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Emblem To Disrupt $60 Billion Opiod Market With Cannabis Based Sustained Release Formulation

Emblem Announces Exclusive Agreement with Canntab Therapeutics for Cannabinoid Based Oral Sustained Release Formulation

View Emblem company info and stock price on the directory listing on InvestinMJ.com

PARIS, Ontario, Oct. 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emblem Corp. (TSXV:EMC) (EMC.WT) (“Emblem” or the "Company") announced today that it has entered into a Collaboration and Licensing Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Canntab Therapeutics Limited (“Canntab”) of Toronto. Canntab has developed a patent-pending oral sustained release formulation for cannabinoids (the “Sustained Release Product” or the “Product”). Under the Agreement, Emblem and Canntab will collaborate on the preclinical formulation, clinical development, regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercialization of the Sustained Release Product.

The Agreement grants to Emblem the exclusive right in Canada to Canntab’s patents and know-how for the purpose of developing, commercializing, using, selling, and offering the Sustained Release Product for sale under the Emblem brand. The License does not include the right to import or export the Product.

The Sustained Release Product will be manufactured by Emblem or by Canntab, after Canntab receives appropriate licensing allowing such manufacture.

The Agreement calls for Emblem to make payments to Canntab upon achievement of certain milestones involving stability studies, bio-availability studies and regulatory approval of the Sustained Release Product. The Agreement also calls for Emblem to make royalty payments to Canntab based upon Gross Sales of the Product.

Emblem and Canntab also intend to collaborate on the preclinical formulation, clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of a range of additional cannabinoid containing pharmaceutical formulations.

Background

There is substantial evidence that cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of a number of conditions including (i) chronic pain (ii) nausea, (iii) anxiety and sleep disorders, and (iv) spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Most conventional (immediate release) dosage forms, such as tablets and capsules, release the active drug component immediately after oral administration. In the formulation of conventional drug products, no deliberate effort is made to modify the drug release rate. Sustained release dosage forms are designed to release the active pharmaceutical ingredient at a predetermined rate in order to maintain a constant drug concentration over a specific period of time – resulting in a longer duration of action from a single dose and often with reduced side effects. Generally this is done to achieve an improved therapeutic outcome and/or to enhance patient compliance. Immediate release dosage forms of cannabinoids tend to lose therapeutic effects in 4 to 6 hours requiring subsequent re-administration and the risk of reduced patient compliance.

The Sustained Release Product is designed to release the cannabinoid content over a period of at least 12 hours. Sustained release formulations of pharmaceutical products are particularly valuable in the treatment of chronic conditions, such as chronic pain, where patients tend to need “around the clock” relief. There is substantial evidence that cannabis is effective for the treatment of numerous conditions including neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is estimated to affect over two million Canadians and the pharmaceutical market addressing the needs of those patients was about $500 million in 2016.

John H Stewart – Head of Emblem’s Pharmaceutical Division said: “There are numerous examples of drug products where the utilization of advanced dosage forms such as sustained and/or modified release dosage forms significantly improved the efficacy and clinical utility of the active drug substance. We believe that cannabinoid therapy will be advanced via the development of such dosage forms and the associated pharmacokinetic and clinical research.  Sustained release formulations of pharmaceutical ingredients that are otherwise short-acting (such as cannabinoids) have more convenient dosage schedules, a longer duration of action and tend to be much more accepted by patients and healthcare professionals.   Emblem expects that the introduction of easily titratable, sustained release formulations of cannabinoids will materially increase the market for cannabinoid-based medications, particularly for treatment of conditions such as chronic neuropathic pain.”  

Jeff Renwick, Canntab CEO said:  “We’re excited about the collaboration between us and Emblem.  It is a testament to the medicinal delivery technology developed by our team at Canntab. It also allows us to bring to the Canadian market a significant advancement in Cannabis based medicine. Canntab’s patent-pending extended release formulation for the first time lets doctors establish the appropriate dosage for their patients and will make taking medicinal cannabis easier for patients, which should translate into higher patient compliance, making for more effective treatment. The ongoing relationship with Emblem allows for further development of our unique platforms, advancing our mission to put the “medical” into medicinal cannabis.”

Gordon Fox, CEO of Emblem said: “We are very excited about our relationship with Canntab. We expect the Sustained Release Product to have a major impact on the Canadian medical cannabis market.  We are also looking forward to further collaborations with Canntab to bring other ground-breaking cannabis based advanced dosage forms to the market.”

