Cannabis in Canada: Get the Facts

Do you have questions about cannabis in Canada? Would you like to understand the laws that govern the Canadian cannabis industry? Are you considering applying for a license to cultivate, process or sell cannabis?

The federal government has a webpage that outlines what industry needs to know about cannabis in Canada. This information covers the basics related to doing business in the cannabis industry including:
Impact of the new law and regulations on industry

  • Applying for or amending a federal licence
  • Packaging and labelling requirements
  • Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement under the Cannabis Act
  • Prohibitions on promotions
  • and more

The page provides links to relevant sections of the federal government website where you can find more information on each topic.
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/industry.html


Manage Plants Individually or by Group in AirMed

AirMed gives you the flexibility to choose whether to manage plants individually or in groups.

Individually managed plants allow for each plant to be tracked independently using its unique barcode. This method of tracking the plants offers full precision by providing detailed information about the individual plant and letting you perform actions on each plant separately. Plant actions are recorded by scanning the barcode associated with the plant using a tag or container label.

Individual management is usually reserved for small batches or for mother plants where tracking of the individual plant is beneficial. Group management is recommended for larger crops intended for harvest as the tracking is simplified.

Group-managed plants are recorded by counts and do not need to be identified by a unique barcode, so there is no requirement to print off labels for each plant. When selecting plants to perform an action at the batch level, a count of plants is recorded for either a table or a room.

Plants are propagated as part of a batch, and records are maintained through each grow phase such as drying or harvesting at the batch level. The production process ends with the creation of a lot, which is linked directly to the batch. Post-production, including bulk storage or packages, is also tracked by the batch.

By default, plants are individually managed until you make the decision to covert them to group management. AirMed lets you choose which method is the most appropriate and efficient while still maintaining accurate records.

To find out more about AirMed features like group management, call us today at 1-877-313-2442 or use one of the contact forms to request a free demo.


CTLS Reporting in AirMed

Always innovating to help our customers meet the regulatory challenges they face daily, AirMed offers a new automated system for CTLS reporting.

As mandated by the Cannabis Act, Health Canada requires that licensees submit a Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS) report every month for every licensed site. This reporting applies to cultivators and processors (including micro, standard or nursery), as well as sellers of medical cannabis and provincial or territorial authorities, distributors and retailers.

Full Export

Using our new full export process, thousands of reported fields tracked by AirMed will automatically populate the standard spreadsheet template provided by Health Canada. Not only is the time required to complete monthly reports reduced, but the potential for human error often encountered in manual data entry is eliminated.

Summary Reports

AirMed also includes a suite of CTLS summary reports offering breakdowns of key fields with direct links to detailed reports. You can identify the values used to calculate a final total and also find the exact inventory records used to calculate those values, all from one page. Inventory validation has never been easier.

 

For more information or for a free demonstration of our automated CTLS reporting, please call 1-877-313-2442 or use on of the contact forms on the site.


Join us at Virtual Grower Day April 14

Hosted by Greenhouse Canada & Grow Opportunity magazine, Grower Day comes to a new virtual platform for 2021.

Grower Day on April 14 spotlights all things cannabis cultivation, including trends and issues that impact Canada’s licensed cannabis producers.

Meet with experts and growers from across the country, and discuss the latest in research, technology and production practices.

AirMed seed-to-sale business solutions will be an exhibitor at this event, so drop by our virtual booth to find out more about AirMed Cloud software and our turn-key ecosystem.

For more information visit: Grower Day April 14, 2021

Visit our virtual booth: AirMed at Virtual Grower Day


Market Researcher Says Canadian Cannabis Industry Exceeded $2.6 billion in 2020

According to BDSA, a market research firm specializing in the cannabis industry, global cannabis sales exceeded $21 billion in 2020. Based in Boulder, Colorado in the United States, BDSA made this announcement on March 5, 2021 in a blog post highlighting statistics from a market forecast.

The post noted, “Legal cannabis sales in Canada totaled an estimated $2.6 billion in 2020 and are forecast to grow to nearly $6.4 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 16%… During the year, BDSA Retail Sales Tracking data in Alberta and British Columbia showed rapid growth in shares of new Cannabis 2.0 product categories.”

The market research company also made predictions for the market into 2026. “Global cannabis sales reached nearly $21.3 billion in 2020, an increase of 48% over 2019 sales of $14.4 billion. BDSA forecasts global cannabis sales will grow from $21.3 billion in 2020 to $55.9 billion in 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 17%. This growth is expected to be steady, roughly $6 billion annually.”

