HCC Policy Resolution Approved at CCC AGM

· by Bianca Caramento

Last week, Chamber staff traveled to Saint John, New Brunswick for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AGM, where chambers from across Canada voted on which policies the network will advocate for at a federal level.
The Hamilton Chamber proposed a resolution, Addressing Regulatory Barriers Affecting the Cannabis Industry. The resolution was approved with over 91% of the votes in favour.
The details of the resolution can be found below:
Addressing Regulatory Barriers Affecting the Cannabis Industry
Authored by: the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
To sell cannabis in Canada, producers need to obtain two licenses. Following a successful inspection by Health Canada, a producer may be granted a license to cultivate cannabis. The producer must then complete two growth cycles and Health Canada must be satisfied that the facility is growing cannabis without mould, mildew, or pestilence. A producer may then be granted a license to sell cannabis. Industry representatives note that it takes time to pass Health Canada’s approval process and ramp up production. The introduction of new product classes in 2019 will also require more licensed producers. 

A federal excise duty is payable by a licensed cannabis producer when the cannabis products they package are delivered to a provincially-authorized distributor or retailer. An excise stamp must be present on all legally produced cannabis products available for purchase. Only a person who has obtained a cannabis license from the Canada Revenue Agency (cultivators, producers, and packagers of cannabis products) are able to purchase cannabis excise stamps.

However, excise stamps present several challenges. The stamp must be adhered manually as it was not designed for automation, which is a time-consuming process. In addition, the stamps have a specific colour band and background for the province or territory in which the product is intended to be sold. The cannabis licensee packaging the product is responsible for determining and applying the appropriate excise stamp before the product can be sold legally.

Therefore, the government is currently contributing to the supply shortage, hampering this growing industry and undermining its own revenue generation through taxes on the sale of legal cannabis products.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce urges the Government of Canada to:

  1. Invest in Health Canada’s capacity to license facilities at an accelerated rate, while not compromising the inspection process.
  2. Develop a common excise stamp for licensed producers to adhere to cannabis products, thus allowing licensees to more efficiently ship products across the country.