Nearly 900 MMJ Business Applications in Canada

Officials in Canada are swamped with applications to open medical marijuana businesses.

Health Canada, the regulatory body that oversees the country’s medical marijuana program, has approved only 13 suppliers of marijuana for the entire country. But the agency has received 858 applications for businesses as of May 20. At one point, the agency was receiving applications at a rate of 25 per week.

In September, Health Canada had received 156 total applications. That number had tripled by February. The February total then doubled in just three months.

A spokeswoman for Health Canada said that of the 858 applications, 370 were returned as incomplete, 149 were refused and 30 were withdrawn. By those numbers, there are still roughly 300 applications that are awaiting review.

The backlog is beginning to frustrate prospective business owners. Uma Syed, president of Toronto-based CannMart Inc., said the agency is “dealing with a situation they weren’t prepared for.”

“We’re all dressed up and nowhere to go,” he said.

The agency has been slowed by several lawsuits that challenge the new system.

A spokesperson for Health Canada said the agency will not fast-track any approvals at the expense of security. The review process includes an extensive file review, site inspections and an in-depth review of personnel security, records-keeping equipment and various quality-control requirements.

2 comments on “Nearly 900 MMJ Business Applications in Canada
  1. Leigh Coulter on

    We are working with applicants now that were in the first 50 who have still waiting for their final inspection. At GGS Structures we help growers design and build growing rooms to meet Health Canada requirements, but there is still a very long wait list.

    Reply
  2. Barry Sharp on

    We’ve also worked with some of the earlier applicants and have prepared business plans for organizations “still in the queue.”

    (Thank you for correcting the math in the article. 858 less 370, less 149, less 30 does NOT equal 289.)

    Reply

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