Service Standard for Issuance and Renewal of New Industrial Hemp Licences

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

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 provide a legal framework for the possession, production, distribution and sale of cannabis in Canada.

Under the Cannabis Act, the Industrial Hemp Regulations set out the regulatory framework for controlling and authorizing certain activities with industrial hemp, which is defined under these regulations as a cannabis plant – or any part of the plant – in which the concentration of THC is 0.3% (weight by weight) or less in the flowering heads and leaves.

Under this framework, a person is required to obtain a licence issued by Health Canada in order to conduct various activities with industrial hemp. In addition, licence holders are responsible for compliance with the Cannabis Act and its regulations, and with other applicable federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal by-laws.

Beginning October 17, 2018, all industrial hemp licences are issued pursuant to the Cannabis Act and its Industrial Hemp Regulations. The previous paper-based application process has been updated into an online electronic application process via the Cannabis Tracking and Licencing System (CTLS), which is the primary means through which applicants may apply for an industrial hemp licence from Health Canada.

Please refer to the following legislation and guidance document to guide you with the application process:

Applications are submitted through the electronic Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS).

After the application is submitted in the CTLS, it is processed through the following steps:

  1. Screening: every section of the application and all attached documents are assessed for completeness, legibility and suitability.
  2. Review: once the application has passed screening, a detailed review is undertaken to verify that the information is accurate and satisfies all of the Industrial Hemp Regulations and Cannabis Act regulatory requirements. During the review, Health Canada may contact the applicant to request clarification and/or additional information.
  3. Issuance or refusal of licence: once all information in the application has been reviewed, a regulatory decision is made to either issue or refuse to issue a licence. If the decision is to issue a licence, a hard copy of the licence is mailed to the applicant at the mailing address in the application.

The grounds for refusal to issue or renew a licence are found under subsection 62(7) of the Cannabis Act.

Service Standard:

Health Canada commits to a non-binding service standard of 60 business days, for the issuance of a regulatory decision on an application for a new industrial hemp licence or a renewal, from the date that the application is deemed complete by the department to the date a decision is issued to the applicant (application or renewal approved or refused). This service does not apply to amendments.

Performance Target:

The target for achieving this standard is set at 85%

Performance result in fiscal year 2017 to 2018:

In 2017-2018, 100% of applications were processed within its service standard.

Departmental Contact:

Please contact the Industrial Hemp Unit to make any general inquiries or comments:

Industrial Hemp Section
Specialized Authorizations Division
Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch
Health Canada
AL 0300A
Ottawa ON K1A 0K9
Email: hc.hemp-chanvre.sc@canada.ca

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