Licensed Producers

What is a Licensed Producer (LP) ?

A licensed producer is a generic term for a company licensed by Health Canada to grow, process, sell for medical purposes, test, and/or research cannabis.

The Health Canada Licensed Producer system was designed to be a safe, secure production system for growing, processing, and selling cannabis for medical purposes. That system expanded and changed once Canada legalized cannabis for adult recreational use on October 17, 2018. However, many industry organizations including Licensed Producers Canada use the term “Health Canada Licensed Producer” to refer to any licensed company in the Canadian cannabis industry.

The only legal way to obtaining medical cannabis is through a licensed producer. Please see table below comparing a licensed producer and a dispensary.

LEGAL STATUSLEGAL: LP's are authorized and regulated under federal law, the Cannabis Act. LP's must comply with all provincial and municipal by-laws.ILLEGAL: Retail dispensaries are currently illegal in Quebec. Any storefront other than the SQDC is illegal under Canadian law.
DISTRIBUTION METHODMAIL-ORDER DELIVERY: LP's must ship product in a package that ensures the security of its contents (anonymous,sealed,odour proof), and must use a shipping method that ensures tracking and safekeeping.UNLICENSED STOREFRONTS
TAX DEDUCTIONSELIGIBLE: Patients who purchase their medical cannabis from an LP can deduct that cost from their annual taxes. Medical cannabis is an allowable tax deduction.NOT ELIGIBLE: Illegally purchased cannabis is not eligible for tax reimbursement.
PRODUCT TESTINGCOMPREHENSIVE PRODUCT TESTING LP's must test every batch of every product for contaminants prior to release. LP's must also test each batch for THC and CBD levels.NO REQUIREMENTS Dispensaries are not subject to consumer safety requirements such as product testing.
PRODUCT SOURCEPRODUCED IN REGUALTED FACILITIES LP's either grow their product in regulated facilities, or buy it legally from other LP's.FROM UNREGULATED GROWERS Dispensaries buy their products illegally from unregualted private growers.
PRODUCTION PRACTICESRIGOROUS GPP REQUIREMENTS LP's are subject to Good Production Practice requirements, including production, packaging, labelling and storage.NO OVERSIGHT OR VISIBILITY Cannabis products are not required to have oversight or visibility on production methods.
PACKAGING/LABELLINGSTRICT SAFETY AND INFO REQUIREMENTS LP's must package every product in child- and tamper-resistant packaging that keeps the product safe and dry. Labels must show THC/CBD percentages, weight and packaging dateNO REQUIREMENTS Dispensaries are not subject to consumer safety requirements such as packaging/labeling.
RECORD KEEPING/REPORTINGSTRICT REQUIREMENTS LP's must retain documents such as indicating production, packaging, and labelling info. They must have a system for rapid and completerecall of every batch that has been sold, if necessary. LPs are audited by Health Canada.NO REQUIREMENTS They are not subject to record-keeping or recall requirements.
Licensed Producers