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CannaTech Sydney presentation -October 30th 2018

Our Chief Operating Officer Chris Bolton delivered the Presentation “Ensuring a Reliable, Economic, Practical and Safe Cannabis Regulatory Framework” @ CannaTech Sydney on October 30th.

To download the presentation simply click here.

For more information on  Innovations to the Cannabis industry and our services,  please contact our sales team.

 

SO YOU WANT TO BECOME A LICENSED PRODUCER? Top Ten Tips to Ensure Success

Applying to become a licensed cannabis producer in Canada (and other jurisdictions) is a complicated task. Over the years, we at Theracann have learned how best to navigate the application process.  Here is a brief summary of suggestions to help you successfully apply to become a licensed producer.

Top Ten Tips to Ensure Success:

  1. Understand the licensing process. It is essential to know that you cannot get a Health Canada cultivation license until you have a functioning facility.  In addition, you cannot sell cannabis until you pass inspection and testing for two sequential production batches. Unlike other jurisdictions that require non refundable deposits (some as high as $50K), the Canadian program does not charge an application fee, however you need to secure construction and financing up front.
  2. Location, Location, Location. Make sure you have appropriate zoning permission and follow all local bylaws with respect to land use, security, distance from schools, etc. Make sure your site will have sufficient power and water services to accommodate your facility and production plan.
  3. License application accuracy is critical. Answer every section carefully and thoroughly, and have another person review all aspects of your submission. Applicants have become stuck in the security clearance phase because of a misspelled middle name or incorrect birth date, so don’t let this happen to you.
  4. Avoid making changes to a submitted application. If at all possible, do not make changes to your submission once it is in the queue. Changes to key personnel or company name may interrupt the approval process and lead to a longer wait time for approval. A change of location will require a new application.
  5. Choose key managers wisely. Being a Licensed Producer is serious business, and although friends and family are easy to recruit, they most likely do not have the expertise required to operate a highly regulated production facility. Both Health Canada, and potential investors, will want to see that you have hired a talented and qualified management team.
  6. Check credentials and references. Make sure key personnel on file (SPIC – Senior Person in Charge, RPIC – Responsible Person in Charge, QAP – Quality Assurance Person) can withstand vigorous scrutiny. Do not take anything for granted. Obtain original or notarized copies of diplomas, degrees and other qualifications; and be sure to proactively reach out to all references.
  7. Time is money. For every step of the process, from planning, application, construction, facility set-up and establishment, there is potential for delays and resulting reduction of revenues. Avoid opportunity costs associated with delays by having the right people and a well developed plan.
  8. Have a marketing plan in place. Competition in the Cannabis Industry is growing rapidly so you need to understand early on where your company and products will best fit within the marketplace.
  9. Keep moving forward. Keep your application file active by answering any questions that Health Canada may have, and by keeping them informed of all updates. Show that you are actively progressing with your project because any files that languish over time may be flagged as inactive and moved to the bottom of the pile.
  10. Why reinvent the wheel? Partner with an experienced multi-disciplinary team, who has a proven track record and knows how to navigate the process. Ensuring that all aspects of your business are integrated and fully compliant with regulations will get you up and running faster. See point #7.

By Brenda Marks – Customer Service Manager for TheraCann International.

For more information on  the Cannabis Industry and our services,  please contact Brenda Marks, Customer Service Manager for TheraCann International.

CANNABIS FACILITIES – PERFECTING BUILDING DESIGN

The recent world wide boom in the cannabis industry, has created a sense of urgency for many prospective licensed producers in their desire to “fast-track” the construction of their grow and processing facilities. This fast track pursuit to establish their operation without delay, has resulted in a detrimental lack of attention to specific design requirements for high quality cultivation and processing of cannabis resulting in sub-standard building systems and inferior end-product quality.

 

The desire for a quickly constructed building, combined with the general lack of experience with the many ownership teams in understanding the importance of proper building system design, specifically related to cannabis production, has created numerous situations where the licensed producer has had to inject stifling “post construction” capital into their facilities in an attempt to rectify issues that have proven to be damaging to their product quality, and in some cases affecting all aspects of their operation.

