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May 9, 2019

Matt Maurer speaks to the Financial Post about Health Canada’s changes to the cannabis licensing process

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Matt Maurer, vice-chair of our Cannabis Law Group, spoke to the Financial Post about Health Canada’s changes to the cannabis licensing process that were made in a bid to cut wait times after a review found a “significant amount” of its resources was used to approve numerous applications for facilities that have yet to materialize years later.

Effective immediately, new applicants for licences to cultivate, process or sell cannabis — for either medical or recreational purposes — must now have a fully built site that meets the regulations when they submit their application, the government agency said.

Prior to this, cannabis licence applicants could submit an application with their plans and get approval before building.

Matt discussed how Health Canada’s initial paper-based review could, at times, take several months and focusing instead on facilities that are already built may help speed up the overall process and help to ease the licensing bottleneck.

“We have a supply shortage and people are dumping on the federal government, rightly or wrongly, for not licensing fast enough… If they think they can expedite that by changing the process, I think that will help,” he said.

However, for new applicants, the “playing field has just shifted,” he added.

“Now the onus is on you to raise that money earlier in the process… and getting it right so that when you build it, its going to get licensed,” he said.

To read the complete article, please visit the Financial Post.

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