The national flag of Canada flies on a blue-skied, sunny day.

Christopher Policarpio

Health Canada Nearly Doubles Cannabis Production Licenses Since May

Canadian officials have nearly doubled the number of cannabis production licenses since May –  from 44 to 80 – as the nation prepares for adult-use legalization, the Canadian Press reports. Health Canada spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau indicated that, as of Dec. 1, there are another 208 applicants in the final approval process.

“These applicants have completed the security clearance process and their application is being reviewed to determine whether it meets all the requirements of the regulations. A license is only issued once security clearances have been granted, the application meets the regulatory requirements and a facility has been built.” – Jarbeau to the Press.

Vahan Ajamian, a research analyst with Beacon Securities Ltd., warned against interpreting the high number of applications and approvals as a sign that the nation would avoid a supply shortage when the recreational market goes online sometime in the summer.

“It might lessen the shortages in the first couple of months. But I still predict we will see shortages, sellouts – especially in provinces and areas that haven’t locked down their supply.” – Ajamian to the Press.

Health Canada figures released in June show that licensed producer inventories totaled less than 40,000 kilograms (88,185 pounds). Canaccord Genuity estimates that demand for both medical and recreational cannabis will reach 570,000 kilograms (628 tons) by 2021.

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