Changes to the Criminal Record Check Process

As of July 1, 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has changed the way it conducts criminal record checks. Due to this change, Health Canada is no longer able to conduct criminal record checks on an applicant's behalf.

Applicants are now required to submit original criminal record checks along with their applications for new licences, registrations, authorizations, as well as applications for renewals and amendments to personnel. These changes effect the various authorizations issued under the following Regulations:

  • Industrial Hemp Regulations
  • Narcotic Control Regulations
  • Precursor Control Regulations
  • Part G - Controlled Drugs - Food and Drug Regulations
  • Part J - Restricted Drugs - Food and Drug Regulations

The application forms have been updated to reflect this change.

For more information on the RCMP change in process and how to obtain a criminal record check, please consult the RCMP website at

According to the RCMP website, the process can take from 3 to 120 business days or more.

In order to reduce burden on the applicants, the Office of Controlled Substances (OCS) will consider an original criminal record check valid for six months from the date of issuance. In addition, the OCS is also aware that some personnel work at multiple licensed sites therefore the OCS will accept copies of the original criminal record check if it was previously submitted by the applicant under one of the above affected Regulations and is still within the six month validity period. If this is the case, this should be indicated on the application with the appropriate licence number referenced.

The original criminal record check certificate must be issued by the RCMP or a local police service for each individual in a responsible position (personnel in charge) and must physically accompany your application and not be sent to our office directly from the RCMP or local police service.

Failure to include the original criminal record check certificates (or copies under the conditions described above), may result in your application being returned to you.

The process for a security clearance under the Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations and Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations remains unchanged.

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