As of late 2018, Health Canada announced that small craft cultivation facilities are eligible for a special type of licence called a Micro Cultivation Licence. This licence applies to indoor or outdoor facilities with 2100 square feet of total canopy space, which includes multiple surfaces.
The Micro Cultivation Licence allows these facilities to grow cannabis and sell to a licenced third party, direct to provincial distributors, or directly to medical patients who have the proper medical documentation.
In the past, a small cultivation business was permitted under the same licence as today’s large facilities. However, the requirements that are involved often made this venture cost prohibitive for small businesses or farm operators. Now, under the Micro Cultivation Licence, a small cultivation business has a much greater opportunity to enter the industry successfully.
Micro Cultivation Licence Applications
Similar to the licence procedure for a large facility, the application requirements are very detailed. Extensive details around the facility and its operations need to be submitted to Health Canada including (but not limited to):
- Floor plan
- Site and physical security design
- Standard operating procedures
- Security clearances
- Corporate structure
- Site survey
- Filed notices with local authorities
Recently, it was announced that Health Canada will only authorize licences to fully built facilities.
“Effective immediately, Health Canada will require new applicants for licences to cultivate cannabis, process cannabis, or sell cannabis for medical purposes to have a fully built site that meets all of the requirements of the Cannabis Regulations at the time of their application, as well as satisfying other application criteria.”
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Micro Cultivation Security Requirements
Similar to larger producers or dispensaries, facility security is an important part of receiving and maintaining a Micro Cultivation Licence. However, compared to large facilities, a Micro Cultivation Licence holder will have to abide by fewer security requirements.
Site Design and Physical Barriers
As laid out in subsection 74(a) of the Cannabis Regulations, the site must be designed in a manner that prevents unauthorized access. It is stressed that the licence holder utilize the rings of protection concept, which is designed to detect an intruder when they breach the first barrier, and the remaining barriers are meant to slow them down to the point that the authorities arrive before the intruder has been able to leave.
Additionally, the site must be surrounded by a physical barrier to prevent unauthorized access. The barrier needs to be continuous and surround the entire site. A site perimeter can consist of a fence line, exterior building wall, or other means. An applicant will need to demonstrate how they will implement that barrier and highlight all possible points of access.
In addition to securing exterior access points, under subsection 74(d) of the Cannabis Regulations, a micro cultivation applicant must restrict access to operation and storage areas to only those who are required to be there as part of their job duties. Some examples of access control devices include:
- Proximity card readers or keypads
- Electric door strikes or electromagnetic locks
- Door lock and key
An Access Control System not only assists in restricting access to specific staff or users, it also allows the system manager to log the activity of staff and/or guests while in the building.
Security Camera System
Under the current regulations for micro cultivation facilities, a Security Camera System is not required in order to receive a Micro Cultivation Licence. However, the use of security cameras to provide visual monitoring and recording as part of an intrusion system is considered a best practice in the industry.
The ability to provide surveillance and verification of events can offer many benefits to a micro cultivation facility. A properly designed system will provide assurance that should an incident take place at the facility, it will be captured on camera. Additionally, the presence of a security camera system commonly acts as a deterrent against theft or intrusion.
An Integrated Security System is designed to help keep a property and its occupants safe. Through integration, a security system works together with your access control and security cameras to improve overall building security and efficiency.
Although it is not required as part of the micro cultivation application, it is recommended that micro cultivators follow the same requirements as those expected of a standard licence holder.
Three Ways a Security System Can Help
- A micro cultivation facility is a large investment that needs to be protected. A properly installed security system will help to protect product, equipment, staff , and other valuable assets.
- It is likely that as the micro cultivation industry grows, the regulations that govern security will change. A micro cultivation facility should be ready for stricter security requirements through the installation of a scalable security system that can grow with them.
- As a micro cultivation facility grows in value and begins to store more product, it will be increasingly important to protect against loss due to theft.
Bulldog Fire and Security has the expertise to navigate the complex needs of your cannabis production operations. We pride ourselves on using innovative, cutting edge technology to build customized solutions for our customer’s unique businesses.
To schedule a no obligation assessment of your facility’s needs, call us at 1 866 670 1590, email email@example.com, or fill out the contact form below.
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