Obtaining a cannabis license to start your cannabis business in Canada to cultivate, process, or sell cannabis legally isn’t easy. The process involves spending a great deal of time, effort, and money in preparing a complex dossier of application documents, filming and photographing all areas of the proposed facility, and submitting the completed application package to the regulator (Health Canada). If not done correctly and without the right partners, you’re looking at several years before you are licensed and operational.
The experts at Cannabis License Experts can help shave months, if not years, of that timeline and get you up and running as soon as possible! Here are our 5 tips to help you obtain your cannabis license and start your cannabis business faster:
CONDUCT RESEARCH AND PREPARE A Cannabis BUSINESS PLAN
Firstly, you need to conduct as much research as possible before getting started. To operate a successful cannabis cultivation business, it’s important that you are knowledgeable about the relevant federal, provincial, and municipal legislation around cannabis. There is a ton of information available online, and while it can be a bit daunting to read through everything, doing so will ultimately lead to the success of your cannabis business.
The next step is to prepare a solid business plan and make sure you have capital available for start-up costs and ongoing costs – this includes site location, contractors, builders, renovations, personnel, etc. A good business plan that is highly detailed and thoughtfully created is essential for your cannabis business to succeed. It should cover strategies for achieving your objectives, as well as financial details like predicted profits, income streams, and potential pitfalls in your plan. You should work with a professional to ensure your business plan is well-written, structured, and effective. By conducting research and preparing a business plan, you will have a clear understanding of the requirements to get your business up and running. Failure to educate yourself and prepare in advance will mean more delays down the road while you scramble to catch up!
2. FIND THE RIGHT CONTRACTORS AND PARTNERS FOR YOUR Cannabis BUSINESS
A simple construction or retrofitting project can become a very frustrating experience if the right partners for the job are not chosen. Your contractors, builders, and business partners should have a solid track record of integrity. It’s important that you’re able to maintain a close relationship with them through the proposal, planning, and construction stages.
You should consider working with partners who already have experience working within the cannabis industry and are familiar with the requirements that relate to your project. You should establish a budget for your project and find out if your contractors are able to work within this. Also, you should take some time to ask any questions on your mind, including how well the contractor does in getting projects completed on time.
Before starting any of your construction work, we advise you to speak with multiple contractors you may be considering and get written proposals from each of them. The wrong partners and contractors can significantly slow down the application process, especially with Health Canada’s requirement to have a fully built facility prior to application submission.
3. START PREPARING APPLICATION INFORMATION ASAP
A cannabis license application involves many different parts. A key part of the application is to prepare and submit a dossier of application documents that will demonstrate the compliance of your site/facility with the Cannabis Regulations and to notify the regulator of the individuals that are involved with the business.
In addition, key individuals (directors, officers, key investors, etc.) are required to hold security clearance with Health Canada if they are part of your business. A lot of this paperwork can be completed in parallel with any building/retrofitting that needs to be done to your facility.
Therefore, you should use your time wisely and start collecting and preparing the necessary paperwork upstream, so that when your facility is fully built out, no time is wasted in submitting the full application package!
4. HOLD A THIRD-PARTY PRE-ASSESSMENT OR MOCK AUDIT OF YOUR SITE
Once your site is fully built and ready to go, a third-party pre-assessment or mock audit can be very helpful to test the preparedness of your site and employees before the actual audit by Health Canada. The benefit of bringing in an external party to audit your site is that you obtain an unbiased perspective on your current practices as well as an understanding of where your team stands in terms of compliance.
By determining any gaps in your practices/facility readiness, you can get ahead of Health Canada compliance officers and correct any flaws prior to submission of the application. Fewer gaps and compliance issues will mean a faster review time for you, as the regulator will not need to eat up valuable time pointing out non-compliances and waiting for you to correct them.
5. WORK WITH AN EXPERT TO SUBMIT YOUR Cannabis APPLICATION. THAT’S US!
Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs, and much more. Our team is equipped with professionals who have extensive experience in the Cannabis, Pharmaceutical, Natural Health Product, Food, and Medical Device industries.
We leverage years of cannabis quality assurance, operational and cultivation knowledge with real-life hands-on experience. Working with an experienced consultant can help shave weeks, if not months, off the application process. We know exactly what information needs to be submitted as part of the application package, and on top of that, we can provide guidance on facility construction, physical security requirements, good production practices (GPP), and more! When you pay for a consultant, you’re paying for their experience, and that will ultimately save you more time, money, and effort down the road!
How we can help you
At Cannabis License Experts, we provide you with the guidance to plan your cannabis business, acquire funding, navigate the legal requirements, and acquire the appropriate license for your operations. Reach out today to find out how we can help get you licensed faster!