To become a Licensed Producer of Medical Marijuana an application must be submitted to Health Canada. The application is not as simple as filling out a few fields. It requires such details as a security clearance application form, a Security Clearance Fingerprint Third Party consent to Release form, business plan and evidence that Good Product Practices will be followed.
Health Canada’s process to evaluate and issue a license to produce and sell medical marijuana is as follows:
- Intake and Initial Screening
- Detailed Review and Initiation of Security Clearance Process
- Issuance of License to Produce (LP)
- Introductory Inspection (as the LP has begun cultivation)
- Pre-Sales Inspection
- Issuance of License to Sell
This process has been in effect since May 25, 2017. Previous to this date the process was different and took 2-3 years to obtain a license. Under this new streamlined system it’s expected that timelines will be improved significantly. There isn’t enough data out to determine this new timeline given the new process started in May 2017. Through our network in the industry it is believed the timeline will be reduced to 12-18 months. The significant time saved is after LP approval whereby an inspection isn’t required before starting cultivation. Under the previous system this was required and was the bottleneck in the process.
As in all other divisions of Health Canada whether it be natural health products, foods, cosmetics, medical devices or drugs Good Practices must be adhered to in order to pass inspection. For medical marijuana this is called Good Production Practices (GPP).