Health Canada Security Clearance Law Firm
In Canada, cannabis is legal, but regulations come with it. People need to have a security clearance to be eligible for some jobs in the cannabis sector. If you’re one of those individuals, you can miss this post about how to get security clearance from Health Canada for a cannabis license.
What is Cannabis License?
A cannabis license is a permit issued by a government agency that allows a person or organization to legally grow, produce, distribute, sell, or possess cannabis. In Canada, the agency responsible for issuing cannabis licenses is Health Canada. Obtaining a cannabis license requires meeting specific regulatory requirements and criteria, including security clearances, adherence to strict operational standards, and compliance with local and federal laws.
The license also specifies the type of activities authorized and the quantity of cannabis that can be produced or sold. The purpose of a cannabis license is to regulate and control the production and sale of cannabis to ensure public safety and reduce the risk of diversion to the illegal market.
Why is Security Clearance for Cannabis License Necessary?
Security clearances for cannabis licenses are essential because they help ensure that the production and sale of cannabis are controlled and regulated in a manner that protects public safety and reduces the risk of diversion to the illegal market. The following are some reasons why security clearances are essential for the cannabis industry:
- Preventing illegal activities: Security clearances help to screen individuals and organizations involved in the cannabis industry to avoid unlawful activities.
- Protecting public health and safety: The security clearance process helps to ensure that the individuals and organizations involved in the cannabis industry are of good character and operate in a manner.
- Maintaining product quality: The security clearance process helps to ensure that cannabis is produced and sold in a controlled environment.
- Reducing the risk of diversion: Security clearances help to reduce the risk of cannabis being diverted to the illegal market.
Who Needs a Security Clearance for Their Cannabis License?
In Canada, individuals and organizations involved in the cannabis industry may need to obtain a security clearance from Health Canada if they wish to produce, distribute, sell, or possess cannabis legally. The following individuals and organizations are required to have a security clearance:
- Key personnel: This includes individuals who have significant control over the cannabis business, such as the owner, CEO, or any other senior executive.
- Cultivators: Individuals or organizations that are licensed to grow cannabis for commercial purposes are required to have a security clearance.
- Processors: Individuals or organizations that are licensed to process and package cannabis for sale are required to have a security clearance.
Note: The requirements for obtaining a security clearance may change, and it is recommended to check with Health Canada for the most up-to-date information.
How to Get Security Clearance from Health Canada for a Cannabis Licence
Obtaining a security clearance from Health Canada for a cannabis license is a crucial step in legally producing, distributing, selling, or possessing cannabis in Canada. The security clearance process is designed to screen individuals and organizations involved in the cannabis industry to ensure that they are of good character and do not risk public health, safety, and security. Let’s check out these detailed steps below:
Step 1: Fingerprinting and Background Check
To complete the domestic certified criminal record check, you must have your fingerprints taken. It might be necessary to make an appointment and pay a charge.
If you are in Canada:
- Get your fingerprints taken by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), a Canadian police department, or a recognized fingerprinting business.
- You will be given a Document Control Number by the unit you choose for fingerprinting. Keep this number in your files as evidence that your fingerprints have been taken.
- They will give a certified copy of your criminal history check to you. You must include a copy of your security clearance application in your upload.
If you are not in Canada:
These are the steps to submit your fingerprints from outside Canada if you reside there.
- To have your fingerprints taken, get in touch with the local police in the region where you reside outside of Canada.
- Make contact with a recognized fingerprinting business in Canada. They’ll explain to you how to send in your international fingerprints.
- The approved fingerprinting business will give you your Document Control Number. This number serves as verification that you had your fingerprints taken. Therefore save it for your records.
- They will give a certified copy of your criminal history check to you. You must upload this copy to your security clearance application.
Step 2: Prepare Your Documents
The following documents need to be downloaded, printed, and uploaded:
- Your proof of birth.
