What is appropriate? Fitness for purpose is an established best practice used in several key industries, including information technology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and warehouse management. It is a concept that aligns infrastructure and system specifications with desired outcomes – whether a product, service or result. When applied to the cannabis plant, its components, products and related processes, it can streamline the development, implementation and compliance with regulatory frameworks.

Fitness for purpose is simply a series of logical questions you ask yourself to determine which business practices you should adopt and which legal framework you should comply with. What are you doing? Who is it for? Where is it sold? All this affects the way the cannabis plant, its parts and products are grown, handled, managed and stored, regardless of the type of cannabis plant. The concept of fitness for purpose is a tool that can be applied to any scenario in the cannabis/hemp market. Take the example of sustainability: A practical example would be the development of cultivation standards adapted to the climatic region where the plants are grown, so that any cannabis plant grown anywhere in the world would meet the specifications, regardless of how it was produced.

No special sauce here. All you can do is ask yourself: Are the protocols I am considering appropriate/adequate for my situation, and if not, what protocols are more appropriate/adequate based on the products I am producing, the intended consumer, and the market in which these products will be sold? Whether they are fit for purpose is a powerful concept that can be used to simplify design, implementation and compliance.

An example of the cannabis/non-cannabis combination would be a scenario where a banana grower wants to implement a data management system into their cultivation practices to better track production and yield. There are many data management systems that a banana producer could implement. You could implement a data management system similar to the one used by large pharmaceutical companies, with multi-level redundancy and access controls related to intellectual property and other sensitive data. You can also set up a data management system that will be used to keep track of inventory; it may not convey exactly everything they need, but it’s better than nothing. None of the examples are suitable/suitable for a banana producer. They need something in between, something that allows them to track the kinds of products they make and the data they want to see in a way that works for them. This idea underlies the concept of goal alignment.

Enforcement of target

So how do you apply good cannabis to the cannabis/hemp market? Adaptability reduces the conversation to two questions: The products you want to produce and the impact this has on your business, whether it’s growing, processing, manufacturing or regulatory compliance. Ultimately, the products you plan to launch determine the rules you must follow and the standards you must apply.

Farmers can use it as a guide for cultivation, harvesting, processing and storage. Processors and producers of products can use it to control their production, handling, packaging and storage activities. Legislators can use it as a guide in designing, implementing and enforcing rules for the delivery of public goods. It is beautiful and easy to install, it can be used in any situation and combined with any type of product.

Farmers may be driven by opportunism in most aspects of their work.

Take a look at some practical examples of the match between growers and processors. Farmers have three main areas: Cultivation, harvesting and storage, while processors and growers have a slightly more complicated task.

Cultivation of cannabis plants

Washing

The regulations governing the cultivation of cannabis plants, including those that may be classified as cannabis, are based on the product having the highest quality and safety requirements. For example, the cultivation of smoked fruit tips (i.e. flowers) may require different cultivation methods than other products. You may not want to apply the same pesticides or growth promoters to a cannabis plant grown for smoked fruit as you would to a cannabis plant grown for seeds and fibre.

Harvesting

The next important point is that the harvesting and processing requirements should be agricultural, periodic. Excluding products intended for incineration or evaporation and subsequent inhalation. Following our previous example, smoked fruit tips may require different harvesting methods than other products, especially if you are trying to preserve their aesthetic quality. You can opt for a harvesting technique other than seed and fibre harvesting and consider the remaining biomass as secondary.

Storage

The quality and safety specifications of each product must be taken into account when products are checked and stored. One product may have temperature characteristics, while another may have humidity characteristics. You must ensure that you store each product in accordance with its individual quality and safety characteristics. It is then necessary to identify those products for which the risk of misuse is greatest and additional protocols may be required. To stay with our example, the risk of theft is greater when smoking fruit tips, whether classified as cannabis or not, than when smoking seeds or fibres; depending on the competent authority, additional security measures may be required.

Processing and handling

When requesting machining and fabrication for suitable products, you must first select the products you wish to manufacture and specify the intended use for each product. The quality and safety requirements as well as the orientation potential of each product are determined. This allows you to establish production, processing and handling protocols for each product based on quality and safety requirements. Next, identify specific products with higher risk of abuse that may require additional protocols based on local regulations and/or internal risk assessments, and adjust your practices accordingly.

Financial provisions

Imagine if the rules governing the cannabis plant, its parts, products, and related processes were based on its intended use rather than on a set of attributes that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is difficult enough for regulators to think about the cannabis plant or product without thinking about whether that plant or product can be classified as marijuana or cannabis. Aligning the objectives avoids this complication and simplifies the discussion.

With an appropriate approach, there is no need to think about molecular constituents and the conversation is focused on the intended use rather than one or two specific molecules – in this case d9-THC, the boogie man among cannabinoids. Taking into account intended use promotes the health and safety of consumers and the environment by allowing operators and regulators to focus on what is important – quality and safety – rather than the nature of the marijuana or cannabis.

This idea is what really makes conviviality work. This paves the way for a single-system solution. We have where we are now – with marijuana and cannabis – and where we want to go – cannabis. It is a plant with many uses that can be used to make various commercial products. Purposefulness helps bridge the gap between where we are now and where we want to be, and allows us to view marijuana and cannabis in the same way, for their intended use.

Fit for purpose is a powerful concept that can be used to simplify design, implementation and compliance. The rules imposed on the cannabis plant, its parts and products must be proportionate to, i.e. suitable for, the intended use. This approach challenges the limits of the current draconian dichotomy of the cannabis plant and works within that system to push the boundaries. It creates a path to a factory solution and asks the question: Is the world ready for this new concept?

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