For more information visit:
https://blog.bdsa.com/cannabis-sales-in-2020


Quality Assurance in AirMed

AirMed provides licensed producers with a complete framework to establish and validate a quality assurance system.

The AirMed QA system is based on pre-defined North American and European pharmacopeia.

The system tracks testing results for the samples taken at any stage of production and enables shipping of samples to third-party QA labs. Results and certificate of analysis documents are logged and used to determine if the material the sample was derived from is acceptable for sale. Test results are verified by an authorized QA person and a passed or failed status is assigned to each data point. The QA results are maintained in the system and can be referenced at any point to review the values.

From reviewing non-conformance to documenting and communicating findings, AirMed helps you maintain your desired level of quality. Tracking attention to detail for every process gives you total confidence in your product.

For more information about quality assurance in AirMed, schedule a live preview of the software by clicking the Request Demo button at the top of the screen. You can also give us a call at 1-877-313-2442.


AirMed Welcomes 2021

AirMed Canada Systems Inc. was founded in 2014. That makes AirMed one of the oldest seed-to-sale software companies in Canada (and possibly the oldest).

This year, 2021, will be our seventh in business. We’ve seen many changes in the cannabis industry in those seven years.

The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was replaced by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) in 2014. The ACMPR was then replaced by the Cannabis Act in 2017. The decriminalization of cannabis in Canada evolved into legalization in 2018.

While not the first country to legalize cannabis for recreational use, Canada was the largest at the time and seen as the leader in legalization. The world watched as our country scrambled to get a new industry up and running.

Huge amounts of capital flooded in as investors jumped on what they expected to be a gravy train. But the train ran slower than many predicted, and in the retail cannabis world, the train behaved more like a rollercoaster.

Along the route, some cannabis-related businesses went public, others merged or were acquired. Many start-ups derailed without gaining any ground.

To date, hundreds of cultivators and processors have been licensed in Canada, rather than the thousands that were anticipated. But of those, more than 70 are using AirMed to manage their seed-to-sale processes.

AirMed is proud to have been one of the first on the cannabis industry train in Canada. With a philosophy of steady managed growth, our company continues to operate at a sustainable level. As the train moves forward, whether slow or fast, AirMed is committed to staying onboard.

Happy New Year!


Reporting & Auditing in AirMed

AirMed software is specifically designed to meet or exceed the Cannabis Act regulations and includes full audit support capabilities and comprehensive reporting. AirMed regularly passes Health Canada inspections. For more information visit our Compliance page.

AirMed software is designed to support and comply with federal, provincial and local legislation. In fact, AirMed meets the USA’s FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. Those are considered to be some of the most comprehensive electronic record keeping specifications in the world and are the basis for the standards set by many regulatory agencies in other countries.

AirMed pulls all the required information for government reporting, whether monthly, quarterly, or annually. AirMed has built-in reports for Cannabis Licensing & Tracking System (CTLS) and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) with supporting reports to provide the validation detail. Our software lets you export data to other systems or print reports to retain the required information outside of AirMed as archived printed or electronic records.

Every action/workflow in AirMed is auditable, and built-in audit reports & forms provide complete product traceability. Inventory, recall, destruction and other reports can be generated as needed, and authorized site auditors can be given access to perform inspections of records. AirMed retains all records indefinitely and also lets you export or print reports that can be held for required retention periods for audit purposes.

For more information about AirMed’s reporting and auditing features, schedule a free demo by clicking the Request Demo button at the top of the page or by using the contact form in the footer. You can also call us directly at 1-877-313-2442.


How Secure is AirMed Software?

AirMed seed-to-sale software is a Cloud-based platform hosted in a third-party, Tier 3, SSAE 18 SOC1/SOC2 compliant, hardened data center in Canada, and all data remains in Canada. The same data center is used by Canadian banks and government agencies to secure their web-based applications. All data in AirMed is protected by fully managed and monitored enterprise firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems.

All communication between the browser and the server is encrypted using SSL. Sensitive data is additionally encrypted while at rest in the database. When a barcode is scanned, the resulting code is input into a field within the web browser. This data is then encrypted and sent to the server for processing.