About Emblem

Emblem is licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “ACMPR”) to cultivate and sell medical marihuana. Emblem carries out its principal activities producing marihuana from its facilities in Paris, Ontario pursuant to the provisions of the ACMPR and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) and its regulations.

About Canntab

Canntab Therapeutics Limited is a Canadian cannabis oral dosage formulation company based in Markham Ontario, engaged in the research and development of advanced pharmaceutical grade formulations of cannabinoids. Canntab has developed in-house technology to deliver standardized medical cannabis extract from selective strains in a variety of extended/sustained release pharmaceutical dosages for therapeutic use. Simply put, Canntab's mission is to put the "Medical" into medicinal cannabis!

For further information contact:

Ali Mahdavi

Emblem Corp.

(416) 962-3300

alimahdavi@emblemcorp.com

 

Ethan Karayannopoulos

647-748-9696

ethank@emblemcorp.com

   

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively referred to herein as "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements other than statements of present or historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "achieve", "could", "believe", "plan", "intend", "objective", "continuous", "ongoing", "estimate", "outlook", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should" or similar words, including negatives thereof, suggesting future outcomes.

In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things: (i) the arrangement and Agreement with Canntab; (ii) the benefits of the relationship with Canntab; (iii) potential sales of oil and the value thereof; (v) the ability of the Company to produce high quality dried flower; (vi) the intention to grow the business, operations and potential activities of the Company; (vii) the benefits associated with cannabinoids for the treatment of illness and disease; and (viii) receipt of approval from Health Canada to complete such activities.

Management of the Company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date hereof but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. Various material factors and assumptions are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking statements. Those material factors and assumptions are based on information currently available to the Company, including data from publicly available governmental sources as well as from market research and industry analysis and on assumptions based on data and knowledge of this industry which Emblem believes to be reasonable. However, although generally indicative of relative market positions, market shares and performance characteristics, such data is inherently imprecise. While Emblem is not aware of any misstatement regarding any industry or government data presented herein, the medical marijuana industry involves risks and uncertainties and is subject to change based on various factors.

Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance and are subject to and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause the Company's actual performance and results to differ materially from any projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks identified in the Company's filing statement dated November 30, 2016 and in the Company's short form prospectus dated March 16, 2017 both of which have been filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available on www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise such statements to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise.

This news release contains future-oriented financial information and financial outlook information (collectively, "FOFI") about Emblem's prospective results of operations,  sales, revenues, funds flow, and components thereof, all of which are subject to the same assumptions, risk factors, limitations, and qualifications as set forth in the above paragraphs. FOFI contained in this news release was made as of the date of this document and was provided for the purpose of providing further information about the Company's future business operations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any FOFI contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required pursuant to applicable law. Readers are cautioned that the FOFI contained in this news release should not be used for purposes other than for which it is disclosed herein.

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Growing Cannabis vs Buying Cannabis

What are the economics/benefits of growing your own MJ versus buying from a dispensary? 

Marijuana is also popular by the name of cannabis and it is a plant that acts like a psychoactive drug. Earlier, only the recreational uses of marijuana were known but nowadays it is extensively used for medicinal purposes as well. Marijuana can be used in various forms: it can be used for smoking; its extract can be added to food items; its oil can be applied on the skin, and it can be used for vaporizing for example. It has shown wonderful results in treating health conditions like cancer, glaucoma, heart problems, anxiety, depression, body pain, skin disorders, digestive disorders and much more, and that is the reason why many people state time and time again that they love growing marijuana.

Which is the right choice- growing marijuana or buying it from a dispensary?

Nowadays, medical practitioners are also recommending the use of marijuana for treating various health related disorders. If you wish to buy marijuana, the first thing that will come to your mind is to look for a dispensary that supplies it. But you may not know which dispensary is supplying the right quality of marijuana and whether genuine prices are being charged. So it is a better idea to grow your own marijuana as it offers a lot of benefits over the marijuana that is procured from a dispensary. 

Here are the benefits of growing your own marijuana:

Economical

The first thing that you will notice if you go to buy marijuana from a dispensary is that it is usually overpriced. But if you grow marijuana in your home then it would be far more economical and will help in saving a lot of money. You just need to invest one time for high quality seeds; soil, fertilizers etc and then you can have as much marijuana as you want. Many people love growing marijuana not only for themselves but they have even started their own businesses by supplying high quality marijuana to the people in need.

