Canada Changes Cannabis Licence Process

Last year Canada made history becoming the first G20 country to legalise recreational cannabis, with overwhelming public support the government made this historic legislation to remove cannabis from the black market and to take away control from criminals Now over 6 months since legislation, supply of the drug is limited and Canadian consumers are reverting back to the black market due to the legal markets supply issues and higher prices.In response Heath Canada is changing its process for issuing licences to speed up approval for producers and retailers.

In the new legislation new applicants for licences to cultivate, process or sell cannabis must have a fully built facility that meets regulations when they submit their application.

Previously cannabis licence applicants were able to submit an application with their plans and get approval before building, This has led to bottle neck in applications and a lack of facilities.

A Health Canada spokesperson said “Health Canada is implementing these adjustments following a review of its current licensing process.… A significant amount of resources are being used to review applications from entities that are not ready to begin operations, contributing to wait times for more mature applications and an inefficient allocation of resources,”

More than 70 per cent of licensing applications that passed its initial paper based review over the past three years have yet to submit evidence to demonstrate they have built a premises that meets regulatory requirements.

Cannabis lawyer Matt Maurer said “Health Canada’s initial paper- based review could, at times take several month and focusing instead on facilities that are already built may help speed up the process”

The new legislation will change the way new applicants do business any new applicant will now have to raise the capital to build their facilities where as established companies with a proven track record and access to capital will be able to capitalise on this new legislation.

Government retailers have said supply has improved over the last few weeks but it remains constrained, it is hoped this new legislation will help fix the supply chain issues that are affecting the legal market.

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