Our Position in the Pot Game
It’s no secret that when dealing with the Government of Canada headaches are a sure fire thing. The hours it takes waiting on the phone and going through the automated service until you are finally put on hold before getting through to a real person, the number of hands you get passed to, managers you talk to, departments you go through until you are told that the person you needed to talk to was actually Joe – the first guy you spoke to, and the cycle starts again, is a painful and hair pulling process we have all had to unfortunately endure. If you ask most Canadians they all agree that dealing with the government is the equivalent to being put in a maze that’s constantly changing; almost impossible and completely frustrating. So why we thought the process of going through legalization was going to be any different is a mystery.
Simply put: it’s a nightmare. But, we want to play in the game, so we are going to play by their rules.
Not so simply put, the process to legalization is convoluted, not even fully released and, in many cases, contradictory. Despite the lack of clarity, though, one thing is abundantly clear – as of October 17, 2018, we are required to “cease and desist all activities until such a time as our application is approved by the Federal Ministry of Health”. So, unfortunately, in order for LTC to participate in the new legal framework we need to stop production, put in our application, and then wait and prepare for Health Canada’s approval. Two steps forward, one step back…Oh joy!
So what exactly does that process look like for LTC? First things first is making sure that our warehouse is in an area that can be rezoned. (Check) Next we will have to meet with the city and provide them with the blueprints of our operation, as well as an outline of our security measures for our warehouse. This of course is going to cost a fee that has not yet been determined by the Government. ($) Once we send our blueprints off to the city, we will then have to get an inspection of our production facility done. Fire, building, electrical, you name it, we have to do it. And if the difference in costs for a cannabis business license and a regular business license is any indication (cannabis business licenses run higher than any other), you can safely assume those inspections will cost more for us than, say, a craft brewery that wanted to open. ($$) Once we’ve managed to jump through all these hoops we then have to apply for our security clearances. Yes, clearanceS — multiple. For every staff member. Because apparently this is some sort of Mission Impossible operation. They want to collect our fingerprints, file our marital statuses, get our home addresses, know what your mother’s maiden name is, your first pet, your favorite high school teacher, what you had for breakfast. Wonderful… And you can safely assume that these security clearances are going to come with a fee. ($$$) Once this is all complete then we can finally file our application and wait with our fingers crossed for approval. Did we mention that there is a fee to even just submit an application for legalization? We didn’t, well, there is that (yup) undetermined fee as well. ($$$$)
If the legalization process was a restaurant on Google it would be categorized as very fine dining and would include four dollar signs beside it – you know, to make sure you know just how expensive this is going to be.
The worst part of all of this isn’t even the number of hoops they are making us jump through, hell most of us have been dealing with the Canadian Government for over ten years now, we know the hoops are endless. But what really rattles us is that they haven’t even opened the doors to allow the process to begin. All they have said is that we have to close down production and that “sometime after the 17th” the application process can begin.
We hope you’ll wait patiently with us while we find our place in the game. We promise to keep you in the loop about where we are in the legalization stages.