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The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD)

The Green Organic Dutchman (often referred to simply as ‘TGOD’) is a Canadian Licensed Producer of cannabis focused on health and wellness through the development of certified-organic cannabis products. Founded in 2012, the company has long been committed to cultivating cannabis in living soil, using sustainable practices. 

TGOD’s two Canadian facilities (located in Ontario and Quebec) are built to LEED certification standards and its unique and innovative product line-up is sold in recyclable packaging. 

TGOD provides patients and consumers with dried flower and oils, as well as organic teas, infusers and vapes. In Europe, through its subsidiary HemPoland, the company focuses on premium hemp CBD oil and CBD-infused topicals.  In Canada, the LP is also the company behind brands including Highly Dutch Organic and RIPPLE.  

TGOD’s connection to medical patients is at the very heart and history of its business. One of the company’s original co-founders was inspired to facilitate clinical trials involving medical cannabis and epilepsy after her daughter passed away from Dravet syndrome. Some clinical studies have shown that Dravet syndrome (an epilepsy disorder) may be made more manageable (reducing frequency of seizures) in some patients treated with CBD-rich medical cannabis. 

Growing cannabis using organic growing practices is also a key tenet of the company’s approach and set their products apart from many cannabis cultivators. They have been verified by Pro-Cert certification (an ISO 17065 compliant and accredited global certification) to provide certified organic inputs that are free from certain synthetic chemicals and pesticides.


TGOD Products

Medical Cannabis by Pharmaprix is proud to carry these fine TGOD products:


Shop all TGOD products


Q & A with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers

1. Where are you located? Why do you work in this community?

Ancaster is where the Company was founded in 2012 with the mission of Making Life Better.  Since then, TGOD has built strong relationships with the local community.

Our Community Farm grows food for donation to a local charity that not only distributes food, but educates individuals, provides support for new mothers and financial counselling.  As of December 2019, approximately 14,900 lbs of fresh food from the community farm has been donated to local food share initiatives. Each summer, students from the community are hired to work on the farm and learn about sustainable and organic farming and standards.  

In 2019, TGOD established our volunteer group called “Rooted in the Community”—named to showcase how important it is for us to be an integral part of the communities where we operate. They recently participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and Coldest Night of the Year in Hamilton.

To us, being a good neighbour means taking care of the communities we are a part of. A “Good Neighbour” program was implemented in Ancaster to provide an outlet for community members to share any questions, concerns, or general feedback about operations at our Ancaster facility. It is critical to maintain our social license to operate and being a good neighbour is an integral component.


2. Why is medical cannabis important to your organization?

The Company’s vision is centered around its promise of Making Life Better.  By cultivating premium certified organic cannabis, TGOD is committed to developing cannabis solutions that enhance people’s lives.


3. Are there any specific stories you can share (no names needed) about what inspired founders or leaders in your company to provide medical cannabis?

TGOD was founded by a couple of Dutch origins, hence the name, to help their young daughter in her battle against a form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.


4. Which awards, certifications, recognitions has your company/brand/individuals in your organization received?

TGOD’s cannabis is certified organic by Pro-Cert, Canada’s foremost organic foods certifier. 

We’ve also been recognized for the following: 

  • Award for Leadership in Organic Farming from the Canada Organic Trade Association

  • Best Packaging Design Award - 2019 from ADCANN 


5. Which ‘firsts’ and other innovations is your company/brand proud of?

RIPPLE by TGOD dissolvable THC powder is the first product of its kind in Canada, backed by a clinical study, for consistency and efficacy. 


6. How does your organization show leadership in support for fairness and equality?

Business ethics are extremely important and valued at TGOD and the tone from the top is clear and consistent on importance of governance & compliance. Corporate governance policies and procedures are in place. For instance, our Quality Assurance team reports directly to the CEO to avoid potential conflict of interest. Our legal, finance and human resources teams deploy our compliance and governance policies to all employees and our Supplier Standards of Conduct ensures that we do business with like-minded organizations. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to maintaining a workplace environment free from discrimination.  

How does your organization show leadership in sustainable environmental practices? 

What we believe:   

We care deeply about the world the next generations will inherit.  We grow our premium organic cannabis in living soil, reduce waste outputs, conserve water inputs and let nature do its thing. 

We grow in Living Soil: 

Our certified organic cannabis is grown in living soil where we put the flower in charge.  

