The number of active applicants in the pipeline to cultivate medical cannabis in Canada has surpassed 500 for the first time.
As of March 31, the number of applicants stood at 509, according to data provided to Marijuana Business Daily by Health Canada, an increase from the 463 reported in November.
The jump in applications comes as companies prepare for the planned rollout of the nation’s recreational cannabis market this summer.
After the federal Cannabis Act takes effect, production and sales licenses for medical marijuana will be grandfathered into the recreational system and able to sell into the rec market.
The regulatory body that oversees medical cannabis in Canada implemented new rules last May to streamline the licensing process for producers, a move aimed at boosting the overall output of product and the number of legal cultivators.
Ontario tops the list of applicants with 176 companies in the Review, Screening and Security Clearance stages. That’s followed by British Columbia (160), Alberta (66) and Quebec (55).
The country had 102 licensed producers as of April 20, but only 45 companies possessed a license to sell cannabis to registered patients.
Matt Lamers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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