Canada Announces Craft-Scale Licenses for Smaller Cannabis Producers
Micro licenses will allow small-scale Canadian producers to cultivate and sell cannabis without all the requirements by which standard cultivators have to abide. There will also be licenses for hemp growers for those growing cannabis with a THC content of less than 0.3%, and nurseries, which produce only seeds and seedlings.
Prior to the new rules, there was only one tier of licensing available under the system for production and sale of dried cannabis and cannabis oil.
Intermediary processing will also have a new type of license, which delineates between micro and standard.
The government hopes to spur a “diverse and competitive” industry in which participants would be able to conduct “a wide range of activities” with cannabis, a MP Ginette Pets Taylor, Health Minister, announced in a media scrum. Current security clearance processes that require background checks for key figures of medical marijuana licensed producers will also apply to the incoming recreational regime, which will hopefully “reduce the risk that organized crime will find its way in the legal system,” said Petitpas Taylor.
In order to prevent cannabis from making it into the black market, the government will be implementing a seed-to-sale tracking system that will apply to commercial license holders.
All federal license holders would be able to conduct related activities such as possession, transportation, storage, destruction, and intra-industry sales, but if a company wants to produce cannabis and sell directly to patients, they will have to apply for cultivation, processing, and sales licenses. Existing producers will be grandfathered in.
Individuals and organizations can also hold multiple licenses, causing concern that better-funded companies would be able to vertically integrate their activities with cannabis.
The government does not plan on limiting the number of licenses.
Regulations regarding packaging and labeling are forthcoming.