2022 is halfway through and cannabis micro-cultivation licenses continue to be the most popular type of license in Canada.
Initially, the Canadian Cannabis Act regulated large-scale cannabis cultivation facilities. This first draft established a standardized and simple authorization process, but the cost of the process prevented small businesses from joining the new legal cannabis market.
To address this issue, Health Canada has segmented licenses into different categories: standard cannabis licenses, micro cultivation licenses, nursery licenses and hemp cultivation. Micro-cultivation licenses allow licensed producers to cultivate up to 200 square meters of cannabis and an annual maximum of 600 kg of dried cannabis for processing license holders.
Micro-cultivation licenses in Canada also take into account that small businesses operate with reduced budgets and fewer employees. Storage and monitoring requirements are reduced and regulatory costs lower.
In line with the 2021 trend, micro-cultivation and processing licenses continue to be the most common license category granted in Canada, with 45 of the 97 licenses issued so far this year being micro-licences.
Another 40 licenses issued this year were standard licenses (cultivation and/or processing), as well as 10 medical sales-only licenses and 2 nursery licenses. 1 license for sale for medical purposes only (VMM) allows its holder to operate an online sales platform without ever possessing cannabis.
In 2021, 262 new licenses had been granted; 130 of these were micro (cultivation and/or standard) while 108 were standard cultivation and/or processing licenses, as well as eleven medical sales-only licenses and eleven nursery licenses.
This is a slight change from 2020, when there were 144 standard licenses, 132 micro, 20 licenses for sale for medical purposes only and 9 nursery licenses.
There are currently 309 micro-licenses in Canada, out of a total of 859 active licenses. Of these, 28 are nurseries, 39 are sale-for-medical-only licenses, and 483 are standard licenses.