High quality is guaranteed

If you buy marijuana from a dispensary, you may never know about its true level of quality because there are many varieties. But once you will grow it in your home you will be assured that there is no compromise on the quality front.

You can grow as much quantity as needed

When it comes to buying marijuana from a dispensary, you have to think twice about its quantity, but if you will grow it on your own then this issue will be resolved completely.

Easily convertible for specified uses

By growing marijuana on your own you can easily convert it in various forms like you can secrete its oil and apply for skin related concerns, its extract can be added to food, or you can simply use it like a vaporizer. So it would be a great advantage altogether.

Everything will be supervised under your hand

Growing marijuana on your own gives you the privilege to supervise everything under your own hand, thus there won’t be any compromise in its standards and you will get the best quality for it. 

Now you must have gotten a complete idea to what the benefits are of growing your own marijuana versus buying from a dispensary, so it is guaranteed by following the aforementioned advice here then you would also say: I love growing marijuana.

 

Invest In MJ Editor Notes:

The article above was provided by James Hayes and are his opinions from his research. The views expressed above are not necessarily the opinions of Invest In MJ and we suggest you conduct your own research to determine the level of accuracy of the information contained in the article.

Here at Invest In MJ we believe that growing your own is an excellent option versus purchasing from a dispensary or other source. There are numerous benefits to being able to grow your own cannabis and there is a lot of information out there to help you get started. Cannabis is an enjoyable hobby to undertake once you have completed your research. With so many ways to grow and a variety of products to meet the needs of the everyday consumer, it can leave some people confused about which route is the best for them. Ultimately, growing your own (with some experience) will allow you to have control over your strain quality, grow method and it will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

While good quality seeds are a great investment, you should also invest time in researching the lights, tents and other equipment required for an excellent home set-up. We believe that LED grow lights are the way of the future. They do cost more than standard HPS but they last longer, use less electricity and they run at a much cooler temperature. We love Cirrus LED Grow Lights because they offer the latest technology and the light operates from an App on your Android of iOS device from anywhere around the world. Cirrus T series lights also give you 5 individual channels to control the red, white, blue, UV and IR rays of light. Take a look at all of the Cirrus products over on LED Tech Store

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Along with the proper lighting, you will also want to research tents, filters and fans to make sure that you have the best climate control and air flow in your set up. We encourage consumers to look at Gorilla Grow Tents because no one on the market makes a better tent than what they produce.

Through our own research we have found that the average cost of a personal home set-up with premium equipment will cost roughly $2500-$3000. Based on the average yield per light, you should be able to obtain 1lb of cannabis per light and it can be produced for roughly $2-$3 per gram. That means that 1lb of home grown cannabis is roughly $1300. The average cost per gram from a Licensed Producer in Canada is $10 per gram and you can typically only purchase in 1 gram increments. This means that 1lb of Cannabis from an LP would cost $4480. The numbers can vary if you are able to purchase cannabis for less than $10 per gram but ultimately it is much more affordable to make the investment in the equipment. Technically you would have the ability to produce 1lb of cannabis every grow cycle and there are 4 cycles in a year.

There are many options for consumption of cannabis products today from oils and extracts to edibles, topicals and tinctures, the options are nearly endless. We believe that oils are the way of the future when it comes to cannabis as it offers a wide variety of deliver systems in this form. The ability to easily produce these oils is questionable as there is a very tough science behind producing and distilling a product to its purest form. We will be releasing an article shortly regarding the process of creating oils and distillates and the trials and tribulations associated with it.

Growing your own cannabis is an excellent choice for the consumer who wants full control over their product and you will also save money. The investment for equipment is critical to produce a premium product and we have found that you really do get what you pay for. We encourage everyone to take the time to research growing, the equipment required such as lights tents and fans and the different methods of growing. By researching you will find out the correct method that’s tailored to your needs.

If you are interested in learning more about the cultivation of cannabis and you are located in the Niagara or New York region, take a look at the upcoming Grow Up Cannabis Conference & Expo that is being held on Oct 6-7 at the Scotiabank Centre. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about the equipment and the science behind cultivation. For more information on tickets and how to attend click here.

