Top view of weed garden growing at industrial warehouse

In June of 2019, the Canadian government introduced the Cannabis Act and opened up a whole new world of potential business ventures.

Ever since the cannabis industry in Canada has flourished and attracted new investors and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. If you're thinking of starting up a cannabis business, there are a few things you need basic knowledge of to get started.

One of these is licenses. You cannot undertake any marijuana cultivation in Canada without one.

There are several different types of licenses you can get. We're going to be talking about the Cannabis Micro Cultivation License in this article.

What activities a Micro cultivation license will allow?

Both standard and micro cultivation licenses allow the license holder to grow, harvest, possess, and sell legal cannabis. License holders can also grow cannabis for research purposes.

However, these cultivation licenses do not allow the sale of cannabis to the provinces (retail) without the addition of a cannabis processing license with an amendment for a sale license to sell to the provinces .

The main difference between the two license types is the size of the operation. A micro cultivation license is best for smaller businesses expecting to cultivate a small amount of carefully managed strains.

There are some benefits to opting for a micro cultivation license over a standard cultivation license. Micro licenses have much less stringent regulations around things like physical security.

Initially, setting up your operations with a micro cultivation license will also significantly decrease your capital expenditure. You can also upgrade your license and operations at a later date.

Requirements of a Cannabis Micro Cultivation License

While you can enjoy the benefits of reduced capital expenditure, there are specific regulations and stipulations involved with a micro cultivation license. The applicant will have to notify local government of its intentions to file for a cannabis license and if the local government objects HC will not entertain a license.

There are a few other requirement areas that you have to meet. Let's take a look at those now.


You have a lot fewer security considerations with a micro cultivation license than with a standard license, but there are a few things you still have to consider.

Licensees need to hold a security clearance, as do investors, key employees, and board members. You're required to surround the site with a monitored perimeter capable of stopping any unauthorized access.

You'll also need to have restricted access to storage and operations areas. You should only grant access to people who need to be in there to do their jobs.

Grow Area

The cannabis micro cultivation license has a stipulation that limits the size of your growth.

You're allowed a grow area of no more than 200 meters (2,150 sq. Ft). You need to clearly define your grow area when you apply for your license. The size limit also covers vertically, so you can't get around the restriction by stacking your plants in a small area.

The area applies to both indoor and outdoor grows, and does not include access areas. Your total yield for the year cannot exceed 600kg.


To comply with this marijuana license, you'll need to employ people in three positions. These positions are the responsible person, the master grower, and the head of security.

Responsible Person

To comply with your license, you need to hire a few specific people. One of these is known as the responsible person.

The responsible person is there to bind the holder to the license and ensure compliance at all times. They need to have security clearance and should be knowledgeable in the field of cannabis regulations and laws.

The responsible person and the licensee will be held equally accountable for complying with the cannabis license at all times.

Master Grower

The next person you need to employ is a master grower.

The master grower should be an experienced and knowledgeable cannabis grower. Their responsibility is to look after the cultivation, harvest, and processing of all the cannabis on your site.

You're allowed one alternate head grower, both of your head growers should be familiar and knowledgeable of cannabis regulations.

Head of Security

Part 4 of Health Canada's Cannabis Regulations stipulates that you need to employ a head of security.

This person is responsible for overseeing all of your security systems, and they must have a detailed knowledge of Canadian cannabis laws. The head of security is also responsible for implementing the organizational security plan and some 30-security standard operating procedures that you put forward when applying for your license.

How to Get a Micro Cultivation License

Now that you know the stipulations of the license let's look at how to apply for one.

The application process can be a bit confusing at times. You can always enlist the help of a specialist cannabis consultant to help you through the process.

Here's a summary of the five steps to getting a license.


You first need to apply through Canada's CTLS–Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System.

Your application will need to include a description of your company's standard operating procedures concerning security matters. You'll also have to provide detailed imaging of your site and location. You can either have the site inspected or perform a video walkthrough to show this.

An evidence package comprising a video walk though and numerous still photographs evidencing the completed build out without equipment will have to be submitted within 10 business days of filing the application on the CTLS

Pay Fees

You need to get a security clearance and a screening procedure done to obtain a license. Both of these actions carry fees that you will have to pay to progress your application.

Screening Process

Health Canada will then take some time to look over your application. They will make sure it has been filled out correctly.

They will also make sure that the application is readable and open to further assessment. This process can take around 30 days.

Security Clearance and Application Review

Once you've gone through the screening process, Health Canada will review the information in your application. They will perform all necessary checks to ensure that the information is accurate.

They'll also conduct criminal background checks on members of staff, and if they pass, they will receive security clearance.

Await Decision

Once all this has been done, you just need to wait to hear your decision. Review and security clearance can take up to 60 days or more, so the entire process will likely last around three to four months.

Get Help With Your License Application Today

Still need help with your cannabis micro cultivation license? We've got you covered at Growth West.

Reach out to our team of expert cannabis consultants today to see how we can get your cannabis business off the ground.

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