2020 was a big year for micros

| David Brown

Despite the many ongoing challenges that landed in 2020, it also saw a significant number of changes to Canada’s legal cannabis industry, including a large number of micro cultivators and processors becoming licence holders.

One hundred and forty six (146) new micro licences were issued in 2020, compared to 153 new standard licences in the same timeframe. One hundred and eighteen (118) of those licences were to stand-alone micro cultivators, 14 were to stand-alone micro processors, 14 were issued as both micro cultivation and processing licences at the same time. One (1) processing licence was also added to a previously-licensed micro cultivator.

In the same time frame, Health Canada issued 46 new stand-alone standard cultivation licences, 25 new stand-alone standard processing licences, 62 with both a standard cultivation and processing licence at the same time, and another 20 with only a medical sales licence (no cultivation or processing), for a total of 153. 

There were also 27 new processing licences added to previously-licensed cultivation licence holders. 

Nine (9) cannabis nursery licences were issued in 2020. 

Licence TypeTotalCultivationProcessingBothMedical onlyProcessing licence added to existing Cultivation licence

Health Canada also issued 77 Extracts licences, 74 Edibles licences, 71 Topicals licences, and 70 dried/fresh licences. These licences allow producers to sell these products through approved provincial and territorial distributors and retailers. A processing licence is required prior to applying for these sales amendments. (1 Extracts, Edibles, Topicals licences was delisted).


In addition, 12 federal licences were revoked in 2020, two were allowed to expire by the licence holder, one licence was suspended, and one licence was reinstated after a lengthy suspension.

Health Canada has provided more info on licensing starting October 17, 2018 here.