Producers who are federally licensed for the cultivation of cannabis, or who are in the process of applying for a federal licence, may apply for organic certification. To qualify for organic certification under the Canada Organic Regime (COR), a product must be an agricultural food product intended for human or animal consumption. Cannabis is not considered a food product, and is not recognized under the COR; therefore, PACS has developed internal ISO organic certification programs for the organic certification of legally produced cannabis.
The PACS organic certification program for Indoor Cannabis Cultivation (containerized, greenhouse production), is based on the Canadian Organic Standards for greenhouse production. Following an initial inspection and successful certification review, a PACS organic certificate will be issued to an Indoor production operation, provided they are a federally licensed producer. If the Health Canada licence has not been issued, receipt of an organic certificate will be withheld until the operation receives its HC licence.
The PACS organic certification program for Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation (in-ground) is based on the principal aspects of the Canadian Organic Standards for crop production. Outdoor, in-ground, production is considered a land-based activity and is subject to a minimum transition period of 12 months. The land must also be free of prohibited substances for a minimum of 36 months. An Outdoor operation will receive a letter indicating their transitional status and the PACS certification committee will determine their organic eligibility date pending a successful second inspection and pending their receipt of a federal licence for cannabis production. NOTE: If the HC licence has not been received by the date of organic eligibility, the fallow land may be certified to BCCOP.