In addition to the narrative, “paper” report, there is a visual component. Applicants must show through video and/or photographs the entirety of the site indoors and out, focusing on all features of the building that are relevant to the GPP. This includes all growing and storage areas. Close-ups are required of all walls, floors, ceilings, and joints as well as of the storage areas. Additionally, video of an individual entering and moving about the facility and demonstrating the intended production flow throughout the entire facility is required. Though it would be convenient if this portion of the application could be submitted through the CTLS along with the other application materials, it cannot be uploaded due to size limitations. Evidence of GPP compliance, along with other site evidence (see below) must be sent separately to Health Canada for consideration along with the rest of the application materials.
Costs for obtaining a cannabis license of any type granted by Health Canada start at $2,500. This is the fee for both types of micro-class licenses (cultivator and producer), as well as the cost for the nursery license. To obtain a sales license, the fee doubles to $5,000. Standard licenses (cultivator and producer), as well as sales for medical cannabis licenses are almost ten times the cost of the micro-class licenses; they are $23,000 each. The fees do not stop there though.
When applying for either license, standard or micro, the source of the starting material must be declared. It must have either come from a federally authorized license holder, or the applicant must select “Declaration under 10(2) of the Cannabis Regulations” as the source of their starting material. This needs to be signed by a Responsible person in the organization and must declare the quantity of cannabis plants and/or seeds that they intend to have on the sate that their license is granted.
The license also grants the licensee the ability to engage in ancillary activities related to cannabis. This includes such things as drying, trimming, or milling cannabis. They may also alter the chemical or physical properties of cannabis for the purposes of testing.
Before even getting to that point there are application screening fees and security clearance fees for each position. The application fees for standard-class licenses as well as the sale for medical purposes license are $3,277 each. For micro-class licenses and nursery licenses, the fees are $1,638 each. Fees can be combined in some instances. When an applicant is applying for both a sale for medical purposes license in tandem with a micro-cultivation license, the fee is only $1,638. A medical purpose license along with a nursery license is also charged the lower $1,638 fee as well.
Other Laws to be Familiar With
If you are a researcher and not growing for profit, you can apply for a Research License. If you are interested in testing cannabis for purity and for determining if it meets all legal standards, there is the Analytical Testing License. Finally, if you are interested in entering the medicinal cannabis field and selling cannabis products to registered users, you can apply for a Sale for Medical Purposes License. There are further designations here; one is for possession and the other without possession.
Accompanying any application for Cultivation, Processing and Sale for Medical Purposes with Possession licenses, evidence of the application site must be submitted. This evidence is in addition to any evidence sent to prove compliance of GPP. The main intent is to show the security of the facility and to prove that the site actually exists as described. This must be sent to Health Canada within ten business days of the submission of the application to be considered. Any application that does not include the site evidence will be judged “incomplete” and will be set aside pending the arrival of said evidence.
The Cannabis Act and its Regulations provide the framework for legal access to cannabis for adults and they control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.
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In developing a site, applicants should consult the relevant federal, provincial, municipal and indigenous government rules, as noted above. In addition, Health Canada provides the following guidance and information to applicants:
4. Create an account in the CTLS
Health Canada has established the Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System as the main way to submit licensing applications. The CTLS Getting Started Guide provides information on the steps you need to take to create an account.
In the majority of cases, you will be required to obtain a business licence from your applicable local government. Ask your local government if, and when, you are required to apply for a business licence.
Certain Indigenous nations also have the power to make by-laws to register business entities, however OneStop might not include all results. In these cases, make sure to ask the applicable Indigenous nation about their business registration requirements and processes.
Accessing funds from traditional banks and other lending institutions can be challenging. As with any new business venture, you will need to demonstrate to any lender that your ability to generate stable revenues outweighs any downside risk, such as defaulting on a loan.
To register your business, use OneStop. OneStop lets you apply for and complete registrations for a new or existing business with local, provincial and federal governments.
Why Get Licensed?
If your business is based in the Central Kootenay region, you may also qualify for free advising services through the Community Futures Cannabis Business Transition Initiative.
Indigenous affiliation can include any person or persons of First Nation, Inuit and/or Métis descent or any community, corporation or business associated with a First Nation, Inuit and Métis government, organization or community.
Conduct market research and develop a business plan
As a first step, research the land-use planning and zoning bylaws of your applicable local government or Indigenous nation to ensure the land you are interested in using is appropriately zoned for cannabis production.
Also refer to CivicInfo BC, which is British Columbia's local government information hub.