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Understanding Cannabis Cultivation Licensing

Updated: Feb 16

So you want to start a micro cultivation, standard cultivator or medical facility? Our cannabis licensing guide will help you better understand the starting phases of setting up your licensing with Health Canada for the purpose of recreational or medical cannabis cultivation and sales through the government of Canada.

STEP ONE: Understanding the licensing application variances from Health Canada and what you will be applying for.


Health Canada offers 4 categories for cannabis cultivation in Canada.

1: STANDARD CULTIVATION - Standard cultivators would be the largest scale cannabis production facilities able to produce plants, seeds or flower for the purpose of sales. Average building sizes are 10,000 square feet and above.

2: MICRO CULTIVATION - Micro cultivation limits you to 200 m2 or 2,152 square feet in canopy space for cannabis cultivation and permits you to produce plants, seeds, or flower for the purpose of sale. Average building sizes are 6,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet.

3: NURSERY - The nursery license may be applied as a stand alone or attached to an other license, allowing you canopy space of up to 50 m2 for the purpose of plant or seed production or sales.

4: MEDICAL (ACMPR) - Medical licensing or (ACMPR) which stands for access to cannabis for medical purpose will allow you to grow a certain number of plants decided by your doctor based on a daily gram prescription. These are relatively easy to obtain, however, you are not legally allowed to sell your cannabis with this license and it is meant only for consumption.


You will require additional licensing for the manufacturing of your cannabis products.

1: STANDARD PROCESSING - This is the largest scaled cannabis product manufacturing license that you can apply for and is needed for a standard cultivation facility in order to produce and manufacture cannabis based products for the purpose of sales or this can be applied for as a stand alone license to only manufacture products from other growers.

2: MICRO PROCESSING - Ideal for micro-cultivation license holders wanting to produce

and manufacture products from their cannabis for up to 600kg of dried cannabis products per year or this can be applied for as a stand alone license to only manufacture from other growers products up to 600kg of dried cannabis products per year.


Licensing can be issued for the sale of medical cannabis (ACMPR)

1: SALE FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES - Health Canada allows the sale of medical cannabis to registered clients with this license. An (ACMPR), or "medical" licensed facility must be in place in order to sell cannabis using this license.


Licensing for the purpose of data.

1: ANALYTICAL TESTING - This data based license allows you to conduct testing on cannabis for analytical research.


R&D based licensing.

1: RESEARCH - Applications for the research and development of cannabis plants, products and extractions may be obtained.

Contact us here for help obtaining any of the licensing applications above. We would be glad to assist you in your licensing application.

Visit the BC Liquor Distribution Branch below for more information.

Cannabis updates from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch


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