Canada approves two medical marijuana producers

Canada has added two more licensed medical cannabis companies, bringing the total number of approved LPs to 54.

The latest to win approval are Experion Biotechnologies of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Zenabis of Atholville, New Brunswick.

The pair bring to nine the number of MMJ producers that have been approved since Health Canada streamlined the licensing of cultivators three months ago in an effort to ease the growing backlog of applicants and to increase production.

The additions give British Columbia 13 LPs and New Brunswick two. Seventeen of the licenses were awarded this year.

Canadian regulators implemented new rules at the end of May to streamline the licensing process, ease the backlog of applicants (428 as of May 25) and boost cannabis production nationwide.

Canadian LPs have been deploying serious capital this year to raise production capacity for the booming medical industry and prepare for next summer’s launch of the new adult-use market.

A July 26 report by Eight Capital, a Toronto-based investment dealer, estimated Canada’s licensed annual cannabis production capacity at about 60,000 kilograms (132,277 pounds) but also said the market could demand more than 10 times that by 2021.