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Starting A Cannabis Business In Canada ?

Cannabis and controversies often go side by side. While there are thousands supporting the use of cannabis for medicinal as well as recreational purposes, there are a significant number of people opposing the use of marijuana. Therefore, if you are planning to make money by selling marijuana in Canada, you need to know the rules of the trade well. Also, you need to be careful about the federal law related to the sale of cannabis. Selling cannabis for medicinal purposes is now legal in Canada and anyone who wants to start a business needs to obtain a license for the area they are working in (for example if you want to become a licensed producer or operate a dispensary).

However, selling of marijuana for recreational purpose (unless licensed) is still not legal and using the license of selling medical marijuana for recreational use may land you in trouble. Yet, selling cannabis for recreational purposes might be legal soon as the Trudeau Liberal government has stated of making legislation for legalizing recreational cultivation of marijuana in spring 2017.

Types of Licenses for Cannabis Business in Canada

Before planning to start a cannabis business in Canada, you need to know a few basic factors guiding this sector. The task of starting a cannabis business in Canada will become pretty easy if you are familiar with the types of licenses available for this trade. As of now, you can get five types of cannabis business licenses in Canada.

  • Cultivation license
  • Federal sales license
  • Processing license
  • Product analysis license
  • Research and Development license

The last two are used rarely and are lesser known to people. The first three types of licenses are mostly applied by individuals interested in this business and in some cases, depending on the type of your venture, you may need to apply for more than one type of license. First three types of licenses are discussed below.

Cultivation License

Anyone interested in growing cannabis for business purposes need to obtain this license. Cultivation license is again sub-divided into four different types and each of them comes with a distinct set of purposes. Yet, before obtaining cultivation license, you need to ensure that you have enough space as a cannabis production business cannot be done at your residence.

Depending on your type of cultivation, you need to apply for:

  • Hemp
  • Nursery
  • Micro
  • Standard

Standard cultivation license is the most common type of license. It is not only profitable but also it comes with a set of responsibilities of checking any malpractice, as Federal Government will consider you responsible for any unscrupulous use of the license. In case you are planning to start a cannabis business as a part-time option, go for micro cultivation license. Those interested in helping others grow cannabis by selling seeds or cuttings need to opt for a nursery license. Each license comes with a set of guidelines and for the least regulated license, you can opt for hemp.

Is It Easy To Start A Cannabis Business in Canada? 1

Processing License

In case, you are not much interested in producing cannabis but want to process the raw material to sell it in the form of cannabis cigar or any other product, you need a processing license. Processing licenses are again sub-divided into two different categories, viz. standard processing license and micro-processing license. Both the licenses have almost similar legal formalities and the only difference is in the size of the business.

Sales License

Anyone interested in selling cannabis needs to obtain this license from the Federal Government. Though sales licenses are available widely, applicants need to follow some strict policies for obtaining it.

Obtaining the license does not guarantee you to become a successful cannabis business in Canada. To operate successfully and make profit from your venture, you need to monitor your business and produce proof of your monitoring. You need to monitor your farm from within as well as the perimeter. It is also mandatory to maintain a record of people entering or leaving your cannabis storage. In case the records mismatch, the Federal Government can cancel your license and may also make criminal charges for unauthenticated use of marijuana.

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