 

The hastiness by which many producers have elected to assemble their projects, utilizing outside consultants and project team members that do not have a strong record of experience and success with cannabis facilities, has created the various issues which they now must rectify in order to achieve any chance of producing a quality product for the public.  The requirement to now retrofit their facility to meet the necessary standards expected in producing pharmaceutical grade medical marijuana, can be disastrous to most owners, resulting in a challenging financial impact as well as undesirable disruption to their fully operational facility.

 

Despite the many guidelines and regulations issued by the regulatory leaders in the worldwide cannabis industry, there continues to be a lack of clarity from these regulatory bodies on the best practice approach to what is required in terms of facility requirements to produce high grade cannabis products. The search for this information can be both frustrating and daunting as there is tends to be either a lack of information or misleading information in the marketplace as to the “best” approach to facility design.

 

Every ownership group, upon initiation of their project, must understand that seeking out and securing a project team to design their facility, a firm that has all required expertise internally within their wheelhouse, is critical to the success of their business overall. The most desirable  firm understands the fundamentals in cannabis facility design, commencing with an optimized functional layout of the facility, which takes into account the most systematic and efficient workflows for all aspects of the operation and integrates engineered mechanical and electrical systems layouts.

 

These foundational elements, combined with comprehensive recommendations and specifications for all interior and exterior building components and equipment that meet pharmaceutical and food grade regulatory requirements, will deliver the most economical yet most efficient solution to ensuring that a high quality end product is achieved and that the business remains profitable and successful for the long term.

 

We will continue to explore additional challenges and insights on developing optimal cannabis building solutions in our next blog…

THERACANN BUILD TEAM

By Robert Mulyk – Director of BenchmarkBUILD for TheraCann International.

For more information on  the Cannabis Facility Building design and our services,  please contact Robert Mulyk, Director of BenchmarkBUILD for TheraCann International.

 

Potential growth in Australia from the legalisation of medicinal cannabis from an economic perspective.

The recent legislative reform enabling a licencing and permit based scheme for the cultivation and supply of medicinal cannabis is merely the beginning of the medicinal cannabis revolution within Australia. Continued research into larger samples within the Australian and International market combined with modern advancements in agriculture have enabled cultivators and suppliers to isolate compounds and tailor grow medicinal cannabis strains to target particular symptoms of diseases included nausea, seizures and pain. Only two hundred years ago similar concerns were raised about the extraction of morphine from opioid based plant types and research now suggests that this designer cannabis poses even less harm than its more established counterpart.

 

The growth of the medicinal cannabis industry presents numerous opportunities for Australia to become a market leader in narcotic and economic reform. Recently the Australian Green’s party has advocated for the widespread legalisation of cannabis combined with a taxation initiative that could see Australia raise over two billion dollars annually. Recent legislative reform in the United States, most notably in Massachusetts has seen significantly high sales tax imposed on cannabis distributors with the revenue raised being used on drug focused programs including community and young person’s education, drug treatment facilities as well as funding an independent monitoring authority which will free up state resources to focus on other elements of trade and enforcement.

 

Whilst widespread legalisation of cannabis in Australia may be ambitious at this point, further legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the Australian market may pose similar economic benefits to those possible in Massachusetts and suggested by the Australian Green’s Party. The opportunity for rapid growth in Australia is currently limited by a stringent fiscally and time imposing licencing and permit application system with applications costing in excess of $10,000 dollars and licences in excess of $30,000 annually. Careful consideration must be given whether the imposing of sales and cultivation taxes on businesses applying for a renewable licence with its own significant costs associated with regular compliance may mitigate the potential desire of cultivators to enter the market, this may be especially true for international investors. As such, an approach should be considered where if taxation is designed to significantly raise revenue to the amount suggested by the Australia Green’s party, steps need to be taken to ensure that the fee’s and application process are less restrictive on the prospering industry with any potential loss for the government to be off-set by the lucrative tax raising initiatives.