It is created from a collection of natural ingredients that nourish the beneficial bacteria and fungi necessary for organic nutrient processing and slow-release root absorption. The soil is a “buffet for the plant” to ensure that it can select the ingredients that it most desires for optimal yield and growth. It also allows us to send significantly less waste to landfill compared to traditional cannabis growing operations as the same soil can be used to grow many plants over several years.

We are using purpose-built hybrid greenhouses: 

Our hybrid greenhouses were designed with the goal of achieving LEED® Certification standards. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system for green buildings that is internationally recognized.  The purpose-build facilities are the result of several years of research and development and allow for total control of the environment from light, air, temperature, humidity, and more. These advanced controls enable operational optimization, waste reduction and maximizes plant health. Our Ancaster operations uses a cogeneration natural gas power plant while our Valleyfield operations uses hydroelectricity.

We use natural sunlight and LED lighting: 

Our purpose-build facilities allow for absorption of natural sunlight.  Paired with a LED lighting system that uses 40 percent less energy than standard high-pressure sodium lights,  it gives us the ability and efficiency to grow at any time of the day, any time of the year while reducing decreasing our environmental footprint.  The full spectrum light provided by the sun and the LED system delivers a healthier plant with improved terpene profiles and significantly cuts down our time to harvest.

We capture and conserve water: 

We have invested in a rainwater recapture system at both our facilities.  It collects rainwater (and melting snow) from the roof, recapture basin and other areas. Our ponds hold 5 million liters of water - equivalent to two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Pipes run along the roofs of the greenhouses and support buildings sending water through downspouts to the pond via gravity and water pressure. The water from the pond goes through ultra filtration using a 15-microns filter and passes through UV light for disinfection. Afterwards the water is stored in one of seven clean, raw water tanks inside the buildings. We also use a sophisticated irrigation system to deliver controlled amounts of water to the plants.   A condensation water system works to capture water vapour that is present in the air in the greenhouse or on the glass windows and uses heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units to collect the water. With all these measures, we drastically reduce our need to draw fresh water from the local well systems.

We chose recyclable packaging for our products: 

Our packaging is a key component of the sustainability story. TGOD considers the impacts of our supply chain and the materials we use. Where possible, we use recyclable glass and recycled paper product packaging better meant for repurposing. As an example, our quality glass jars can be upcycled into a lifetime of household items. Our packaging development team ensures that all our packaging is developed with sustainability as top of mind while still adhering to government regulations.

We take agricultural stewardship seriously: 

Agricultural practices are used daily at TGOD as we cultivate our premium certified organic cannabis. So, it is no surprise that organic farming is an indispensable agricultural practice for our business. In order to continue to educate others and advocate for organic products, we support agriculture associations and organizations with similar ideologies. We are proud to have memberships to several agricultural associations including Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA), Canadian Organic Growers (COG) and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). These organizations promote and support farmers, landowners, scientists, agronomists, businesses, community organizations, governments, and consumers on matters related to food, farming, organic, climate change and more. TGOD wants to ensure that Canada’s organic industry has excellent standards and regulations to stimulate its growth. 

We also were the first cannabis company to complete an Environmental Farm Plan (“EFP”). The EFP is a voluntary assessment used to assess 23 distinct environmental areas on the farm. TGOD’s EFP was conducted in preparation for a comprehensive environmental and sustainability plan. We were able to highlight our environmental strengths and identify areas of concern. 

We make a positive impact on biodiversity: 

TGOD is a participant in ‘Operation Pollinator’. This international biodiversity program is focused on promoting the health and well-being of bees and other pollinating insects on commercial farms given their essential role in agriculture and nature. TGOD planted roughly 1 acre of land in pollinator seed mix which was inspected by an Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) field agent in the summer of 2019. By planting this mix, pollinators were attracted to the community farm and pollinated the plants.

Barn swallows are a bird species that are endangered in Ontario. To help in the swallows’ population recovery, TGOD participates in the Barn Swallow Project by installing and monitoring one dozen nesting cups on the community farm. The nest cups are monitored, and the results are reported to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). In 2019, mud was seen at some of the nesting cups indicating that nest building has begun. Several barn swallows have been reported on site—feeding, hovering about the shelter and singing on the hydro lines. In summary, TGOD is helping to preserve this bird species by providing shelter and nesting sites and participating in the monitoring process. 


