Health Canada has a sent a reminder to licence holders this week that the temporary measures to allow individuals who do not hold a security clearance in a position that requires one under the Cannabis Regulations is being phased out by July 31, 2020.
The reminder is a follow up from a message sent in late June that certain aspects of the COVID-19 related temporary measures would be ending soon.
Health Canada is also providing a path forward for those currently utilizing that temporary measure. For license holders who want to maintain any of their temporarily designated individuals in a position requiring a security clearance, those individuals will be required to have submitted an application for a security clearance in the Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS) by July 31, 2020.
Previously, Health Canada had also advised that the temporarily designated alternate could undertake the functions of the security-cleared individual, including the requirement for the presence of a security-cleared individual from the licence holder at the off-site location at all times while cannabis is present. The COVID-19 related allowances meant that a temporarily-named alternate was able to conduct this function in the place of the security-cleared individual.
As Health Canada will now be phasing out the allowance for temporarily naming an alternate for the security-cleared individual, the flexibilities in the duties for the alternate will also coincide with the end date of July 31, 2020.
The federal regulator also emphasizes that they reserve the right at any time to not allow a temporary designation if a security risk is deemed to be present or if a security clearance application submitted in the CTLS is left incomplete or unpaid after a reasonable amount of time.
Health Canada had previously made changes to their regulations for issues like licence amendments and renewals, security clearances, allowances for site-related activities and authorized persons, as well as how licence inspections occur, among other changes. That announcement from June 24 provided updates on timelines for some of these changes, with some temporary adjustments coming to an end in July, while others are remaining in place until September 30, 2020.
Earlier this year, Health Canada had acknowledged the logistical issues surrounding stay-at-home measures, employee health, and the possibility of some key positions of some licence holders possibly being unable to visit the facility. In order to address these concerns, the regulator had temporarily allowed licence holders to temporarily designate alternative security-clearance personnel in instances where the primary security clearance personnel would be unable to be on site.