Canada is now the only G7 country that has legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes on a national level. As of October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis is permitted for general retail across the country.
This should be contrasted with other quasi-legal jurisdictions such as the United States, where cannabis is still a restricted narcotic on a federal level (and therefore federally illegal) despite many US states allowing its medical production and retail. In Canada, there is no cap in the number of licensed facilities that can cultivate, process, sell, test and research cannabis for both medical and recreational use.
The Cannabis Landscape is Changing
Historically, cannabis was permitted for medical purposes only under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), and the product was only available by mail directly from licensed producers. Now, with the Cannabis Regulations published, the provincial, territorial, and Canadian governments are accepting applications for licenses to cultivate, process, sell, test and research cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. The Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch (CLRB) is responsible for overseeing the federal licensing process. The individual pages in this section provide a general overview of the different types of federal licenses permitted.
With the Cannabis Regulations in force, Canada is allowing various forms of cannabis to be produced, including cannabis oil, soft-gels containing cannabis oil, fresh and dried flower, live plants, seeds and tissue culture materials. In late 2019, the federal government will permit the manufacture and sale of edible cannabis, extracts (such as concentrates), and topical products; many anticipate that cannabis health products (i.e., dietary supplement formulations), cosmetics, and animal supplements will also be permitted at some point beyond 2019.
Perhaps more importantly, Canada allows both the import and export of medical cannabis with other countries that also permit this activity. For example, licensed producers in Canada are already exporting medical grade cannabis to markets such as Australia, Germany and Italy. This is notable because most emerging markets do not have a domestic supply, making Canada an ideal exporter in the global cannabis market.
The retail framework varies from province to province.
Note, individual products are not licensed, but rather the facilities that produce them are.
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There are two types of facility licences that can be obtained from Health Canada that permit the cultivation (production) of cannabis…
The Canadian government has created a unique legal framework that will now enable the research (and eventual manufacturing) or cannabis finished products.
As the first G7 country to legalize cannabis finished products, in Canada, there will be stringent requirements for finished product testing and licensing.
Canada is the only G7 country in the world to legalize recreational (adult-use) cannabis on a federal level.