7. What initiatives are you implementing (or have implemented) to ensure diversity in leadership roles?

What we believe:  TGOD believes that strong corporate governance is critical to the performance and long-term success of the Company.

Our actions:

We have a strong focus on business ethics and governance

Business ethics are extremely important and valued at TGOD and the tone from the top is clear and consistent on importance of governance & compliance. Corporate governance policies and procedures are in place. For instance, our Quality Assurance team reports directly to the CEO to avoid potential conflict of interest. Our legal, finance and human resources teams deploy our compliance and governance policies to all employees and our Supplier Standards of Conduct ensures that we do business with like-minded organizations. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to maintaining a workplace environment free from discrimination.

We have adopted various corporate governance policies and procedures that permeate all levels of the Company: 

  • Size of Board: 6

  • Number of Independent Directors (%): 5/6    (83%)

  • Our Audit Committee is 100% independent 

  • Our Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee is 100% independent

  • Our Compensation Committee is 100% independent

  • Majority Voting Policy

  • Separate Board Chairman and CEO

  • Position descriptions for the chairman, each committee and CEO

  • In Camera Sessions of Independent Directors

  • Formal Written Board Mandate

  • Board Committee Charters

  • Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

  • Compliance Manual

  • Delegation of Authority and Contract Approval Policy

  • Anti-Corruption Policy

  • Insider Trading Policy

  • Whistleblower Policy

  • Disclosure and Confidentiality Policy

  • Conflict of Interest Policy

  • Promotional Materials Review Policy

  • Data Protection Policy

  • Directors and Officers Share Ownership Policy 

  • Anti-hedging Policy

  • Executive Compensation Claw Back Policy

  • Diversity and Inclusion Policy

  • Shareholder Engagement Policy

  • Board Orientation and Continuing Education for our directors

  • Formal Board Evaluation Process

  • Board Skills Matrix


We have a majority Independent Board of Directors:

Our Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee Charter details corporate governance matters, including  the size and composition of the Board of Directors The charter states that the majority of the board must be independent. Currently, five of six board members are independent. Furthermore,  Board efficacy will be assured through annual and periodic comprehensive assessments of directors and committee members, as applicable, evaluating overall effectiveness and performance.   The results are presented in a report and further action to improve performance is taken when appropriate.  We are also committed to have diverse representation on our board of directors.


8. How do you ensure that your products are safe and high quality for patients?

We believe cannabis must meet rigorous standards in order to be certified organic.

Pro-Cert's certification programs are ISO 17065 compliant and accredited, providing global recognition and international access to the products and brands they certify.

What sets your products apart from competitive products and why should this matter to patients and consumers? (Feel free to mention individual products specifically, or your product portfolio or organization as a whole).

First and foremost, we are one of the few producers cultivating certified organic cannabis.

RIPPLE by TGOD, our dissolvable powder, is backed by a clinical study – offering a consistent 15-minute onset and higher absorption rate than oil.

Our teas leverage the same ingredient technology (RIPPLE), making them fast acting. 


9. Which of your products have had the most interest from patients and healthcare providers and why?

RIPPLE by TGOD dissolvable THC powder has enjoyed instant success and continues to be a top-selling product within the cannabis beverage category.


10. What are the growing practices for your flower, and what kind of extraction methods do you use for your formulations?

We grow in Living Soil: 

Our certified organic cannabis is grown in living soil where we put the flower in charge.  

It is created from a collection of natural ingredients that nourish the beneficial bacteria and fungi necessary for organic nutrient processing and slow-release root absorption. The soil is a “buffet for the plant” to ensure that it can select the ingredients that it most desires for optimal yield and growth. It also allows us to send significantly less waste to landfill compared to traditional cannabis growing operations as the same soil can be used to grow many plants over several years.

We are using purpose-built hybrid greenhouses:

Our hybrid greenhouses were designed with the goal of achieving LEED® Certification standards. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system for green buildings that is internationally recognized.  The purpose-build facilities are the result of several years of research and development and allow for total control of the environment from light, air, temperature, humidity, and more. These advanced controls enable operational optimization, waste reduction and maximizes plant health. Our Ancaster operations uses a cogeneration natural gas power plant while our Valleyfield operations uses hydroelectricity.