Administrators can configure access based on an employee security profile so that individual workers only have access to the functions and data that relates to their job responsibilities. Electronic signatures and multi-factor authentication ensure only authorized users can access information and complete tasks. Full audit trails for every record and every action in the system allows administrators to review changes anywhere at any time.

All data is backed-up both locally in the data centre for near-line recovery and to a secure offsite location in Canada for disaster recovery purposes.

To learn more about AirMed’s privacy and security, contact us today by using the contact form or by clicking the Request Demo button at the top of the screen. You can also give us a call at 1-877-313-2442.


New BC Cannabis Sales Programs Announced for 2022

September 30, 2020, Victoria, BC: The British Columbia provincial government announced new sales programs to benefit cannabis producers and Indigenous businesses.

A media release yesterday announced that cannabis producers in B.C. will have greater access to local retailers and consumers, thanks to new direct delivery and farm-gate sales programs that are in development by the Provincial government.

These changes come as a result of input and recommendations from long-time cannabis growers, Indigenous leaders and other stakeholders. The government is giving Health Canada-licensed small-scale producers, including nurseries, the option of delivering cannabis directly to licensed retailers.

“We’ve heard clearly how important these kinds of sales are for smaller cannabis producers trying to get a foothold in a market currently dominated by larger players,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Now more than ever, our government is committed to supporting B.C. businesses and encouraging people to buy local, and that includes creating conditions for cannabis businesses of all sizes to succeed.”

The Province has also promised to develop a farm-gate sales program that will give cannabis growers in B.C. the option to sell their products from storefronts located at their production facilities.

The targeted launch for these new programs is 2022.
The BC Ministry of Attorney General’s Liquor Distribution Branch will also launch an Indigenous Shelf Space Program. This program, expected to start sometime in 2021, is designed to help consumers easily identify products from local Indigenous producers in BC Cannabis Stores.

“These steps will help grow the legal cannabis industry in B.C. in an inclusive way,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “By making it easier to know more about the product, those who choose to use cannabis can make careful decisions about what types of product they want to buy and what sectors of the industry they want to support.”

(Image / BC Liquor Distribution Branch)

The ‘highlighted’ products should be available at private B.C. cannabis retail locations, as well as through the government-run BC Cannabis Stores online site.

For more information contact:
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
250 213-3602


AirMed Compliance Documents for Health Canada Cannabis License Applicants

The Cannabis Act requires that license applicants provide information on how they expect to meet certain compliance requirements.

We offer full support throughout your license application process and provide documentation that outlines how AirMed meets Health Canada requirements. If you plan to use AirMed for compliance after you are licensed, you submit the documents we supply as part of your application. We also partner with specialists in licensing applications and business management if you need more help.

For applicants who expect to use AirMed to help meet compliance, we provide two comprehensive documents designed for submission with license applications.

AirMed Record Keeping Compliance: This document provides an overview of how AirMed provides support to enable a licensed producer to be compliant with the record keeping & reporting requirements of the Cannabis Act and Regulations (CAR) and the former Canadian Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). This document is intended to assist compliance auditors and internal compliance leaders in assessing readiness in relation to CAR requirements, as well as security and privacy standards.

AirMed Good Practices Compliance: This document provides an overview of how AirMed provides support to enable a licensed producer to be compliant with the good practices requirements of the Cannabis Act and Regulations (CAR).

 

For more information or to purchase our compliance documents, please call 1-877-313-2442 or email info@airmed.ca. You can also fill out the contact form in the footer.


Cannabis Helps Canadian Agriculture Industry in 2020

According to the newspaper Moosejaw Today, Statistic Canada reported farm cash receipts of $16.7 billion increased 5.2 per cent in 2020 over 2019.

The newspaper article, published September 13, 2020, stated, “Without a 62 per cent increase — $685 million — in cannabis sales, farm cash receipts would have increased a mere .8 per cent… Led by surging cannabis sales, farm cash receipts in the first half of the year bucked the general decline caused by the coronavirus.”

To read the original article, visit: https://www.moosejawtoday.com/local-news/cannabis-steers-healthy-increase-in-agriculture-income-2706446


FREE Seed-to-sale Software Buyer's Guide

Record keeping is an essential part of Health Canada’s compliance regulations. From the advent of legal medical marijuana in Canada, legal producers of cannabis have been required to track every seed, rooted plant, gram of waste material, final dried product, as well as interactions with customers and more. Due to the sheer volume of information, an electronic record-keeping system is the only practical way to manage the process. The software industry has responded to this need by creating seed-to-sale management software systems designed to help producers track their operations and report to Health Canada to meet compliance.

