Health Canada Announces Cannabis Act Regulations with Changes to Industrial Hemp Regulations

The Government of Canada has announced that the Cannabis Act will come into force on October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Act creates a strict framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada, including hemp. When the Cannabis Act and its regulations come into force, cannabis will be removed from Schedule II of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), and the current Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR 1998) will be replaced by IHR 2018.

Changes to the Industrial Hemp Regulations

  • The flowering heads, leaves and branches of industrial hemp will no longer need to be destroyed. Instead, these plant parts may be sold to another holder of an industrial hemp licence or a holder of a licence under the Cannabis Regulations. Please note that you will be required to store these plant parts under conditions that maintain their quality. Also, if intended for sale, these plant parts must be transported, sent or delivered in a manner that maintains their quality.
  • Criminal record checks will no longer be required.
  • You will no longer be prohibited from cultivating hemp within one kilometre of any school ground or other public place.
  • You will no longer be required to store industrial hemp in a locked container or a locked location, or on premises to which only authorized persons have access.
  • You will no longer be required to use third party samplers for testing.
  • New import and export permits will be valid for up to six months.
  • You will have 30 days to notify the Minister of changes to licence information.
  • You must notify the Minister of required cultivation information within 30 days of seeding.
  • New licences will be valid for up to five years.

In the fall of 2018, Health Canada will release an Industrial Hemp Licence Application Guide that will include information on how to complete an application for a new licence in the Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System, a new online system that will allow you to submit and view the progress of your application(s). Until then, Health Canada notes that IHR 1998 and its regulations will remain in effect until October 17, 2018. Learn more about industrial hemp legislation in Canada & the United States.

Important Contact Links
Requests for import and export permits should continue to be sent to

The Notification of Cultivation should continue to be sent to

Any questions related to your current hemp licence should be sent to

For any questions regarding the Cannabis Act, the IHR 2018 or the Cannabis Regulations please contact