To legally possess and conduct activities with controlled substances in Canada, companies and research organizations must first obtain a Controlled Drugs and Substances Licence. The licence authorizes the company or the organization to possess the controlled substances and to conduct activities specified by the licence (such as production, packaging, sale, sending, transportation and delivery).

A Controlled Drugs and Substances Licence is site specific, meaning that a separate licence is required for each individual site that will be conducting activities with controlled substances. Companies who wish to obtain a Controlled Drugs and Substances Licence must also adhere to the physical security requirements of the Directive on Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances (Security Directive) Prior to the issuance of any licence, an inspection of the proposed site will be conducted to verify compliance with the Security Directive.

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