To help you through the process of purchasing seed-to-sale software in the Canadian Cannabis marketplace, we've produced a 20-page guide that answers the following questions:

  • What is a seed-to-sale software solution and why do I need one?
  • How do I choose one software platform over another?
  • What should I be looking for in the software?
  • How does the software fit into my business?
  • How is my data stored and secured?
  • What happens if regulations change?

To download this guide courtesy of AirMed, please visit the following page and complete the form. Once you submit the form, you'll be able to download the guide.

AirMed Seed-to-Sale Software Buyer's Guide


AirMed Ecosystem: Camas Consulting

Camas Consulting works with cannabis businesses to tailor foundational procedures to reflect the culture and vision of the individual business. The Camas team is experienced in navigating the developing and complex cannabis landscape in Canada and offers a variety of consulting packages tailored specifically for cannabis. Camas Consulting helps cannabis businesses grow and thrive.

CANNABIS LICENSING

  • Standard Cultivation Licence
  • Micro-Cultivation Licence
  • Nursery Licence
  • Standard Processing Licence
  • Micro-Processing Licence
  • Retail Cannabis Licence

BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS

  • Community & Government Relations
  • People Operations (HR)
  • Business Development
  • Operational Readiness

For more information visit: camasconsulting.ca


AirMed and FDA CFR 21

We are sometimes asked if AirMed meets FDA standards. First, please be aware that the FDA is a department of the US government. The specific portion of FDA regulations relevant to software such as AirMed is part CFR 21. As it is an American standard, Health Canada does not require CFR Part 21 compliance as part of the Cannabis Act Regulations. And while AirMed was designed for the Canadian cannabis industry and to comply with Health Canada regulations, AirMed does conform to CFR Part 21 with respect to electronic record keeping, audit trails, and electronic signatures. 

Many agencies throughout the world are responsible for issuing and enforcing regulations that affect businesses. The regulations affecting software such as AirMed are typically those related to records management compliance. And while there are many regulatory agencies involved in records management, for the most part the regulations themselves are similar from country to country and agency to agency. The purpose of them, in general, is to ensure the security, confidentiality and authentication of electronic records.

The U.S. FDA regulates food, drugs, medical devices, biologics, animal feed and drugs, cosmetics and radiation-emitting products such as cell phones for the U.S.A. The FDA’s rules for manufacturing and distribution are designed to protect consumers and promote public health. In the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 21 deals with Food & Drugs. Until recently, the regulations in this title required paper records with handwritten signatures.

Back in 1997, part 11 of 21 CFR was enacted to cover the use of electronic records and electronic signatures. Commonly known as 21 CFR 11, this part defines the criteria “under which the agency considers electronic records, electronic signatures, and handwritten signatures executed to electronic records to be trustworthy, reliable, and generally equivalent to paper records and handwritten signatures executed on paper.”

Essentially, the concerns about using electronic records are that records may be lost in a system crash, the data may become corrupt or modifications may be made without proper authorization. In addition, since printed documents with hand-written signatures are recognized as legally binding on the signators, the agencies are looking for ways to make electronic records similarly binding on their owners. The regulations have been proposed to ensure that whenever an organization replaces printed documents with electronic data, there are checks and balances in place to ensure integrity of the electronic records so that they can be legally equivalent to printed records.

AirMed has a range of features that satisfy standards for security, authentication, validation and auditing as outlined in 21 CFR 11 and other regulations. For more detailed information on exactly how AirMed satisfies these requirements, please use the contact form and we will provide you with comprehensive documentation.


AirMed Ecosystem: Global Payments Realex

With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions. Global Payments technologies, services and employee expertise enable the company to provide a broad range of solutions that allow customers to accept various payment types and operate their businesses more efficiently across a variety of distribution channels.

During these unprecedented times, businesses are looking for ways to protect their revenue stream so we've seen a huge shift in companies moving towards virtual payments and online processing. Jeff Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Global Payments, made the following statement recently.

Our top priority during this worldwide crisis remains the health and safety of our team members, customers, partners, and the communities in which we live and work. We are all working together to fight the spread of the Coronavirus while operating our businesses as usual despite the circumstances. These efforts position Global Payments and our customers to weather near term disruptions and emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.

