Health Canada reduces security requirements for medical marijuana

Vault and storage, plus surveillance requirements reduced for licensed producers

Licensed producers of medical marijuana will have less security restrictions, according to a new update from Health Canada.

A press release from Health Canada on Friday stated that there are, “Two targeted changes to the physical security requirements under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) that must be respected by licensed producers (LP) of cannabis for medical purposes.”

After four years of research, and close to 1,000 physical inspections it was determined that current security requirements of high-security vaults and 24/7 video surveillance are unnecessary.

Health Canada states that these security measures, “do not align with the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety.”

“Since the licensing of the first federally licenced producer in June 2013, Health Canada has not had any cases of diversion of cannabis to the illegal market,” states the release.

Effective immediately producers no longer have to follow these rules but must still store cannabis within a secure area of the facility. Among those security measures must include physical barriers, an intrusion detection system, and 24/7 visual monitoring and recording capability. Plus, facilities must also record the identity of every person entering or exiting the storage areas.

“All access points to cultivation, propagation and harvesting rooms will, however, continue to be subject to 24/7 video surveillance and recording in order to record all entries and exits,” states the release.

There’s still a need for licensed producers to meet the other multi-layered security protocols that the ACMPR requires. Among those are securing the perimeter of the site, ensuring constant monitoring as well as having intrusion detectors on site.

“Strict inventory control measures and regular reporting of cannabis production, inventory and shipments to Health Canada will continue to be required and verified during Health Canada’s inspections of producers, providing another important regulatory control to ensure that cannabis is not diverted to the illegal market,” states the release.

All other requirements under ACMPR must be followed and compliance measures with Health Canada remain in place.

“These changes follow several improvements that Health Canada introduced in May 2017 to streamline the application process for issuing production licenses and enable increased production of cannabis for medical purposes under the ACMPR.”

Health Canada states it will continue to work closely with patients, patient advocates and licensed producers to identify and act on opportunities to improve access to cannabis and service to Canadians.

– Heyden-Kaye

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