Canadian Cannabis Security in the Current Legal Environment
The battle in the courts for the legalization of marijuana has finally been won, and it is now legal for adults to carry and use marijuana. The regulations involving the growing and using of recreational cannabis are strict, but you can be sure the rest of the world will be watching closely as the situation develops. The responsibility of overseeing the sale and regulation of cannabis is shared between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The controls have been carefully drafted to accomplish a number of goals, including:
* Ensuring that youths are unable to get their hands-on cannabis
* Stopping criminals from profiting off an illegal marijuana trade
* Protecting the public’s health and safety by legalizing cannabis
Naturally, there will be strict security regulations, and with Health Canada regularly archiving vital documents, making sure you have reached full compliance can be tough going. However, it is crucial that you understand all that is required of you, so you can successfully produce and distribute marijuana in the new legal environment.
Cannabis Regulations for the Individual
How Much Cannabis Can an Individual Legally Carry?
As of October 17, 2018, the following restrictions will apply to the legal use of cannabis. An adult individual can carry 30 grams of cannabis or an equivalent amount as listed below.
One gram of dried cannabis is equal to:
* 5 grams of fresh cannabis
* 1 cannabis plant seed
* 0.25 grams of liquid or solid concentrates
* 70 grams of liquid cannabis product
* 15 grams of marijuana in edible form
For example, a legally aged adult (18 or over) is allowed to carry 150 grams of fresh cannabis in public. The regulation also provides for the sharing of up 30 grams of marijuana with others provided they are of legal age. Cannabis or cannabis oil must be purchased from a provincially licensed retailer, and you are also permitted to manufacture cannabis products, such as food and drink, at home.
Cannabis Security Regulations for Producers and Sellers
The Cannabis Act draws up the security regulations for producers and sellers of cannabis to provide legal access to cannabis products for adults in Canada.
Persons wishing to cultivate, sell or conduct other activities with cannabis are required to obtain the relevant license issued by Health Canada. In the document, potential licensees will find the security practices they need to follow to cultivate, process, and sell marijuana successfully.
Guidelines for Promotion of Cannabis
As stated above, one of the goals of cannabis regulation is to prevent children and youths from gaining access to marijuana, so what you can and can’t do to promote the product is heavily regulated. Prohibitions set out in the act refer to anyone who may be involved in promoting cannabis, services related to marijuana, or cannabis accessories.
In short, revealing information about the price is prohibited as is creating promotional material which could appeal to young people. Distributors must also refrain from using testimonials as a way to generate interest in their product. Depicting any cannabis product as a character, animal or person is also considered an offense, whether they be real or fictional. The regulations will also prevent distributors from associating marijuana with brand elements that portray an image of a glamorous, exciting, or daring lifestyle.
Production Security Guidelines
Producers who are licensed to sell cannabis will need to follow strict security guidelines in safeguarding their product, so marijuana only reaches those who are legally allowed to possess it.
Production regulation also provides outlines for maintaining a clean environment and that all equipment is kept in good order. Controlling access to your production facilities is incredibly important, which is why you will need an advanced security system that protects your license, your property, and your staff. CCTV cameras will be an essential addition to your security measures, as will be access control systems for monitoring who goes where and when, intrusion detection systems, and trained security personnel. One of the legal requirements includes the hiring of quality assurance personnel who have completed the appropriate training and have the technical knowledge and experience to determine and approve the quality of both fresh and dried marijuana, marijuana plants and seeds, and cannabis oil before it goes on sale.
Tests which producers are required to perform on their products include testing for microbial and chemical contaminants of fresh and dried marijuana, as well as cannabis oil. Cannabis oil must also be tested for residues or solvents including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid. Producers will also find outlines for sanitation, standard operating procedures, and how to establish an effective recall procedure within the Health Canada provided guidelines.
Security Clearances for Producers
In its effort to maintain safe production of cannabis, Health Canada also requires relevant security clearances for personnel involved in cannabis production, including the individual who holds the producer’s license. If a company has been formed to produce marijuana products, then all officers and directors must also obtain a security clearance, including the senior person in charge, and alternate persons in charge. Obtaining a producer’s license is only available to authorized individuals within Canada, and they are the only ones who can legally possess, sell, deliver, transport, and destroy marijuana. The above individuals must reach full compliance with all cannabis security regulations. There are 11 levels of security outlined in the compliance documents for anyone producing or selling controlled or sensitive substances, with marijuana producers currently required to be a minimum of level 7. Health Canada describes the process as the construction of a series of rings or barriers of protection around the sensitive items. Alarm systems on their own are not adequate, as physical security provisions are also necessary such as high-quality locks on doors, and safes and vaults. The more barriers an intruder faces, the higher will be the physical and psychological deterrent. The idea is to make so much trouble for the criminal that they will consider the robbery to be too much effort.
As you are probably now aware, reaching full compliance for producing and selling cannabis and Canada can be a maze of red tape. Fortunately, there are leading experts in the industry who can develop world-class security systems for your operation, which can help you develop a solution to protect your people, your assets, and ensure you are always in full compliance with the new regulations.
Canadian Cannabis Security in the Current Legal Environment