We’re steadfast in our commitment to our customers and will continue to keep you updated with supportive resources to help you connect with your customers at every point of commerce with as little friction as possible. And our family of brands is dedicated to helping you and your communities. If you need something from us during this especially difficult time, please just ask.

We are all in this together, and we will get through this together. Thank you for placing your trust in Global Payments.

For more information visit: Global Payments And while there, check out Global Payment's Covid-19 resources including a guide to no-contact commerce.


AirMed Recognized as Underlying Technology Software for Cannabis Sector

In a recent article by venture capital company Canopy Rivers, AirMed was recognized as one of the foundation vendors of seed-to-sale software. In a 'market insights" post, Ben Futoriansky, an Associate in Business Development at Canopy Rivers, described specialized cannabis technology suppliers as "picks & shovels" for the sector.

"The sector-agnostic use case of many technology-driven innovations has led to software becoming the foundation in various industries. Following decades of prohibition and patchwork regulations, many established software solutions have not yet been applied to the cannabis sector. This has paved the way for specialized cannabis..."

To read the full article, visit Canopy Rivers.


AirMed Ecosystem: Northernblock

Northernblock helps clients launch blockchain applications into production that will deliver short and long-term value. Consulting services include blockchain business modelling, value proposition & product vision, go-to-market strategy, and funding & staffing for incubated businesses. Full-stack development includes developing and implementing private and consortium blockchains to manage immutable data, dApp building, smart contract design, website development, and blockchain + IoT integration.

Building blockchain solutions that drive REAL value: elegant, production-grade blockchain solutions for businesses of all sizes, from large enterprises to early-stage ventures. By developing a deep understanding of your business, Northernblock makes sure the technology will deliver the utmost value to you.

For more information visit: Northernblock.ca


Implementing AirMed in Your Facility

As a cloud-based platform, AirMed does not require expensive dedicated hardware to operate. Producers are free to use any computing device that supports a web browser. As a result, set up consists mainly of configuring the software to meet your needs. The rest of the time involves learning to use the system and getting your employees up and running.

When you have completed your training, the next step is to configure your Live Production environment.
After you’ve configured and tested your system, it’s time to train other users (your workers) to use AirMed. Once users have been set up as Employees with usernames and passwords, they can access the AirMed Learn environment, which includes various training resources.

Employees can take additional training at a later date to develop skills for different areas of the system — in fact, anyone with access to AirMed can use the Learn environment at any time to learn about new features or refresh their knowledge.

When workers have completed training, you can configure their access to the system and they can get to work.

With AirMed you can implement only the functionality you need right now. For example, you can start by implementing the AirMed Grow module, then when you expand your operation, you add modules that meet your current needs for performing extractions, packaging for provincial sales, selling to medical patients or whatever your business entails.

Of course you will need some equipment in your facility such as weight scales, barcode scanners, and printers. You can choose whatever equipment you wish, but you can also use the AirMed Ecosystem.

To help our clients cultivate success, AirMed has developed strategic partnerships with leading vendors of seed-to-sale production equipment. Our AirMed Ecosystem lets you purchase hardware and software in a turn-key solution for your cannabis business.

We recognize that there is a dizzying selection of products to serve cannabis businesses. To assist our clients, we’ve scoured the market for industry-leading equipment that will help you operate at peak potential.
Each product selected for the AirMed Ecosystem is carefully chosen based on its ability to provide value, lower production costs and increase competitiveness for AirMed customers.

You create the package that’s right for you from pre-configured hardware and software. To learn more about the AirMed Ecosystem, visit the Ecosystem page.

Ready to learn more about AirMed and to create the ideal technology ecosystem for your cannabis business? Click the Request Demo button at the top of the screen. You can also call 1-877-313-2442 or email info@airmed.ca.


AirMed Ecosystem: Timbergrove

Timbergrove has been improving business productivity for almost a decade. Timbergrove understands the cost of ERP disjunction. Lack of integration among business processes slows the ability to make critical business decisions. Manual processes are difficult to scale and lack visibility for stakeholders.

An IBM Advanced Business Partner, Timbergrove applies user-centered design to integrate hardware and software to solve complex business problems using enterprise asset management, business process management, service-oriented architecture, big data analytics and IoT.

The team at Timbergrove is expert at enabling automation and providing a view into formerly manual business processes — allowing decision-makers to control, measure and improve KPIs.

For more information visit: Timbergrove.com