History of Legalization- Marijuana was first banned in Canada in 1923 and then listed in Schedule II of controlled drugs and substances Act in 1996. With time, however, cannabis products proved to be effective treatment for some medical conditions. In 2000, Canada’s Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to restrict marijuana for medical purposes only and subsequently, the government introduced Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) in 2001 to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes.
The number of people who could legally have access to marijuana for medical purposes shot up and the Supreme Court once more, found it unconstitutional to restrict legal access only to dried marijuana. Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) was then initiated in August 2016 to clarify the responsibilities and roles of some Licensed Producers (LP). ACMPR was done away with after legalization of use of dried marijuana by adults on the 17th October, 2018 under the Cannabis Act.
Classes- Canada, with the aim to reduce black market, legalized Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, for recreational use by adults on the 17th of October, 2019. Due to this, health Canada increased its licensed producer system with the aim of ensuring the public’s safety. Health Canada thus created a new class system of licenses namely:
- Medical purposes sales
- Marijuana testing
- Using marijuana for research
To support smaller growing and marijuana processing, cultivation and processing class systems have sub-classes of licenses. This ensures a “craft marijuana growers” industry.
Success of Craft Marijuana Growers- Most large licensed producers of marijuana will be solely focused on producing as much product as possible at low costs (quantity over quality) to meet demand at the lowest prices to the consumers. Marijuana micro-cultivators on the other hand, however, will have more of their focus on quality over quantity. They will also possibly delve into different strains.
Although most rules apply to micro licenses and there is no direct-to-consumer sales, craft cannabis operators have the chance to produce products of a high quality over quantity at a cost that many are willing to pay.
Tracking and Licensing System- After the Cannabis Act in October 17, 2018, Canada established a national tracking system for marijuana known as Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS). The function of CTLS was and is still is to facilitate tracking of high-level movements of marijuana and aid in preventing diversion from and inversion into the regulated supply chain. Before making an application for marijuana license, an applicant must first request access to the CTLS. After getting a license, it is still at CTLS that LPs submit their monthly tracking reports.
There are three main steps followed by applicants to sign up to CTLS:
- Access CTLS via a GCkey (a unique anonymous credential that protects communications with online government program and services) or a service partner
- Ask for an Access Code to the system
- Redeem the Access Code sent by Health Canada via email
Licensing of marijuana in Canada has come a long way, and the article above gives you an insight of all you need to know about it.