 

Further legalisation may also address medical and societal concerns regarding drugs being obtained over the ‘black market’ with unregulated and undisclosed ingredients with legalisation being the first step towards regulation and standardised units of cannabis in products. Further advantages in the growth of the industry may contain the development of new job opportunities for all classes of individuals from cultivators to researchers to sales with most opportunities focused away from the currently over-crowded coast line of Australia.

 

Ultimately the growth of medicinal cannabis in Australia has only just begun, and with relaxed licencing laws and the imposition of taxes associated with cultivation and the sale of medicinal cannabis, further funds can be raised to focus on areas hindering the growth of the market. Mainly establishing bodies to monitor the industry removed from the potentially restrictive processing times of government bodies and an education program addressing the numerous myths of medicinal cannabis. Technological advancements in agriculture and developing research into the benefits of this wonder drug have created an industry ready for cultivation, however before any form of significant sales tax can be considered, a balance must be reached with less restrictive licencing procedures to ensure we don’t deter both domestic and international investment into a budding multi-billion-dollar home grown industry.

By Joplin Higgins -Country Manager for TheraCann Australia.

For more information on  the Cannabis Industry in Australia and our services,  please contact Joplin Higgins, Country Manager for TheraCann Australia.

Staying on Course – Employee Policies in the Cannabis Industry

 

As the newly appointed HR Director for TheraCann International with over 25 years of consulting and talent acquisition experience for over 100 industries – my most recent challenge has been creating a Code of Conduct policy that will not only insulate the company from unethical exposure but will also protect our employees and maintain our corporate integrity.

Our global corporation of consultants travel Internationally and attend trade shows and conferences and attend meetings with high level government officials.  At many of the trade shows and conferences Cannabis is available for the sampling, testing, touching and procurement.  The industry has created an environment where corporate conduct is encouraged to cross blurry lines and to perform and act outside the rules of the corporate road.  Our employees travel through countries that not only prohibit recreational use of cannabis, but medicinal use as well, and have harsh consequences for any association with this product.

Doing my research, I looked globally and reviewed Code of Conduct policies for companies who have offices in countries where local laws vary drastically from nation to nation.  GE a company I had partnered with in the past went above and beyond and implemented a Code of Ethics policy that I knew would work for our Global Consultants.  They tied their policy back to the mission and values of their corporation and created what was called a Code of Conduct Integrity Card.  This is a wallet size card that their employees carry with them and present when asked or when deemed appropriate.  I created a TheraCann Code of Conduct card for all our employees including those that will not be traveling.  It is signed and is always to be carried on their person.

Further to the Code of Conduct policy we have a Whistle blower policy.  This ensures that every employee knows there is a process that is confidential yet must be followed if they witness their colleague, client or vendor violating our code.  There is no grey area, there are no blurry lines.  If a colleague suspects unethical behaviour they must report it and a full investigation will ensue.

The Cannabis Industry who has been coined the Gold Rush of this millennium is moving at lightening speed and it is our job to stay ahead and remain at the forefront of the cannabis evolution. Our mission is to make our BenchmarkSOLUTION a brand that’s trusted around the world, by regulators, law enforcement, cannabis producers, processors, distributors, consumers, transporters and analytical laboratories. In other words, we are the company that is wiping out the blurry lines, the grey area and creating definition – neon definition.  For us to succeed we must ensure that every one of our employees and subsidiaries acts accordingly in all their affairs.  We believe we have created that environment where we work hard, have fun and we never have to look over our shoulder as we continue to create and follow the bright yellow lines on the road.

By Karyn Saunders -Director of Human Resources for TheraCann International.

For more information on Human resources management in the Cannabis Industry  please contact Karyn Saunders, Director of Human Resources for TheraCann International.

Challenges in Solution/Application Adaptability in a high demand, and extremely changing regulatory compliant industry – Legal Cannabis

 

As CIO of TheraCann International, I am acutely aware of the challenges of developing a world class, secure, web based ERP software system.  In our high compliance cannabis sector, being capable of accepting change as individuals and forever adapting to a new software requirements is the rule not the exception.  Current tech trends, cloud software (SaaS), cloud infra (IaaS), virtualized environments, IT and Information Security, compliance to regulation are just a few of the challenges CIO’s and their IT Teams face on daily basis.