We use natural sunlight and LED lighting:

Our purpose-build facilities allow for absorption of natural sunlight.  Paired with a LED lighting system that uses 40 percent less energy than standard high-pressure sodium lights,  it gives us the ability and efficiency to grow at any time of the day, any time of the year while reducing decreasing our environmental footprint.  The full spectrum light provided by the sun and the LED system delivers a healthier plant with improved terpene profiles and significantly cuts down our time to harvest.

We capture and conserve water:

We have invested in a rainwater recapture system at both our facilities.  It collects rainwater (and melting snow) from the roof, recapture basin and other areas. Our ponds hold 5 million liters of water - equivalent to two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Pipes run along the roofs of the greenhouses and support buildings sending water through downspouts to the pond via gravity and water pressure. The water from the pond goes through ultra filtration using a 15-microns filter and passes through UV light for disinfection. Afterwards the water is stored in one of seven clean, raw water tanks inside the buildings. We also use a sophisticated irrigation system to deliver controlled amounts of water to the plants.   A condensation water system works to capture water vapour that is present in the air in the greenhouse or on the glass windows and uses heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units to collect the water. With all these measures, we drastically reduce our need to draw fresh water from the local well systems.

We chose recyclable packaging for our products:

Our packaging is a key component of the sustainability story. TGOD considers the impacts of our supply chain and the materials we use. Where possible, we use recyclable glass and recycled paper product packaging better meant for repurposing. As an example, our quality glass jars can be upcycled into a lifetime of household items. Our packaging development team ensures that all our packaging is developed with sustainability as top of mind while still adhering to government regulations.


11. How do you source your ingredients?

We only use ingredients approved for organic cultivation.


12. Which specific products or processes are your most innovative or unique and why?

The RIPPLE ingredient technology enables us to offer high-quality, consistent, and fast-acting products across our portfolio.  Backed by a clinical study, RIPPLE has a 15-minute onset and higher bioavailability of cannabinoids than oil. 


13. Tell us about any collaborations you have been (or currently are part of) with researchers, clinicians, scientists to help advance cannabis medical research.

Study compared RIPPLE's proprietary, patent-pending water-soluble cannabinoid technology, RIPPLE CBD, with CBD in a carrier oil. 

Half of the participants were administered 30mg of RIPPLE water-soluble CBD powder in 8oz of water while the other half received 30mg of CBD dispersed in MCT oil. Blood samples were drawn at pre-determined times over six hours.  Early data shows that the group that received RIPPLE CBD demonstrated faster onset within 15 minutes, with higher concentrations achieved at 15 minutes compared to the maximum concentration achieved at 45 minutes with the CBD in oil formulation, and a 4.5-fold higher observed total bioavailability. The CBD was largely eliminated from the body after about 6 hours for both RIPPLE CBD and CBD oil subjects, and a more rapid reduction was observed with the RIPPLE CBD subjects after 45 minutes.

Following this promising initial study, TGOD and RIPPLE will shortly conduct a confirmatory Clinical Phase 1A PK study that will test the RIPPLE CBD technology formulated into TGOD's planned portfolio of products including beverages, teas, and capsules. The study will be conducted in collaboration with a leading US academic institution.

Observed total bioavailability of RIPPLE water-soluble CBD was 4.5 times greater than CBD in a carrier oil. Higher cannabinoid absorption was observed for RIPPLE CBD within 15 minutes compared to the maximum absorption of CBD in oil in 45 minutes.

 

14. What are future products are you working on?

Chewables, topicals, and beverages


15. Tell us about any work you have done in the past (or are currently involved in) working directly with patients and patient or ailment-related communities. 

Our Patient Care team has been actively working with patients, including Veterans, to assist them with getting access to insurance coverage for cannabis products.


16. How do you support (or plan on supporting) issues of affordability, and access within your own business practices?

We work closely with insurance companies to access coverage for patients through their benefits programs.  We also have a financial assistance plans in place to help subsidize coverage for applicable patients.  


17. What else would you like to share with the Shoppers community?

As TGOD works towards cultivating and developing cannabis solutions to make peoples’ lives better, we are cognizant of the impact that we have on the society we live in, in addition to  our adult consumers, patients, healthcare providers, governments, investors and employees. 

We are determined to make a positive impact while being a successful company. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, especially considering the challenges that are confronting society today.


18. What would you like Canadians to know about Canada’s leadership in medical cannabis?

We are the largest medical certified organic LP in Canada.  We are dedicated to bringing certified organic medicinal cannabis to patients across Canada in a variety of traditional and innovative forms.