 

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*The numbers used to calculate the average costs from Licensed Producers in Canada are estimated based off of the research that we have conducted. Costs can vary.*

 

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Canadian Investments In The US

What Can Canadian Companies Expect if They Have Marijuana Stock Interest in the United States

Canadian companies who are on the forefront of the country’s medical and soon-to-be recreational marijuana business have some of the fastest growing stock interests in their home country. As well it should be – Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canadian government last year announced plans to legalize cannabis for recreational use nationwide come July of 2018. 

However, some of these companies are publicly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE). The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), has largely shied away from listing companies that have interests in the United States, however it does possess all Canadian equity trades via its clearing house the Canadian Deposit for Securities. 

This means that companies needing to raise money have raced to CSE to do so. Often these funds are being raised to fund U.S. opportunities. These companies are allowed to list on CSE so long as there is adequate disclosure. However, in the case that TMX decides to stop clearing trades, a viable alternative is necessary. And it’s one that CSE executive Richard Carlton is actively seeking. 

It’s Still Challenging for the US Funding and Investing for Marijuana Industry

In comparison to the United States, where funding and investing a marijuana company even in legalized states remains difficult, money is flooding into Canadian-listed stocks. However, a decision to take a tougher line on Canadian capital markets could spell disaster for the possible expansion of Canadian companies looking to invest in U.S. states where marijuana is legal. 

Indeed, many of the companies that investors have fallen in love with are currently increasing their footprint in the United States. If they do not already have interest in the United States, they are planning to do expand. However, there’s a catch. These companies are mandated by TMX to remain in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where they operate. 

Why Aphria Should be Concerned? 

Aphria, one of Canada’s rising investment stars, has reason to be concerned. As part of its investment strategy, it is planning on making a $25 million investment in Florida, where medical marijuana is legal, yet it remains illegal recreationally. In fact, 10 new companies that are cultivating marijuana in preparation for next year’s impending legalization. The entire industry has eyes on a possible large market: The United States. Where marijuana is still federally illegal, putting the stock exchange in a precarious position when it comes to listing marijuana companies that have interests in the United States. 

While TMX is currently allowing Aphria to remain listed, even with its plans for expansion in Florida, it has taken a harder approach for other companies. For example, Canadian Biotechnical Corporation left the TSX Venture Exchange after being told it could not pursue recreational marijuana interests in the United States. Conversely, Ottawa-based CannaRoyalty Corp has the bulk of its assets in the United States and is listed on the Canadian Securities exchange. 

The two rivals are taking different approaches when it comes to listing companies with U.S. interests. Not only is the CSE allowing for tiny, unlicensed companies to list, it is also allowing U.S. based corporations to trade, where they are barred from doing so domestically. 

Summary of the Current Status

While those with U.S. interests are looking to TSX to clarify its rules regarding companies listing on the exchange, some think that Canadian companies should avoid involvement and expansion into the U.S. entirely. They believe that institutional investors in the burgeoning market should feel confident that their investments are not funding illegal activities. 

While the federal government has yet to make a move against states where cannabis is legalized recreationally and medically, it is no secret that many in the Trump administration, including U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions, are taking a hard line on federal marijuana policy. Unlike modern day vapes , which are a sensitive topic as well but are not banned in both countries, marijuana is illegal on the federal level. This is certainly a cause for some concern for investors and regulators in the Canadian market. 

It’s no better in the United States, where investors looking to take advantage of the boom in Canada and the growth of marijuana stocks there. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has been tracking U.S. investments in the Canadian marijuana industry. When inquired by Reuters about the DEA’s view of U.S. investments in Canadian marijuana, spokesman for the DEA Robert Payne said that the agency is “most interested in those types of activities.” 

Author

Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. 

Invest In MJ Editor Notes:

The article above was provided by Michael and are his opinions from his research. The views expressed above are not necessarily the opinions of Invest In MJ and we suggest you conduct your own research and speak to your financial advisor as to the accuracy of the information contained in the article.

We at Invest In MJ are aware that the United States government still has cannabis as an illegal drug and that does bring lots of question and concerns for investor as to the legality of investing in the cannabis sector.  At the state level, cannabis companies are opening up and setting up shop, many of them looking north to Canada for raising capital.  While the DEA may be interested in activities in the cannabis space, they have yet to stop investment in the space. 

Many companies in Canada and the United States have raised capital from all around the world in record numbers; we do not think that trend will change.  The fact that no regulator has stopped the progress of capital raises or companies from trading on the exchanges should be kept in mind.  While some companies may not have business interest or operations in the US, many are moving forwards with their plans to enter the US market in States where cannabis is legal medically or recreational.

