Cannabis Supply Chain – Best Practices

Selling Cannabis Products in Canada

To sell cannabis and related products (such as accessories) in Canada, licensed producers are using GS1 global standards for product identification and supply chain traceability.

GS1 Canada collaborates with provincial cannabis authorities and representatives from the cannabis business community to develop essential guidelines for cannabis industry stakeholders regarding the adoption of global standards.

Click here for a guide on how to Launch Cannabis Products in Canada.

Next Generation Barcode:
Revolutionizing Cannabis Retail in Canada

Discover how the GS1 DataMatrix barcode is transforming Canada’s cannabis retail landscape by enhancing scanning efficiency, improving access to product information, and supporting sustainability.

Read the article (opens in a new window)

Value of GS1 Global Standards

In a global digital world, GS1 global standards help single out what really matters. Commonly encoded as barcodes and scanned at the checkout, global standards are used to uniquely identify companies, products, locations and their associated data. This standard data is used to fuel critical business processes throughout the value chain.

Global standards users benefit from:


Global standards level the playing field and facilitate business across borders for organizations of all sizes. Standards-based solutions ensure brand consistency and interoperability across systems.


Global standards enable products to be tracked and traced as they move through the supply chain. This enables supply chain issues to be identified and products to be quickly located or recalled if necessary.

Operational Efficiency

Remove unreliable, time-consuming, manual business processes from the supply chain, minimizing the number of repetitive processes and significantly reducing the opportunity for human error.


By enabling the traceability of products throughout the supply chain, global standards reduce the risk of product counterfeiting.

Trusted Canadian Industry Expertise

Our ECCnet New Item Setup solution for cannabis and cannabis-related products includes mandatory attributes specifically requested by Canadian industry, removing any confusion or doubt about the required data.

Working with GS1 Global Standards

Retailers need a trusted strategic partner to unlock the benefits of efficiency and authenticity in retail such as:

  • Gain access to accurate information from various trading partners through a primary source of truth, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, especially meeting Canadian Cannabis bilingual listing standards
  • Get standardized product images
  • Enable supply chain traceability through licensed, authenticated, and globally unique product identification numbers (GS1 GTINs)

For licensed producers and manufacturers of cannabis or cannabis-related products and accessories in Canada, here are the key considerations:

  • Utilize a GS1-Compliant Global Identifier and Barcode (Mandatory in all provinces)
  • Provide Bilingual Product Data using GS1 Canada’s ECCnet New Item Setup ensuring the inclusion of cannabis-specific attributes such as THC and CBD percentages, Terpene profiles, Dried Cannabis Equivalency, and Cannabis Species
  • Share Globally Standardized Product Images required by the Canadian Cannabis Industry including provincial jurisdictions and major retailers

To meet these requirements and unlock these benefits, you will need to become a GS1 Canada subscriber. Click the button below to get started.

If you need help throughout the subscription process, please reach out to us via email at or consult this helpful guide.

Getting Started

GS1 Identifiers and Barcodes

Licensed producers should use a GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to uniquely identify all of their products and their packaging levels.

  • The Cannabis community has selected GS1 DataMatrix for use at the product or consumer level.
  • Shipping and logistics units will continue to use GS1-128 or ITF-14 for case and pallet configuration.

When identifying your cannabis products, three mandatory Application Identifiers (AIs) are used to encode into the GS1 barcode.

Identifier Application Identifier (AI) Description
GTIN 01 Identifies the Global Trade Item Number as a GTIN-14 which is a 14-digit number (if the GTIN is less than 14 digits, 00s are inserted at the beginning of the GTIN).
Packaging Date 13 Identifies the date when the goods were packaged as determined by the packager. Structure is YYMMDD.
Batch / Lot # 10 Identifies the batch or lot number of the product which can encode up to 20 alphanumeric characters.