- If applicable, prepare your immigration documentation (Such as a record of landing or citizenship certificate).
- A copy of ID (Such as a passport or driver’s license).
- Details of all convictions on your criminal history (What, when, and where).
- A list of the residences you’ve had throughout the previous 5 years (Dates and complete addresses).
- List companies you’ve worked for during the last 5 years (Company name, addresses, working time).
- List the locations where you attended school in the last 5 years (Name, address, time).
- Information about your spouse or common-law partner (Name, citizen information, partnership time, current address, employment).
- Information from the last five years regarding former spouses or common-law partners (Name, citizen information, partnership time, current address, employment, divorce/separation/death date).
- For each journey in the 5 years you spent 90 or more consecutive days outside of your country of residence, please list the countries you’ve visited along with their dates and purposes.
- Approved criminal history check for Canada (Fingerprint results mentioned above).
- Completed Form for certification and consent.
Step 3: Create and Submit Your Application
Applicants must register for a Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS) account if they don’t already have one. You must also set up a CTLS user account if you still need to get one.
1. Create your SC application:
Choose “Personnel Security” from the menu on the left-hand side of your CTLS account. Click on “Apply for a security clearance.”
2. Select the type of application:
- New: First-time applicant or applicant with expired SC.
- Existing: Applicant who received a commercial cannabis license before October 2018 and has a current SC.
- Renewal: Applicant has an active SC issued under the Cannabis Act that would expire in the following 6 months.
3. Provide your personal information:
The following areas need your personal information filled out. Upload any required supporting files.
- Biographical information: Name, languages, date of birth,…
- Convictions: List all convictions for crimes under the Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), and Cannabis Act that have not been absolved in the past or present.
- Residential addresses: A detailed history of the previous 5 years. No gaps should exist.
- Employment, education and unemployment history: A detailed history of the previous 5 years. No gaps should exist. Choose “Unemployment” for any period during which you did not work or attend school. Use the address you were using at the time.
- Marital status: Describe your marital status and present and former marriages or common-law partners over the preceding five years (if applicable).
- Time spent outside Canada: Give specifics about your movement for any journey you took in the last 5 years that lasted 90 straight days or more outside of your country of residence.
- Foreign police certificate: Health Canada may request that you obtain a foreign police certificate based on your travel history or country of residence. A foreign police certificate is used to verify any criminal history outside Canada.
- Signed consent: Upload the completed Consent and Certification form in its entirety and give it the name “YourName-SignedConsent.”
4. Submit your information:
After completing the application, review all your information, and enter it into the CTLS. Make a note of your SC application ID (SEC #) and CTLS account ID, and provide these to your designated responsible party. They will pay the money and attach your SC application to an existing license or license application.
You must submit your SC application one month before the new license application or modification request. Make sure to submit your SC application early; doing so might render it obsolete and result in processing delays.
Step 4: Review by Health Canada
Once the security clearance application and supporting documentation have been submitted, Health Canada will review the information to assess the risk posed by the applicant. Health Canada may request additional information or clarification during the review process. Responding promptly to these requests is essential to avoid delays in the security clearance process.
Step 5: Approval or Denial – Notice of Intent to Refuse
Based on the information provided and their assessment of the risk posed by the applicant, Health Canada will either approve or deny the security clearance. If the security clearance is approved, the applicant will receive a security clearance, which is required to obtain a license to produce and sell cannabis under the Cannabis Regulations. If the security clearance is denied, the applicant may challenge the decision to the Minister of Health.
In conclusion, obtaining a security clearance from Health Canada for a cannabis license is a crucial step in legally producing, distributing, selling, or possessing cannabis in Canada. If you are planning to enter the cannabis industry, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the security clearance process and to comply with all regulatory requirements and criteria.
Harrison Jordan is a cannabis lawyer that can help you with all your Health Canada Security Clearance needs. Received a Notice of Intent To Refuse? He can help. Call his office at 647 371 0032.