In an announcement Tuesday by Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor and MP Bill Blair, the Government of Canada has opened up a consultation period for Canadians to provide their input on cannabis regulation by Jan. 20.
The feds are seeking perspectives from a variety of sources to provide input on marijuana-related sectors that include cultivation licensing, security clearance, cannabis products, labeling, packaging, medical marijuana, and cosmetics, to name just a few.
Proposed licensing rules for cultivators would allow producers to apply for permits which fit their specific business model. These would include large-scale producers looking to grow tonnes of cannabis, as well as smaller farmers interested in starting nurseries and seedling companies.
The government has also suggested regulations for micro-producers that are akin to craft-brewing companies. According to Blair, these craft-cultivators will “be able to participate in the market through provincial sellers.” This fascinating development means craft-cannabis actually has a chance of being involved, by offering their products to provincial wholesalers.
This new development for the craft market is significant considering the big business corporate culture that currently dominates marijuana cultivation in Canada.
Regarding security, companies with a license to cultivate or sell will need clearance issued by the health minister. Although the minister will have the authority to refuse permission for individuals with past convictions, the feds are asking Canadians if low-level, nonviolent convicts such as those convicted of possession, should be eligible for work in the cannabis industry.
“We have over 500,000 Canadians with minor drug offenses on their criminal records,” said Petitpas Taylor. “We are just asking the question, should these people [convicted of] a small amount of personal possession be excluded from the market, or should we consider them?”
The proposed regulations are some of the most detailed and specific rules released to date by the government. The feds have asked for feedback from citizens, provincial governments, municipalities, medical marijuana patients, law enforcement, and the existing cannabis and hemp industry.
The consultation period is open for input until Jan. 20.