SDLC towards a full functional release are measured in weeks not month or years as this sector’s regulatory requirements and advancement of automation and integration travel at the speed of light.  Each day requires a change in work processes, changes in the team or office staff, training requirements or software access levels, adapting to new interpretations of legal or regulatory compliance in terms of record keeping, traceability, scope of KYM and AML documentation, implementation of new methods or technology, or in some cases requests to redesign the whole thing. In the end, it all boils down to our ability to adapt quickly to an ever-changing cannabis sector software requirements list.

This ever-changing needs and requirements list demands a completely new type of software approach.    Long gone are the days of managing new requirements by relying on a robust and talented development team to conduct weekly sprints to customize the existing software functionality.  Gone are the days of trying to second-guess the market’s future requirements by adding multiple modules to turn on / turn off as required.  Today’s challenge for robust cannabis software solutions is to develop a software that is at its core fully configurable and easily able to permit the user to adapt to its current requirements.  Enabling the Client User to design their own original cannabis process workflows, their own reports, and their own cannabis tracking modules is the only way to ensure every gram and every penny is accounted for today and tomorrow without question of data manipulation.  To achieve this, competent CIO’s together with talented Development Team’s needs to design the software solution with the appropriate architecture to give the Client user the necessary tools for that propose.

Needless to say, the proposed solution must then be properly tested to ensure this highly dynamic solution will satisfy these new requirements.

To further explain the critical nature of this requirement, consider this, the entire supply chain for industrial high quality legal cannabis has accomplished in less than 6 years what the industrial automotive sector has accomplished in 100 years. In an industry where legal requirements are still in the making and that is moving as fast as it can go to reach consumer markets, both regulators and service provider have the challenge to deliver high standard requirements and adaptable solutions.

As the regulations continue to tune and adjust, delivering consistency, traceability, security in the handling and tracking of all records, seed to sale was the tip of the iceberg.  This has forced large scale facility operations to integrate multiple data input sources, in-congruent data points while meeting and  or exceeding HIPPA, ISO 17025, ISO 31000, ISO2100 and ISO27001 compliance.  All the while having to consolidate this DataMart into a secure storage architecture that permitted the ability to provide dynamic analytics across yet to be determined referenced data.

However, without having such tools, organizations will invariably struggle and leave this responsibility to external vendors to provide that simply cannot code fast enough to meet their requirements.  In an industry, that produces a perishable product that requires a court defensible label before the product can be sold, long software development cycles are not advantageous and that is assuming that the vendor can take the time to understand the requirement and communicate the business use case properly.

Therefore, designing a Cannabis Supply Chain Software System, as TheraCann International has done, ensures that the Client user has the right set of tools that will allow flexibility without major intervention from an external team and in so doing can provide the Client user with a distinct competitive advantage.

Once you have the correct Cannabis ERP tools then create the knowledge in-house to further streamline your use of the application when changes are required. As the CIO of one of the World’s first cannabis ERP seed through sales and compliance (ERP-C) software  I am a firm believer that IT Drives value by thriving business through Technology Solutions, with clear understanding of the business and sound knowledge of solutions capabilities.

My team and I would be happy to work with you and your team to crystallize your vision and using TheraCannSYSTEM software realize that vision for today and through tomorrow!

 

By Oswaldo Bello – CIO – Chief Information Officer for TheraCann International.

For more information on TheraCannSYSTEM and its functionalities please contact Oswaldo Bello, CIO – Chief Information Office for TheraCann International, or reach out to our OS2 Customer Support team.

Changes to ACMPR Requirements

With the Canadian cannabis market traveling at the speed of light, there is to be expected a wide sweeping change related to both Federal and Provincial legislation governing the regulation of production, processing, distribution, analysis as well as how hemp will also be included / managed under these new regulations.

To keep you posted and up to date TheraCann International has provided a quick summary as to what to expect in October 2018.  This summary highlights how these changes may impact existing applications that currently in review and future applications. See: TheraCann Summary of Health Canada Proposed Changes_July19_2018(1)

To learn more about the current status of cannabis law in Canada, the Task Force on cannabis regulations and how cannabis will be regulated in the provinces and territories of Canada please Click Here.