Please consult your financial and legal advisor before making any investment decisions.

 

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The support for cannabis legalization by the public is stronger today than over the last few decades.  However, most non-cannabis users still believe the old stereotype about "stoners" — that marijuana smokers are apathetic, unsuccessful, flaky… and the list goes on.

But, contrary to the popular stereotype which is based mostly on miss-information or lack of research, there is a new study which suggests they are in fact among the most satisfied and successful among us.  

As it turns out, cannabis consumers are among the most well-adjusted and successful of American adults, based on results from BDS Analytics’ landmark cannabis consumer research study.

The study surveyed consumers (acceptors) and abstainers (rejecters) across a wide variety of mental, social and financial factors. The survey analysed extensive data from two US states that have voted to legalise the sale of cannabis -California and Colorado.

Among the findings, Cannabis Consumers are: 

Accomplished Personally and Professionally

  • Average annual household income among California Consumers is $93,800, compared to $72,800 for Acceptors and $75,900 for Rejecters.
  • The percentage of people holding master’s degrees among California Consumers is 20 percent, compared to 13 percent for Acceptors and 12 percent for Rejecters.
  • Full-time employment is enjoyed by 64 percent of Colorado Consumers, compared to 51 percent of Acceptors and 54 percent of Rejecters.

Satisfied with Life

  • Nearly five in 10 Colorado Consumers agree they are more satisfied with life today than they were a year ago, compared to about four in 10 among Acceptors and Rejecters.

Parents Raising Families

  • Cannabis Consumers are the most likely segment to be parents in California: 64 percent of Consumers are parents, compared to 60 percent of Acceptors and 55 percent of Rejecters.
  • In addition, Consumers in California are significantly more likely to have children ages 10 years or younger at home — 37 percent of Consumers compared to 23 percent of Acceptors and 11 percent of Rejecters

Active Socially and Creatively

  • Among Colorado Consumers, 36 percent agree they are very social people, compared to 21 percent for Acceptors and 28 percent for Rejecters.
  • Acceptors in Colorado were more likely to enjoy the fine arts and describe themselves as creative.

Enjoy the Outdoors

  • When compared to Rejecters, Consumers in both Colorado and California say they enjoy outdoor recreation at a higher rate — 50 percent for Colorado Consumers compared to 36 percent for Colorado Rejecters, and 57 percent for California Consumers compared to 26 percent for California Rejecters.

Nurturing and Volunteers

  • In California, 60 percent of Consumers agree that they are nurturing people, compared to 41 percent of Rejecters. Also, 38 percent of Consumers say they volunteer their time to help others, compared to 25 percent of Rejecters.

The following is a comment from Linda Gilbert, head of the consumer research division at BDS: “Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them”.

Public support for cannabis legalization is at an all-time high, the misconception and myths around cannabis users is clearly debunked from this study.  We are thankful that real insight and studies are now being done around cannabis. Over the years we expect this trend to continue and more light will be shed on the benefits of cannabis use.  This will hopefully shatter the misconceptions and false information typically cited by people who are anti-cannabis.  The tides are turning and the truth is being shared, that is a positive step forwards towards the legalization of cannabis.

See full report and details about BDS Analytics. June 6 2017

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During May 2017, Health Canada announced that they are making the process to become a licensed producer of marijuana in Canada easier and quicker.  We at Invest In MJ are excited to see this happen, we expect a lot of attraction to the industry as more applicants become licensed over the coming year.  

Why this is significant to an applicant who is in the final review stages?  Instead of waiting for approval to build out the facility, they can start building it out now which takes capital.  I suspect we will see many of these applicants looking to build out their facility in the coming months, that could mean them looking to raise capital for at financing options.  We at #IMJ will seek out these opportunities to work with many of the pre-license companies looking to become a ACMPR licensed producer.

Below is the notice from Health Canada's site...

Improving the Licensing of Production of Cannabis for Medical Purposes

From Health Canada, May 2017

Health Canada is introducing several improvements that aim to streamline the licensing of medical cannabis producers and enable increased production of cannabis. 

Licensed producers and applicants will need to continue to meet all of the requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, including the security and inventory control measures that help prevent diversion, and the Good Production Practices that help to provide individuals with access to quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes.

As announced previously, Health Canada has begun conducting random testing of cannabis products produced by licensed producers to provide added assurance to Canadians that they are receiving safe, quality-controlled product.

What is a licensed producer?

