalls are not only dangerous for the consumer, but they are also tough on the bottom line. Recalls can diminish a brand, weaken sales, threaten the overall profitability of an operation, and worst of all – could cause you to lose your licence.
How can you obtain a PCP?
A PCP is a very complex and critical process that requires a holistic and thorough assessment of all aspects of production. The development of a PCP can take about two months to complete (depending on the complexity of your products) – and that’s with third-party expertise. It takes a lot of time, effort, knowledge, and skill to ensure your operation supports the hazard identification and analysis work that a PCP requires. If you think your organization can benefit from having a third-party bolster proficiency and provide unequivocal expertise, then contact us today.
Written by: Shirley Toms, Manager, Edible Cannabis Products, Cannabis Compliance Inc.