Report: Compliance and enforcement report: Cannabis inspection data summary (fiscal year 2018-2019)

Table of contents


On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations came into force. The Cannabis Act establishes a national framework to strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in Canada, outside of which cannabis continues to be a prohibited substance under criminal law power. Under the Cannabis Act, federal, provincial and territorial governments share responsibility for overseeing cannabis activities including:

  • production
  • possession
  • distribution
  • sale

The purpose of the Cannabis Act is to protect public health and public safety, including providing for the legal production of cannabis to reduce illegal activities in relation to cannabis and providing access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis. Health Canada is responsible for conducting compliance and enforcement activities under the Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations.

Health Canada manages risks posed to public health and public safety in connection with cannabis through a variety of compliance and enforcement activities including compliance promotion, compliance monitoring and enforcement actions.

Compliance and enforcement activities include conducting inspections of both:

  • cannabis licence holders
  • individuals who have obtained the authorization of their health care practitioner to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes

Inspections may involve actions such as:

  • visually examining a facility, inventories, equipment, packaging, labelling and websites
  • collecting and reviewing documents and records
  • taking samples for laboratory analysis

Regulated parties must take corrective actions during or after the inspection to address any noted deficiencies or deviations from the legislative or regulatory requirements.

The Cannabis Act contains a number of enforcement tools that may be considered in determining the appropriate actions to prevent or address non-compliance, based on a review of the situation and all relevant information, including the health or safety risk and the compliance history of the individual or corporation. These include measures ranging from compliance promotion and awareness, which are intended to educate and prevent non-compliance, up to measures intended to correct non-compliance or address a public health or safety risk, such as the issuance of a warning letter, suspension or cancellation of a federal licence, the issuance of a ministerial order, or the issuance of administrative monetary penalties (up to $1 million). For more information, see the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Cannabis Act.

This summary includes results for cannabis inspections from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Before October 17, 2018, Health Canada was responsible for administering and enforcing the:

  • Food and Drugs Act (FDA)
  • Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)
  • Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR)

On October 17, 2018, the ACMPR were repealed and replaced with the Cannabis Act (CA) and the Cannabis Regulations (CR).

Summaries of results of cannabis inspections for earlier fiscal years conducted by Health Canada are available at:

Types and number of inspections

The types of inspections are described in the following table (Table 1).

Link through to full report


Read MJ Biz Report

Canopy, Aphria cited for ‘critical’ cannabis regulatory breaches in 2018, new Health Canada report shows


Primary Sponsor

Top Marijuana Blog