A licensed producer is the holder of a producer’s licence that is issued by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations to produce quality-controlled cannabis under secure and sanitary conditions. They can be authorized to produce and sell dried and fresh cannabis, seeds and plants, and cannabis oil. As of May 24, 2017, there are 44 licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes. Over the past four years, licensed producers have established a strong record of compliance and are inspected regularly by Health Canada.

Licensed producers are authorized to sell to registered clients who have been authorized by their healthcare practitioner to use cannabis for medical purposes. Products are delivered to clients securely through the mail or by courier. More than 153,000 individuals are registered to purchase cannabis from licensed producers, while more than 4,000 individuals are registered with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes. On average, the number of registered clients has been growing by 10% a month. Sales of dried cannabis have been growing by 6% a month, and sales of cannabis oil have increased by 16% a month.

What is the current process to become a licensed producer?

All applications to become a licensed producer undergo a strict and thorough review. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. All key personnel must pass a stringent security clearance process. In addition, each application must demonstrate how the security and inventory control measures and Good Production Practices at the facility meet all the regulatory requirements. This compliance is verified by Health Canada inspectors.

How will the licensing approach change?

Health Canada has drawn on nearly four years of experience administering the medical cannabis regime to identify what works well, and what can be improved. The changes that are being put in place are measures to streamline licensing and enable increased production of cannabis for medical purposes. These measures will help ensure that Health Canada’s approach to licensing and oversight continues to be aligned with the regulations, the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety, and its approach to other regulated sectors.

Effective immediately, Health Canada is implementing the following measures:

  • Increasing the Department’s capacity to review and process applications
    • Health Canada is allocating more resources to streamline the processing of applications to produce cannabis for medical purposes. The majority of these additional resources will focus on applications at the review stage, during which Health Canada undertakes a detailed review of all aspects of the application and assesses its compliance with the requirements of the regulations. There are currently 187 applications at the review stage. Additional resources will also be applied to applications at the intake and screening stage.
    • In the past few weeks, Health Canada has dedicated additional resources to accelerate the processing of applications from individuals who are authorized by their healthcare practitioner to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical use.
  • Undertaking some stages of the review of the application concurrently;
    • The detailed review stage of processing applications will now happen at the same time as the personnel security screening process. Historically, the review stage did not begin until the security screening of key personnel is complete, which can lengthen the time to process the application.
  • Permitting licensed producers to manage production on the basis of their vault capacity;
    • Licensed producers will be permitted to increase cannabis production within their existing facility to the maximum they are authorized to store, based on the capacity and security level of their vault(s) or safe(s). This will allow licensed producers to better manage production as necessary to meet demand.
    • In addition, licensed producers will be able to store low-value cannabis waste products (e.g., leaves) in a secure area and will no longer need to keep these products in a secure vault or safe, thereby creating more room for storage of finished cannabis products and enabling increased production.
  • Authorizing longer validity periods for licences and security clearances in accordance with the regulations
    • New licences that are issued, and existing licences that are renewed for licensed producers with a good compliance record, may now be valid for the full three years allowed in the regulations. New or renewed security clearances for key personnel at licensed production facilities may also be valid for up to five years in accordance with regulations, subject to Health Canada receiving new information that could result in a security clearance being suspended.
  • Streamlining the review and approval of applications to modify or expand a production facility for licensed producers with a record of good compliance with the ACMPR;
    • Where a licensed producer has a good compliance record and the proposed modification or expansion is straightforward, materially similar to an existing room or facility, and falls within an existing security perimeter (e.g., fence), applications for a production site modification or expansion may be approved following a successful application review. The physical inspection of the site modification or expansion would then occur during the regular facility inspection rather than before approval.

Health Canada will continue to inspect all facilities before cultivation begins and before a licence to sell products to the public is issued. Henceforth, Health Canada will schedule this first inspection after it has determined an application meets the regulatory requirements and it has issued the licence to cultivate and once the producer is ready to initiate production in its facility. This approach will help provide successful applicants with a decision on their application as soon as possible while ensuring that all facilities are inspected as cultivation begins.

Licensed producers and applicants must continue to meet all of the requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. These include security and inventory control measures that help prevent diversion, and the Good Production Practices that help provide individuals with access to quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes. Since licensed production began in June 2013, licensed producers have established a solid record of compliance with the regulatory requirements and Health Canada will continue to ensure compliance through regular inspections.

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