On April 13, 2017, the future of cannabis in Canada changed. On this date, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, in the House of Commons. The introduction of Bill C-45 meant that, if passed, cannabis would be legalized on a federal level, removing it from Schedule 2 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Throughout the legislative process, the Government of Canada held a consultation titled “Consultation on Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis”. The purpose of this consultation period was to “solicit public input and views on a proposed approach” to the regulation of cannabis. Bill C-45 has now made its way through the legislature, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. The Cannabis Act, as many of you may already know, comes into force on October 17. On July 12, the Government of Canada initiated another consultation period and released a second consultation paper related to cannabis. This paper, however, wasn’t to solicit public input and views on cannabis. This consultation, which ended August 13 (link here), is geared towards the cannabis industry itself and focuses on the proposed approach to cannabis cost recovery, to pay for the regulation of legalized cannabis1.
According to the Government of Canada, “cost recovery is based on the principle that the general public should not bear the cost of government activities where private parties gain the main social or economic benefit.” The purpose of the consultation was to:
“propose a set of fees to recover the costs of activities undertaken by Health Canada, and supported by the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Public Safety Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, to regulate and strictly control access to cannabis.”
The fees proposed by the government would apply to cultivators, processors, nurseries and sellers of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. Certain exemptions in the proposal also exist such as for research, industrial hemp, and health & natural health products containing cannabis.
4 Proposed Cannabis Cost Recovery Fees
- Application Screening Fees
- Import/Export Permit Fees
- Security Screening Fees
- Annual Regulatory Fees
- Application Screening Fees. This fee is associated with the costs associated with the intake, screening, acceptance or rejection of new applications for certain licensed activities. These fees are applicable to all new applications related to the following licences and authorizations: nursery, standard and micro-cultivation, standard and micro-processing and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes. The fee for standard cultivation, processing and sale for medical purposes is $3,277 per application. The fee for micro-cultivation, processing and nursery application is $1,638 per application. These fees are not applicable to the research, industrial hemp, or analytical testing license categories nor health & natural health products containing cannabis, renewals, or amendments to existing licences.
- Import/Export Permit Fees. This fee is associated with the screening, processing and issuance or refusal of an import or export permit for medical or scientific purposes. This fee is applicable to persons that are licensed or permitted to conduct activities with cannabis who are looking to obtain an import or export permit for medical or scientific purposes. The fee is $610 per permit request and is non-refundable for those requests that are refused. This fee is not applicable to import/export requests for industrial hemp.
- Security Screening Fees. This fee is associated with the screening, processing and issuance or refusal of a security clearance. This fee is applicable to each individual required to possess a valid security clearance. It should be known that this fee applies to both the processing of a new security screening request and the renewal of an existing security clearance. The fee is $1,654 per security screening request and is non-refundable for those requests that are refused.
- Annual Regulatory Fees. In order to recover costs that are not covered under one of the three fees mentioned above, Health Canada is proposing to implement an Annual Regulatory Fee, rounding out its cannabis cost recovery scheme. The fee would be payable when a licence is originally granted, and then annually for as long as the licence is held. The consultation document states “Establishing this fee requires two steps. The first is to establish the cost base of the regulatory program across the federal government. The second is to allocate those costs to the regulated industry.”2
With October 17 quickly approaching, the time to start your application is now! Contact dicentra Cannabis Consulting.
dicentra Cannabis Consulting is committed to keeping you well informed and educated on the Cannabis Act and the cannabis regulatory framework. We are committed to providing you with news, updates and information as the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations come into force on October 17, 2018 and into the future. For any cannabis related questions, please contact us at 1-866-647-3279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1Proposed Approach to Cost Recovery for the Regulation of Cannabis
2Consultation Document – Proposed Approach to Cost Recovery for the Regulation of Cannabis