For more information on Canadian regulations please contact Mimi Busk-Downey, Director of Regulatory Compliance for TheraCann International.

TheraCann Launches ETCH BIOTRACE™ Technology

Panama Pacifico, Panama, July 31st, 2018 – TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation (“TheraCann”), a leading full service international cannabis business and “seed to sale” technology firm in conjunction with Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., (NASDAQ: APDN), the leader in molecular technologies for supply chain transparency, announced the successful launch of their breakthrough ETCH biotrace™ technology. The  molecular “tag and trace” system will be included with TheraCann’s BenchmarkSOLUTION of licensing, project management, security, cultivation, and analysis services.

TheraCann’s ETCH biotrace™ platform is poised to further refine and transform the cannabis regulatory environment by adding capabilities that allow for the forensic tracking of cannabis and cannabis derivatives across the supply chain. Whether it is introduced at the cultivator, processor or manufacturer level, ETCH biotrace links a unique molecular tag to the cannabis plant that will survive conversion or extraction. Using a simple hand-held device, molecular testing can be performed at any point in the supply chain to verify compliance. The technology also has the potential to drive a sea change in the way brands catalog, manage and track their intellectual property.

The rapid global adoption of cannabis legislation has accelerated the need to secure and truly validate cannabis supply chains from seed-to- sale. Current systems, many of which rely on RFID or bar code technologies, are capable of accurately tacking cannabis supply chains through the cultivation stage but cannot forensically track cannabis and/or cannabis derivative products back to a specific source once the physical tags and packaging are removed.

“TheraCann is excited to fully introduce this  breakthrough molecular tag and trace technology. Global regulatory bodies and cannabis brands have been limited by their reliance on traditional RFID  and stickering systems,” said Jason Warnock, Chief Executive Officer of TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation. “The combination of TheraCann’s integration software and EPCIS Standardized blockchain systems through Multichain Ventures (dba the Tokes Platform), with Applied DNA Science’s proven CertainT® platform creates a safe and secure way to manage the legal supply chain.”

“The molecular tags used in the ETCH biotrace system are considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), they are non GMO,” said Dr. James Hayward, President and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences. “The typical daily diet includes about 100 parts DNA per million parts of food. Orally ingested DNA is hydrolyzed by the pH in the stomach. Our molecular tags are very small; too small to function as genes. Typical tagging levels of use are in parts per billion, levels too small to have any impact on form or function, or the biological properties of cannabis.”

The ETCH biotrace patented technology provides true traceability including the ability to track products from cultivation, extraction and derivative processing into edibles or other forms that will provide a clear method to eliminate black and grey market products from entering the regulated marketplace worldwide.

TheraCann’s ETCH biotrace technology is currently in beta testing with multiple cultivators but will be available to clients, regulatory bodies and cannabis brands in legal municipalities throughout the world.

More information about ETCH biotrace is available at www.etchbiotrace.com

About TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation
Founded in 2004, TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation offers a one-stop, full-service solution for the International cannabis marketplace. TheraCann provides business, technology and industry experts who apply advanced technology and help clients design, build and run their cannabis businesses. Integrating nearly 3.5 million square feet of cannabis operations  and the successful launch of groundbreaking Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Aeroponic cultivation systems and patented genetic tracking and diversion prevention systems, TheraCann provides cannabis-related businesses with solutions to fit their regulatory requirements.

 

More information about TheraCann is available at www.theracanncorp.com. Follow us on Twitter or Linkedin

 

About Applied DNA Sciences

Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and DNA mass production for diagnostics and therapeutics.

