Becoming a Recreational Cultivator
We are already preparing applications so our clients can be first out of the gate. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Cannabis Compliance INC. has prepared and rescued a significant number of ACMPR applications for medical production, including some of Canada’s largest applicants. Our team has real-world experience among Canada’s leading producers such as Tweed Farms, 7 Acres, Delshen, Prairie Plant Systems and Aurora Cannabis. We offer all of the required expertise in-house for security, cultivation, quality, regulatory and financial planning, and we have partnered with Canada’s industry leaders for construction, security, equipment, marketing and software.
As of early April 2017, it is currently illegal to cultivate cannabis for recreational use. However, in April-May of 2017 the federal government is introducing a new framework to allow for the cultivation, distribution and retail sales of recreational cannabis. This has not happened for any G7 country in the world to date. Canada has committed to making these plans effective before July 2018, which is a very aggressive time frame.
We have little details about what this new framework will look like, except that it is their intention to license and heavily regulate such cultivation facilities. The federal government has stated that the current medical producer licensing framework (under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) will be emulated / adopted.
Under the ACMPR, a company that wants to cultivate medical cannabis must submit an application to Health Canada. It is a very documentation-intensive process, which our firm excels in. The significant requirements are the security measures, a pharmaceutical-like quality assurance program, record keeping proficiency and of course a cultivation program and business plan. These applications are easily a thousand pages.
Building such a facility will require capital in the range of $100 to $400 per finished square foot, depending on whether a greenhouse or indoor facility is chosen. At the application stage, consulting and legal fees are approximately $300,000.
Can a company get ready today and gain an advantage for getting into queue? The quick answer is yes. It is the full expectation that licensed producers under the medical system will be permitted to also supply for the recreational market. Many of the large producers are banking on this (e.g., Tweed has always been a recreationally focused brand).
The time frame for gaining approval for a medical production facility is roughly one to two years, hopefully faster given the looming market demand. This means that if a company applies on May 1, 2017 to become a medical producer, they might gain a licence to cultivate by the summer of 2018. Of course, given that it takes up to a year to construct a facility, this means that the build-out should commence immediately and in parallel to submitting the application.