Health Canada changes cannabis licensing process in bid to cut wait times


Fitness Canada is changing its process for issuing cannabis licences, in a bid to reduce hold on times, after a review found a “significant amount” of its resources was against to approve numerous applications for facilities that have yet to materialize years newer.

Effective immediately, new applicants for licences to cultivate, process or sell cannabis — for either medical or recreational reasons — must now have a fully built site that meets the ukases when they submit their application, the government agency said.

One-time to this, cannabis licence applicants could submit an application with their contemplates and get approval before building.

“Health Canada is implementing these tunings following a review of its current licensing process.… A significant amount of resources are being hardened to review applications from entities that are not ready to begin tasks, contributing to wait times for more mature applications and an inefficient allocation of resources,” it state in a statement Wednesday.

The agency said, for example, more than 70 per cent of enabling applicants that passed its initial paper-based review over the over three years have yet to submit the required evidence to demonstrate they experience built a facility that meets the regulatory requirements.

“The new approach moves to feedback from applicants about the time it can take to become licenced and the act that there is now a larger number of applicants seeking to enter a reach ones majority and maturing legal market,” Health Canada said.

Supply vs. provide chain

The change comes as cannabis retailers across the country keep up to face supply challenges more than six months after Canada legalized pot for recreational use. Form Canada has said that the issue is not supply, but rather the supply tie, and difficulties converting raw product into packaged goods and into the hands of consumers.

Administration retailers say the supply situation has improved in recent weeks but it remains constrained, and some deceive sought out additional supply deals with new licenced producers as they are approved.

Well-being Canada appears to be prioritizing licensing applicants, which is a “rational” phobia to do, said Aurora Cannabis’s chief corporate officer Cam Battley.

“It is reliable for patients and consumers and I think it is likely to be beneficial to companies that own demonstrated professionalism, access to capital and an ability to comply with rigorous orders,” he said.

Health Canada’s initial paper-based review could, at periods, take several months and focusing instead on facilities that are already figured may help speed up the overall process, said Matt Maurer, a cannabis mouthpiece with Torkin Manes.

Health Canada changes cannabis licensing process in bid to cut wait times

Staff work in a marijuana grow dwelling at Canopy Growth’s Tweed facility in Smiths Falls, Ont. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Newspapermen)

It should also ease the licensing bottleneck, he added.

“We have a give shortage and people are dumping on the federal government, rightly or wrongly, for not entitling fast enough.… If they think they can expedite that by transforming the process, I think that will help,” he said.

However, for new applicants, the “put on field has just shifted,” he added.

“Now the onus is on you to raise that fortune earlier in the process … and getting it right so that when you build it, its succeeding to get licenced,” he said.

Expectations now clearer, lawyer says

The process of pocket an approval before building a facility made sense in past years, when the leadership was relatively new, said Sara Zborovski, a cannabis lawyer with Norton Instigate Fulbright.

But now, with a track record of applicants who have gotten the rural light over the years, the expectations are clearer, she added.

Although applicants inclination need to raise capital and build their facilities first, the endanger of not getting approved at that stage is lower, Zborovski said.

“We obtain a much better sense of what you need to put in your application to get it approved,” she commanded.

Health Canada says the change announced Wednesday builds on adjustments it gathered in 2017 and 2018. It adds that since May 2017, the regulator has privileged more than 129 new sites, which is nearly triple the million of sites licenced in the four years prior.

It says there are now more than 600,000 clear up metres of space under active cultivation, which it estimates drew on industry averages, is enough to produce approximately 1 million kilograms of cannabis per year.

As for prevailing applicants in the queue, Health Canada says it will complete a “high-level” scrutinize of their applications and provide a status update, but a detailed review longing commence once a site that meets the regulatory requirements has been enlarged.

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