ISO 9001 for Cannabis Businesses & Why It's Important

What is ISO 9001?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental organization that develops and publishes standards for a wide range of industries. One section of these standards is ISO 9001, which sets out the criteria for a quality management system. Any organization can use ISO 9001, regardless of size or industry. Over one million companies and organizations in hundreds of countries around the world are certified with ISO 9001. So, why do companies invest in ISO 9001 and what are the benefits for the cannabis industry?

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Why is ISO 9001 Important?

In order to turn a profit, companies need to have an organized business plan and course of operations. Setting the criteria for operations is where a quality management system comes into play with guidelines and procedures to make sure the company runs smoothly. This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation, and implication of executive management, and the process approach with revolving improvement. ISO 9001 sets those standards of effective criteria that are proven to work and used by multi-billion dollar corporations. So, we know its a standard that works.

The Benefits of ISO 9001 for Cannabis Businesses

There are many benefits associated with implementing ISO 9001 for the cannabis business. Perhaps most importantly, it can help you win new customers by giving them confidence that you have robust systems and processes in place to deliver products or services that meet their needs and expectations.

An ISO 9001 certification also demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement, in which customers know that you are constantly striving to do better rather than letting things go outdated. Here are some other benefits cannabis companies experience with ISO 9001 certification:

  • Business operations will run more smoothly and efficiently.
  • Cost savings as well as reduced errors and waste.
  • Improve employee morale by establishing clear roles and responsibilities. 
  • Increases communication throughout the organization.


All of these benefits can give your cannabis business a competitive edge in today’s market.

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The Requirements for ISO 9001

There are four main clauses in the ISO 9001 standard:

  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support

Each clause contains specific requirements that must be met in order for an organization to be certified to ISO 9001 which typically starts with an ISO 9001 Audit.

cannabis testing, ISO 9001 for labs

Context of the Organization

In terms of the context of the organization, businesses must identify external and internal issues that could affect their ability to meet customer requirements. They must also understand relevant requirements from interested parties—such as regulatory bodies or shareholders—and determine how these requirements will be met. 


As part of leadership, businesses must establish a quality policy and objectives and make sure they are communicated throughout the organization. Furthermore, they must appoint a representative who has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organization regarding quality management.


Planning is all about creating a framework for quality management within the organization so that it can meet its quality policy and objectives. This includes creating processes and documented procedures—such as those related to resource management, product development, and customer service—as well as setting up methods for monitoring performance and taking corrective action when necessary.


For support, businesses must ensure that their employees have the necessary resources—including training—to do their jobs effectively. They must also create an environment that supports good communication so that everyone understands what needs to be done and why it is important.

Get Quality Management System For Your Cannabis Company

Implementing a quality management system like ISO 9001 within your cannabis business can provide many benefits, including winning new customers, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement, improving efficiency, and reducing costs. Making the business more money over time and increasing employee morale to reduce employee retention. If you’re looking for a way to give your business a competitive edge in today’s cannabis market, Cannabis Clearwater can help you get certified with ISO 9001.