Federal

What you need to know about Canada’s latest changes to the cannabis licensing process

By Nusrat Ali, Student-at-Law | May 8, 2019

On May 8, 2019, Health Canada announced that it will be introducing new changes to its process for licensing cannabis cultivators and processors. The announcement follows Health Canada’s recent review of its process that identified opportunities to improve resource allocation and decrease wait times. Building on changes made in 2017 and 2018, the new changes reflect Health Canada’s continued commitment to improve its administration of the cannabis licensing program.

All applicants and persons interested in applying for cannabis licenses need to be aware of the following licensing application process, including changes, all of which are effective immediately:

Existing Applications – If you have already submitted your application, Health Canada will complete a high-level review of your application in its current queue. If your application passes the review, you will receive a status update letter indicating that there are no concerns with what is proposed in your application. There will, however, be another, more detailed, review of your application in priority of your original application date, once you have completed the site and the site meets the regulatory requirements.

New Applicants – As a new applicant for licenses to cultivate cannabis, process cannabis or sell cannabis for medical purposes, you must now have a fully built site that meets all the requirements of the Cannabis Regulations at the time of your application, as well as satisfy all other applicable criteria.

There are no changes to the regulatory requirements. As such, all applicants will continue to go through a rigorous security clearance process for key personnel and corporate director and site inspection prior to obtaining a license to sell any cannabis products to the public.


Comments (3)

  1. Jules:
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:53 AM

    Fascinating article. Very in depth. My one question is: from where would Canada import cannabis? Are there countries currently exporting cannabis legally? Uraguay seems like the most economical source, although shipping costs could be an issue.

  2. miss lena:
    Feb 24, 2019 at 01:52 PM


    All labels will need to be plain, not appealing to children, and make no health claims. For edibles, there may be no dietary claims, and for topicals, there may be no cosmetic claims. For all of the new product classes, packaging and labelling must not contain any elements that associate the product with an alcoholic beverage, alcohol, or an alcohol brand.

  3. miss lena:
    Feb 24, 2019 at 01:52 PM

    All labels will need to be plain, not appealing to children, and make no health claims. For edibles, there may be no dietary claims, and for topicals, there may be no cosmetic claims. For all of the new product classes, packaging and labelling must not contain any elements that associate the product with an alcoholic beverage, alcohol, or an alcohol brand.






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