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CANNABIS CULTIVATION LICENSE


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Under the new Cannabis Act & Regulations, there are three types of licenses for cannabis cultivators to consider: the Standard Cultivation License, Micro-Cultivation and Nursery Licenses. While these licenses allow facilities to cultivate plants, a Nursery License provides for the cultivation of cannabis genetics.


As of October 17th, 2018, the indoor and outdoor cultivation of medical and recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. A Standard or Micro Cultivation license allows for the holder to grow cannabis through unspecified means under the Act, including but not limited to using aeroponics, hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical planters, and in traditional soil. In order to decide which license class is a business’ best fit may, in part, be determined by a facility’s canopy size. Those with canopies equal or less than 200 square meters in size (this includes multiple and vertically arranged surfaces) fit the description of Micro Cultivators, with anything larger qualifying for the Standard Cultivation License – a great option for big and growing companies.  Alternately, enterprises interested in the development of starter plant material and new plant varieties with goals of altering cannabis genetics to make seeds, seedlings and clones should pursue a Nursery License.

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License Overview

Who is a Cultivation or Nursery License for?

Micro and Standard Cultivation Licenses are designed for any enterprise that wants to be able to legally grow, possess, sell (to certain parties), and analyze cannabis. The Micro Cultivation License is perfect for small, boutique businesses such as cultivators working with a limited amount of unique strains, whereas Standard Cultivation Licenses are ideal for companies that want to build and grow in a large scale facility or are exploring outdoor growing.


What can you do with a Cultivation or Nursery License?

Micro and Standard Cultivation Licenses permit the possession, propagation, cultivation, harvesting, chemical or physical alteration, sale, and distribution of cannabis. Dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants and seeds, can be sold to holders of Cultivation, Processing, Analytical Testing, Research & Development, or Cannabis Drug Licenses, with licensed nurseries exempt from buying dry or fresh flower. Sale and distribution to license holders that are authorized to sell cannabis for medical purposes is allowed.  Micro-cultivators can sell seeds and plants, not dried or fresh cannabis, to the province. Obtaining a Nursery License also allows the holder to possess, propagate, cultivate, harvest, and alter the chemical and physical properties of cannabis. It permits the sale and distribution of plants and seeds to other Cultivation, Processing, Analytical Testing, Research & Development, and Cannabis Drug License holders. As with Cultivation Licenses, selling to license holders that are authorized to sell cannabis for medical purposes and those who can sell it under a provincial or territorial Act is allowed, too.


What isn’t covered under a Cultivation or Nursery License?

License holders are not permitted to sell or distribute cannabis to the general public or direct to medical patients.




Micro Cultivation and Nursery License Requirements

  1. It is required that the license holder have a security clearance.
  2. The license holder needs to have an individual in their employment who can act as their “responsible person”. This person is considered accountable for the license holder’s actions and should have an adequate understanding of how the Cannabis Act and Regulations apply to the holder. Should they have to, this person also has the authority to bind the license holder. They are required to have a security clearance, and one qualified alternate may be designated.
  3. Personnel must include a Head of Security who is responsible for ensuring that physical security measures comply with part 4 of the Cannabis Regulations, as well as the enactment of an organizational security plan. One qualified alternate may be designated, and both must have a security clearance.
  4. Hiring a Master Grower is also a requirement. This individual is responsible for the cultivation, propagation, and harvesting of cannabis, and must be familiar with the Act and Regulation’s provisions as they relate to their activities. The Master Grower and one optional qualified alternate must have security clearances.
  5. The facility must have any on-site storage areas and the site perimeter surrounded by a physical barrier in order to safeguard against unauthorized access. It should be possible to demonstrate how the barrier’s construction, as well as the required access controls on the exit and entry points, are able to achieve this goal. Access to all storage areas must be restricted to authorized personnel only.
  6. Micro Cultivation Licenses allow for a limit of 200 square metres canopy space. A Nursery license is limited to 50 square metres of seed production (flowering heads) with no limitation of space to cultivate clones and/or genetics.
  7. To ensure production standards, analytical testing for microbial and chemical contamination is required. Those licensed for it can do analytical testing in-house, but pesticide testing must be done via a third-party Analytical Testing License holder). License holders must also establish appropriate Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for their operations (e.g., recall, record keeping, sanitation, pest management).
  8. Only fully-built facilities will be eligible for a license. 

Standard Cultivation License Requirements

  1. All of the requirements listed for Micro Cultivation and Nursery Licenses.
  2. The facility must have any on-site storage areas, operations areas, and the site perimeter surrounded by a physical barrier in order to safeguard against unauthorized access. It should be possible to demonstrate how the barrier’s construction, as well as the required access controls on the exit and entry points, are able to achieve this goal. Access to storage and operations areas must be restricted to authorized personnel only.
  3. A record must be made of everyone who comes and goes from storage areas.
  4. Each storage area must be located in a place that satisfies the security measures outlined in the Regulations.
  5. The site perimeter, operations areas, and storage areas are required to be monitored by visual recording devices at all times to detect and record any unauthorized attempts, successful or unsuccessful, to access the site. Entry and exit points on grow areas must be visually monitored as well.
  6. The site perimeter, operations areas, and storage areas must have an intrusion detection system operating 24/7 to discover any unauthorized attempts to access the site or tamper with the system. It must also be possible to detect unauthorized movement within operations and storage areas.
  7. The intrusion detection system is required to be monitored at all times, and the license holder is responsible for determining what measures are appropriate in response to any incidents. In cases of an incident, the holder must retain a document that contains the date and time of the occurrence, how it was responded to, and the date and time of when that response took place.


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