Health Canada extends some COVID-related “flexibilities” another 18 months

Health Canada has extended seven of their covid-era “flexibilities” for another 18 months. 

In a memo sent out to licence holders today, the federal regulator has again extended some of the regulatory flexibilities originally put in place early on in the pandemic to give licence holders more options.

Last September, many of those were extended until March 31, 2022. Today, Health Canada extended seven of those flexibilities again until September 30, 2023. 

  1. Witnessing of the on-site destruction of cannabis by licence holders can still be done virtually, using a camera or other device. A copy of the video must be retained and included in destruction records.
  2. Licence holders will still be allowed to submit additional security clearance applications to fill key positions like RPIC, head of security, master grower, QAP, along with all their alternates. 
  3. Holders of an import/export permit can still use different ports of entry/exit than those indicated on their permit.
  4. Permitting licence holders to accept a verbal attestation from a patient when registering to order medical cannabis rather than requiring a signature. This is only applicable in instances where the patient is unable to provide a signature. 
  5. In instances where a security-cleared person is required to accompany cannabis for off-site microbial treatment or destruction, the security-cleared person will not be required to enter the off-site facility in order to respect social distancing rules.
  6. Allowing the packaging date on cannabis products that is plus/minus four days off of the printed package date on the label, as long as records are kept in the event of a recall.
  7. Certain activities that don’t require physical possession of cannabis can still be conducted off-site by licence holders, provided that all Cannabis Act rules and regulations are followed. 

More information on these changes is provided in the memo. Health Canada will continue to review these flexibilities and other concerns from licence holders in the wake of the pandemic.


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