Novel Traits in Cannabis
By: Paula Stanley, Manager Environmental Health & Safety Group, email
The Cannabis industry is growing fast, and there’s a lot of related information to keep up with. On February 28th, 2019, Health Canada released a bulletin on the Regulation of cannabis with novel traits.
This means that cannabis strains new to Canada, or strains with induced modification of the typical traits (using breeding, biotechnology or mutagenesis), require different approvals to be able to cultivate them. This could be something as simple as the differing quantities of THC, a terpene, or it could be that the strain has been modified to be disease resistant.
The Seeds Act prescribes the regulations for plants with novel traits. It is important to ensure that you are able to comply with the Cannabis Act and Regulations, the Plant Protection Act and Regulations, as well as the Seeds Act and Regulations when setting up your Cannabis business.
These conditions are put in place to protect the environment and ensure that species do not have a negative impact on our environment. There are exceptions for indoor research, but growing outdoors will require authorization from the Plant Biosafety Office of Canada.
If you require assistance to determine if this applies to your operations and new development, contact us!
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