After passing Bill C-45 in its second reading in April 2018, the government of Canada has made another step forward in legalizing cannabis nationwide by introducing a special program for the cannabis micro-cultivation license.
Followed by its 60-day consultation with the public, Health Canada came up with its report on the development of the regulatory framework for many discussed aspects of the legalization of marijuana, among which the cannabis micro-growing licenses have drawn the most of our attention.
The new licenses would allow smaller cultivators to grow cannabis and sell it to resellers in certain provinces without having to undergo the bureaucratic nonsense relating to the visual monitoring and intrusion detection requirements.
Such a wise move from the government aims at providing small-scale cultivators with the opportunity to contribute to the rapidly growing industry, which is great because small farmers are the ones who are usually the most dedicated to applying various innovations to their cultivation techniques and taking care of the quality of their crops.
But what exactly is the Micro-cultivation license? Who can apply and what are the potential requirements (or restraints) future micro-cultivators will have to meet?
If you could follow us, please.
What is Cannabis Micro-growing?
Among the regulatory proposals mentioned in the paper discussed above, the first focuses on a system of licensing that has been designed to allow small-scale companies to partake in different activities in the industry.
Thus far, there were only standard licenses issued exclusively to large-scale growers who were able to meet the existing requirements set out by ACMPR. Now, the situation is going to change, as the proposal has outlined a new category of licenses, reserved for small-scale cultivators and processors.
So, in other words, the cannabis micro-cultivation license would allow smaller producers to grow cannabis and distribute it to provincial resellers or large-scale cultivators who will then sell it to the public or to other cannabis producers.
Actually, the cannabis micro-cultivation licenses fall into three categories:
- Regular: this type of a cannabis micro-cultivation license applies to all subjects who want to grow and harvest material from those plants.
- Nursery: the nursery program has been introduced to authorize the growing of cannabis plants in order to produce the starting material, namely seeds and seedlings.
- Industrial hemp: it would authorize small-scale farmers to grow industrial hemp plants, i.e. those with 0.3% THC or less.
Now, let’s take a look at the anticipated production standards. Besides the standard processing – which would authorize the large-scale processing (packaging and labeling) of cannabis to the intra-industry sale of these products as well as to consumers – the government introduced the micro-processing framework for aspiring producers.
Micro-processing would enable small-scale companies to manufacture, package, label, and sell cannabis products to consumers and to provincially authorized distributors; this would apply to both the medical and recreational use of marijuana.
Okay, so you know what the small-cultivation license is, but do you know how it differs from the standard one?
If not, here’s the breakdown.
The Difference Between Micro-cultivation and Standard Licenses
According to the Health Minister, MP Ginette Pets Taylor, the aim of the micro-cultivation licenses is to level out the inequalities between the large- and small-scale cultivators (at least at some points) and make it easier for aspiring growers to join the legal industry instead of dabbling with the black market.
Furthermore, the Health Minister announced that the current security requirements for large-scale marijuana licensed producers would also apply to the incoming recreational framework in order to prevent organized crime from drawing the benefits from the legal system.
To some extent, micro-cultivation licenses are pretty much the same as their standard counterparts, save for a few details:
There’s been a hot debate as to what the ultimate square footage for micro-cultivation licenses should look like. Suggestions for the maximum size varied between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet, but the final square footage for micro-cultivators would permit a canopy area of no more than 2,153 square feet (200 square meters). This is much less than in the case of large-scale cultivators, but it still allows craft cannabis growers to do their job.
The main difference between large licensed producers and micro-cultivators and processors lies in the physical security standards. Companies with a micro-cultivating license will have just a handful of employees – their number generally doesn’t go beyond 25. Therefore, the government proposed to reduce the requirements for micro-businesses when it comes to monitoring the cannabis storage areas, which saves tons of paperwork during the attempt to obtain the license.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis Micro-Cultivation License
Overall, we have explained cannabis micro-cultivation licenses pretty much, but there are probably many questions about specific details regarding the process of becoming a micro-grower.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about cannabis micro-cultivation licenses:
Who can apply for a micro-cultivation license?
Any company that would meet the standards designed by the Cannabis Act will be allowed to apply for the cannabis micro-cultivation license.
Can I micro-grow cannabis in the same place where I live?
You can not grow in the same building that you live in. You can grow on the property but will need to have a separate facility on your farm in order to obtain a micro-cultivation license.
Is the license reserved exclusively for growing cannabis?
According to the government’s plan, the license for micro-cultivation would authorize the participation of small growers in different activities in the industry, such as possession, research and development, transportation, storage, and destruction. Simply put, no, the micro-cultivation license doesn’t entail any activity restraints.
What is the quantity threshold for micro-producers?
The micro-processing license allows the producer to process up to 600 kg of dried cannabis or its equivalent (oils, concentrates, topicals, edibles, etc.) per year.
Does Cannabis Act support other marijuana-infused products?
Currently, there aren’t any proposals that would limit the number of forms in which cannabis can be manufactured and sold. Although the government suggested that cannabis oil should be limited to a THC concentration of 30 mg – and 10 mg for edibles – the public opinion was split on their proposal. The ultimate decision on these matters, however, is expected to be made by the end of 2018.
Are there any cannapreneurs seeking to obtain the cannabis micro-cultivation license once the recreational use of the plant is legalized nationwide? Share your enthusiasm and potential concerns in the comment section!
Author: Cannabisnearme Team
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