Eileen McMahon Says Cannabis Security Clearance Requirements Moving "Up the Food Chain"

July 03, 2018

Partner Eileen McMahon spoke with The Lawyer’s Daily about the new security clearance rules introduced by Health Canada with the goal of prohibiting organized crime from playing a part in the cannabis industry.

The rules, which are included in the Cannabis Regulations, will increase the reach of the security clearances to apply to owners, directors, controlling influences and other key players.

Eileen told The Lawyer’s Daily the expanded security clearances were moving higher “up the food chain.”

“It’s not only the license holder, but it’s the parent [company] of the license holder, or others who have the ability to ‘control’ the license holder—so … the officers and directors of those entities require security clearance,” Eileen said.

Although the government’s goal is to eliminate all those who may have ties to organized crime or have histories of serious crime, Eileen said those with a “history of engaging in illicit cannabis or violence” would not necessarily be excluded from the industry.

She explained to The Lawyer’s Daily someone “with a long-ago criminal conviction for a non-serious drug crime, who is applying for a security clearance to participate in the industry, need not necessarily ‘pre-argue’ their case when they apply because they may not be rejected.”

Eileen and other members of our team have written extensively about cannabis, which you can read on the Emerging Trends in the Cannabis Industry.

To learn more about our Food and Drug Regulatory Practice head to the practice page.

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