Industry roles and responsibilities under the Cannabis Act

Download the alternative format
(PDF format, 127 KB, 1 page)

Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2019-04-10

The Cannabis Act sets out a system for the legal, strictly regulated production, distribution and sale of cannabis

Rules and safeguards: federal - Health Canada

The federal government administers the Cannabis Act and Regulations, and authorizes and licences indoor and outdoor cultivation, processing and sale (for medical purposes). Regulatory requirements include:

  • Physical and personnel security
  • Good Production Practices, including:
    • Standard operating procedures
    • Quality assurance
    • Sanitary production and storage
    • Product testing (e.g. potency, microbial, chemical, pesticides)
    • Packaging and labelling
    • Promotions and advertising restrictions
  • Packaging and labelling
  • Promotions and advertising restrictions

Rules and safeguards: provincial / territorial

The provincial and territorial governments authorize and licence the retail sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes. In doing so, they:

  • May sell only cannabis that has been obtained from federally licensed cultivators and processors authorized under the Cannabis Act
  • May not sell cannabis to young persons
  • Maintain appropriate records in relation to the sale of cannabis
  • Take adequate measures to reduce the risk that cannabis will be diverted to the illegal market

Provinces and territories set:

  • Minimum age in their jurisdiction
  • Rules for home cultivation, including lower plant limit
  • Restrictions on where cannabis may be consumed (e.g. in public, in vehicles)

Cannabis inventory tracking and reporting is a responsibility shared between federal, provincial and territorial governments. It serves as a safeguard measure intended to track high-level movements of cannabis and to help prevent diversion from and inversion into the regulated supply chain.

  • Compliance monitoring, including inspections of licensed facilities and verifying adherence by regulated parties to the promotion prohibitions
  • Enforcement actions, including:
    • Issue warning letters
    • Issue administrative monetary penalties [up to $1 million]
    • Issue ministerial orders to, for example, require a product recall
  • Require a product recall
    •  Suspension or revocation of licences or permits

Compliance and enforcement: provincial / territorial

Provincial and territorial governments employ compliance and enforcement approaches that may include inspections to determine compliance with relevant legislation and regulations, as well as sharing any relevant or necessary information with Health Canada or law enforcement

Law enforcementFootnote 1:

Federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement may carry out:

  • Enforcement of possession and cultivation limits
  • Enforcement against criminal activity
  • Investigation of diversion or infiltration of the legal market
  • Action against any illegal cross-border movement of cannabis
  • Enforcement of impaired driving
  • Training of law enforcement officers to:
    • Enforce new legislation
    • Detect and investigate drug-impaired drivers


Footnote 1

Criminal activities include offences related to production, including cultivation, distribution and sale outside the legal system; export or import; and selling or giving of cannabis to youth, and use of a young person in the commission of a cannabis offence.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Page details

Date modified: