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As of October 2018, the Cannabis Act will require that facilities possess an Analytical Testing License in order to legally test and assess the quality of cannabis products that are otherwise prepared for distribution.

To confirm the purity and potency of all medicinal and recreational cannabis allotted for sale, the products must be put through an extremely rigorous chemical and microbiological testing process. Facilities with an Analytical Testing License will be able to work closely with other licensed cannabis operations in need of these services, such as companies that focus on cultivation and processing. Those who obtain this license can legally hold and alter small amounts of cannabis and cannabis derivatives. Due to the low quantity of product that facilities are allowed to have on-site at any given time, necessary security measures are lighter than those required for, say, a Cultivation License. Ultimately, the Head of Laboratory is responsible for ensuring that the analyses they oversee are entirely faultless.

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License Overview

Who is an Analytical Testing License for?

This license is for facilities that desire legal permission to alter the chemical or physical properties of medicinal and recreational cannabis products for the purpose of testing. Before the new Cannabis Act and Regulations were passed, these activities were covered under a Dealer’s License, in accordance with the Narcotic Control Regulations.

What can you do with an Analytical Testing License?

License holders are permitted to possess small amounts of cannabis and alter its chemical or physical properties for purposes of analysis by any means, including with an organic solvent.

What isn’t covered under an Analytical Testing License?

All samples of cannabis must be destroyed within 90 days since their analysis was completed, and if any samples have not been tested within 120 of receipt, they must be destroyed.

Analytical Testing License Requirements

  1. The license holder needs to have an individual in their employment who can act as their “responsible person”. This person is considered accountable for the license holder’s actions and should have an adequate understanding of how the Cannabis Act and Regulations apply to the holder. Should they have to, this person also has the authority to bind the license holder.
  2. A qualified Head of Laboratory is required to be familiar with all provisions and regulations of the Cannabis Act that apply to their research, have prior experience that relates to the position, and should hold a degree in science that lends itself to the work they’ll be conducting. Their degree must be from either a Canadian university or one that is recognized by a Canadian university or professional association. This individual must work at the licensed site and is responsible for testing activities.
  3. The license holder is allowed to designate one or more people as alternate heads of laboratory, so long as the alternate(s) is qualified. This, along with the replacement of an alternate, or of the head of laboratory with someone other than an alternate, can only be done with the Minister’s approval.
  4. To obtain the Minister’s approval, submit an application that includes the name and date of birth of the proposed head of laboratory or alternate head of laboratory, their qualifications, and a declaration, signed and dated by the responsible person mentioned above, which indicates that all of the submitted information is correct and complete.
  5. The license holder’s facility must have an on-site storage area surrounded by a physical barrier in order to safeguard against unauthorized access to the testing samples. It should be possible to demonstrate how the barrier’s construction, as well as any access controls on the exit and entry points, are able to achieve this goal. Access to all storage areas must be restricted to necessary personnel only.

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