Applied DNA makes life real and safe by providing innovative, molecular-based technology solutions and services that can help protect products, brands, entire supply chains, and intellectual property of companies, governments and consumers from theft, counterfeiting, fraud and diversion. The proprietary DNA-molecular based “CertainT®” platform can be used to identify, tag, test, and track products, to help assure authenticity, origin, traceability, sustainability and quality of products. SigNature® DNA describes the core technology ingredient that is at the heart of a family of uncopyable, security and authentication solutions such as SigNature® T and fiberTyping®, targeted toward textiles and apparel, BackTrac™ and DNAnet®, for anti-theft and loss prevention, and digitalDNA®, providing powerful track-and-trace. All provide a forensic chain of evidence and can be used to prosecute perpetrators. Applied DNA Sciences is also engaged in the large-scale production of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction.

Visit adnas.com for more information. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Integrated Compliance Solutions Partners With TheraCann International and TKS Ventures

SAN DIEGO, April 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Integrated Compliance Solutions, LLC. (ICS) is pleased to announce that it has completed a Strategic Partnership with TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation. (“TheraCann”), a leading full service international cannabis business and “Seed to Sale” technology firm and TKS Ventures (dba Tokes Platform) a provider of point of sale and inventory tracking services and solutions for the multi-billion-dollar retail cannabis industry.

ICS (ICSLV.com), a leader in the Cannabis Banking solutions space, has continuously strived to integrate with Leaders in the S2S (Seed to Sale) space. TheraCann and TKS Ventures have brought to market a full-service enterprise software ecosystem for inventory control, POS, financial services management, genetic traceability and other ancillary services that truly redefine the traditional S2S framework. This new partnership allows ICS and TheraCann to expand service offerings that redefine compliance support by increasing their client’s operational efficiencies, thereby increasing their profit margins.

Said TheraCann COO, Chris Bolton: “With the real risk of black and grey market product entering the legal supply chain, the ability to provide best in class anti-money laundering (AMT) and know your customer (KYC) protocols is a primary concern for TheraCann. This strategic partnership with ICS will allow TheraCann and TKS Ventures to build compliant products and solutions for our clients, helping them to mitigate risk and preventing them from being overwhelmed by strict regulatory requirements.”

Said TKS Ventures CEO, Michael Wagner: “By incorporating the sophisticated compliance, reporting, and banking feature set of ICS into the ecosystem developed by TheraCann and Tokes, we’re able to provide one of the most robust solutions for tracking and traceability. In an industry that requires the highest levels of transparency and accountability, it is imperative that we deliver a complete system capable of storing and distributing incorruptible data to those in a position of oversight, and this partnership with ICS is instrumental in accomplishing that objective.”

Said ICS CEO, Christopher Johnson: “In this highly regulated industry, we at Integrated Compliance Solutions are constantly on the lookout for key partnerships in the S2S space. TheraCann and TKS Venture’s unique framework and services offering is truly a game changer in the market today. Easy to use workflows partnered with strong technology enables this unique product.”

About Integrated Compliance Solutions

ICS is the industry leader in compliance software and innovative, cost effective merchant payment solutions. Their experience in financial services and payments technology allows them to apply the heightened federal requirements to preferred providers that meet strict requirements. The result: a competitive, complete, and stable set of services that complement the merchant’s goals. As a Seed to Bank compliance partner, ICS has simply been used by more banks, for longer, and more CRB businesses than any one of their competitors in the space. Their services are proven and well respected in the industry.

About TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation

Founded in 2004, TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation offers a one-stop, full-service solution for the International cannabis marketplace. TheraCann provides business, technology and industry experts who apply advanced technology to help clients design, build and run their cannabis businesses. With nearly 3.5 million square feet of cannabis operations under management and the successful launch of groundbreaking Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Aeroponic cultivation systems and patented genetic tracking and diversion prevention systems, TheraCann provides cannabis-related businesses with solutions to fit their regulatory requirements. More information about TheraCann is available at www.theracanncorp.com.

About TKS Ventures (dba Tokes Platform)

The TKS Ventures is a digital currency and software development company focused on the legal cannabis industry. TKS’s core initiatives include a blockchain-based e-payment solutions, industry agnostic point-of-sale software, as well as compliance and provenance management through a dedicated ERP seed-to-sale application. The ERP enables external developer integration through a modular design and improves regulatory compliance through transparency of payments and supply chain management.  More details about the company available at www.tokesplatform.org