The question is, “Can you transition flowering plants as starting material?”
Getting verbal confirmation of this concept was easy and repeatable with multiple people at both HC and CRA. Unfortunately, when it comes time to an email follow up, written confirmation is impossible.
Notice, at first, a ‘big picture’ approach was taken, describing the common goal of black market transition and making the Cannabis Act successful. When HC refers back to the legislation, the second approach was a more specific quoting of the Act and Regs in support of our assertion. When told this was too specific, the third approach was 4 very straight-forward statements that can be easily gleaned from the Act + Regs. Neither approach garnered written support.
What’s more, without HC written confirmation, CRA wont give their written confirmation! So, around and around we go.
At the end of the day, this exercise was very valuable for me. I learned several things, hopefully some of them may help others too:
1) Written confirmation is not happening, no matter how hard you try.
2) The Cannabis Act will continue to struggle in attracting transition due to lack of clarity.
3) Because this industry is new to everyone, always do your own homework and try to mitigate risk.
4) Due to the lack of precedent and availability of confirmation, I will always present my interpretations of the Act + Regs as personal opinions and encourage people to heed #3.
My opinion is that, based on the Act + Regs and the sections highlighted in the email strings attached, the following statements are valid:
a) Any maturity level plant can be used as starting material.
b) Any cannabis product can be sold if sections 80-88.94 have been met.
c) The CRA is supportive of the above as long as HC is.
d) Plants can not be harvested, propagated etc in the purgatory between obtaining HC license and CRA licensing.
Please see email string below. One is with a head official at Health Canada, the other is with a head official at CRA.
I hope this helps some people. Thanks.
Joint Venture Craft Cannabis Inc