Recreational vs. Medical Cannabis Licensed Producers: How Will They Differ?

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Recreational vs. Medical Cannabis Licensed Producers: How Will They Differ?

recreational marijuana Canada

By now, most Canadians are familiar with Licensed Producers (LPs).

Those in the industry know many of the current key players and their role in Canada’s cannabis landscape.

But with legalization fast approaching this July, we’ve repeatedly heard the question: “Will Recreational LPs be different than Medical LPs? If so, how?”

It’s safe to say there is confusion around this topic  – so we’ve broken it down for you.

Here’s what we know about Recreational vs. Medical Cannabis Licensed Producers in Canada:

  1. Currently, as a general rule across Canada, new Licensed Producer Applicants currently have to adhere to the same standards for facility design, security, and the like, under Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR); the standards we have outlined here.
  2. Those standards are evolving – on January 25, 2018, Health Canada made an announcement reducing the Physical Security Requirements for Producers of Cannabis for Medical Purposes. Vault and storage, and 24/7 surveillance requirements are being updated. Citing over 1000 inspections, Health Canada said: “Since the licensing of the first federally licensed producer in June 2013, Health Canada has not had any cases of diversion of cannabis to the illegal market.” It’s sparked many questions about what this means for current facilities – and some discontent from LPs who have already invested in the implementation.
  3. In May 2017, Health Canada announced their intent to increase the number of Licenses and to streamline the application process. At that time only 44 Licenses had been issued. By December 20, 2017 there were 80; now, there are 89 listed on their website. Still, with high standards for Licensed Producers remaining the same. Only the most professional and prepared applicants have been, and will receive, approval. Avoid applying for a License without a professional cannabis consulting firm, such as PipeDreemz Inc.,  behind you; the rejection rates for cannabis facilities are much higher than most other pharmaceuticals.

Other notable points: various provinces are debating and enacting Bills and Legislation that may affect production and distribution in individual regions. A Canada-wide survey recently closed regarding public opinion on the Liberal’s proposed plan.


To sum it up: at present, Licensed Producers who would like to be in the recreational cannabis market, at the present time and ahead of legalization, will need to meet the same standards outlined in ACMPR. In other words: don’t go it alone. Do you have more questions about what this means to your business? Please reach out to us.

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