They go on to say that improvements will include the following
The changes that are being put in place are measures to streamline licensing and enable increased production of cannabis for medical purposes. These measures will help ensure that Health Canada’s approach to licensing and oversight continues to be aligned with the regulations, the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety, and its approach to other regulated sectors.
Effective immediately, Health Canada is implementing the following measures:
Increasing the Department’s capacity to review and process applications
Health Canada is allocating more resources to streamline the processing of applications to produce cannabis for medical purposes. The majority of these additional resources will focus on applications at the review stage, during which Health Canada undertakes a detailed review of all aspects of the application and assesses its compliance with the requirements of the regulations. There are currently 187 applications at the review stage. Additional resources will also be applied to applications at the intake and screening stage.
In the past few weeks, Health Canada has dedicated additional resources to accelerate the processing of applications from individuals who are authorized by their healthcare practitioner to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical use.
Undertaking some stages of the review of the application concurrently;
The detailed review stage of processing applications will now happen at the same time as the personnel security screening process. Historically, the review stage did not begin until the security screening of key personnel is complete, which can lengthen the time to process the application.
Permitting licensed producers to manage production on the basis of their vault capacity;
Licensed producers will be permitted to increase cannabis production within their existing facility to the maximum they are authorized to store, based on the capacity and security level of their vault(s) or safe(s). This will allow licensed producers to better manage production as necessary to meet demand.
In addition, licensed producers will be able to store low-value cannabis waste products (e.g., leaves) in a secure area and will no longer need to keep these products in a secure vault or safe, thereby creating more room for storage of finished cannabis products and enabling increased production.
Authorizing longer validity periods for licences and security clearances in accordance with the regulations
New licences that are issued, and existing licences that are renewed for licensed producers with a good compliance record, may now be valid for the full three years allowed in the regulations. New or renewed security clearances for key personnel at licensed production facilities may also be valid for up to five years in accordance with regulations, subject to Health Canada receiving new information that could result in a security clearance being suspended.
Streamlining the review and approval of applications to modify or expand a production facility for licensed producers with a record of good compliance with the ACMPR;
Where a licensed producer has a good compliance record and the proposed modification or expansion is straightforward, materially similar to an existing room or facility, and falls within an existing security perimeter (e.g., fence), applications for a production site modification or expansion may be approved following a successful application review. The physical inspection of the site modification or expansion would then occur during the regular facility inspection rather than before approval.
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