Commercial Licence

New information on this topic will be available soon. In the meantime, please visit the Industrial Hemp Licensing Application Guide for current information on how to get an industrial hemp licence.

In Canada, provision is made under the Industrial Hemp Regulations for production of industrial hemp under licence. Most activities related to the possession, production and sale or distribution of industrial hemp, including importation and exportation, require a licence. Licences must be obtained before starting any activity that requires a licence. Submission of an application form does not constitute authorization to commence an activity requiring a licence.

List of Approved Cultivars

The Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR) set out the regulatory framework for controlling and authorizing certain activities with industrial hemp, which is defined under the IHR as a cannabis plant, or any part of that plant, in which the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is 0.3% weight by weight or less in the flowering heads and leaves. Those who hold a licence under the IHR may be authorized to cultivate these plants, but must grow from pedigreed seed of industrial hemp varieties approved for commercial cultivation (i.e. those listed on the List of Approved Cultivars (LOAC)). An exception is made for plant breeders. The IHR requires that the holder of a licence that authorizes cultivation for seed test for THC, for the purpose of determining the concentration of THC in the flowering heads and leaves.

Members of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Industrial Hemp Cultivars (Working Group), which includes representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), and the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA), work together to make recommendations to Health Canada regarding the industrial hemp varieties that should be considered for addition to the LOAC, as well as those that should be placed under observation or removed from the list due to a potential to exhibit more than 0.3% THC (w/w).Proposals for the addition of new cultivars on the LOAC or removal are evaluated by the Working Group and Health Canada twice yearly. The LOAC contains information on the varieties of industrial hemp that may be used for commercial production in Canada, and the results of THC testing for each variety.

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