Service Standard for Issuance of Industrial Hemp Import and Export Permits under the Cannabis Act and its Regulations

Disclaimer: Information on this webpage is provided for illustrative purposes only. The Cannabis Act and its Regulations should be relied upon for specific requirements, including if there are discrepancies between this page and the Cannabis Act and its Regulations.

Service Description:

Health Canada posts service standards and performance information for services with over 100 regulatory authorizations, such as permits or licences, issued each year (high-volume regulatory transactions).

The Cannabis Act and its regulations govern the applications for licences and permits. License holders under the Industrial Hemp Regulations may import or export seed or grain of industrial hemp if authorized for the relevant activity on their licence. The necessary information to be submitted by a licence holder to apply for an import or export permit is detailed under sections 9 and 13 of the Industrial Hemp Regulations respectively. 

A permit is required for each individual shipment of industrial hemp and each permit application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is prohibited for industrial hemp licence holders to import or export whole plant parts, as this activity would have to be carried out by a licence holder under the Cannabis Regulations.

Application forms for permits are found on the Health Canada website:

Complete applications must be submitted to 

Service Standard:

The Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch (CSCB) aims to achieve an administrative service standard of 30 business days from the date an application is deemed complete by Health Canada to the date a decision is issued to the applicant (permit sent/application refused).

Performance Target:

The target for achieving this standard is set at 85%.

Performance result in fiscal year 2018 to 2019:

 Given the transition between the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the former Industrial Hemp Regulations to the Cannabis Act and the new Industrial Hemp Regulations in October 2018, Health Canada is not able to provide performance results for the fiscal year 2018 to 2019.

Departmental Contact:

Industrial Hemp Unit
Specialized Authorizations Division
Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9


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