In an attempt to reduce the cannabis shortages throughout Canada, Health Canada announced today their plans to introduce changes to the way cannabis licenses are issued.
Effective immediately, Health Canada will require new applicants planning to sell, process or cultivate medical cannabis in Canada to have a fully built site. The site must also meet all of the Cannabis Regulations requirements at the time of the application.
In regards to existing applications, Health Canada plans to conduct a high-level review of all the applications currently in the queue. If and when the applications pass the high-level review, Health Canada will give a status update letter to the applicant which indicates there are no issues or concerns with the application. After the applicant has fully completed a site/facility and it meets all of the requirements, Health Canada will conduct an in-depth review of the application. The reviews will be completed in the order they were received.
Health Canada has identified opportunities to better allocate resources following a review of its current licensing process. Over the past three years, more than 70% of applicants that have passed Health Canada’s initial review have not submitted proof that they have a built facility that meets all the requirements. This has caused Health Canada to burn through a substantial amount of resources while reviewing applicants that are not even set up to begin operations. It has also caused long wait times for older applications, some of which that have fully built facilities ready to go.
Health Canada plans to further support the applicants by making available an updated Cannabis Licensing Application Guide. The updated guide will be available soon on Health Canada’s website. If you would like to receive a copy of the updated guide now, you can email email@example.com to receive an electronic copy.
Since May 2017, Health Canada has approved licenses for more than 129 new sites. That is nearly 3x the number of sites licensed in the previous four years. Canada now has more than 600,000 square meters of active cultivation space that is able to produce roughly 1,000,000 kgs of cannabis each year. This is approximately the same amount of cannabis consumed in Canada in both the legal and black market.
Health Canada is making no changes to the security clearance process for the key personnel and corporate directors portion of the application and they plan to inspect all facilities before a license to sell cannabis is awarded.
For more information please contact Health Canada’s media relations department at 613-957-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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