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How to get a dispensary license in Quebec (Canada)

Dispensary license in Quebec, Canada involves several steps and requirements. The province has specific regulations and processes in place to ensure the safe and responsible distribution of cannabis products. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get a dispensary license in Quebec, covering key aspects of the application process:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Regulations: Start by thoroughly understanding the regulations set forth by the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), which is the government agency responsible for overseeing cannabis sales in Quebec. Review the laws, licensing requirements, and restrictions applicable to cannabis dispensaries in the province.
  2. Develop a Business Plan: Create a detailed business plan that outlines your dispensary’s objectives, target market, product selection, pricing strategy, marketing plans, and financial projections. Include information on security measures, quality control, and inventory management.
  3. Establish a Legal Entity: Register your business as a legal entity in Quebec. This could be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Ensure compliance with all relevant business registration and licensing requirements.
  4. Secure a Suitable Location: Identify a location that meets the criteria set by the SQDC. Dispensaries must be a certain distance away from schools, parks, and other designated areas. Lease or purchase a property that complies with these regulations.
  5. Build a Strong Team: Assemble a knowledgeable and skilled team that understands the cannabis industry, regulations, and customer service. Hiring individuals with expertise in compliance, inventory management, and sales can be beneficial.
  6. Obtain Required Permits: Apply for the necessary permits and licenses from the provincial and municipal authorities. This may include a cannabis sales license, a cannabis storage license, and municipal permits related to building codes, zoning, and fire safety.
  7. Security Measures: Implement stringent security measures as mandated by the SQDC. This includes surveillance systems, alarm systems, and secure storage for cannabis products.
  8. Financial Considerations: Prepare a comprehensive financial plan that demonstrates your ability to fund the dispensary’s operations. This includes start-up costs, ongoing expenses, and sufficient capital to sustain the business during the initial phase.
  9. Product Sourcing: Establish relationships with licensed cannabis producers and suppliers to ensure a consistent and compliant supply of products. The SQDC has a list of approved suppliers, and purchasing products from non-approved sources is not permitted.
  10. Application Submission: Complete the application for a dispensary license provided by the SQDC. Submit the application along with all required documentation, including your business plan, financial statements, security plans, and proof of compliance with regulations.
  11. Compliance Inspections: Once the application is submitted, the SQDC may conduct inspections of your proposed dispensary location to ensure it meets all regulatory requirements. This may include checks on security measures, record-keeping systems, and inventory management procedures.
  12. Approval and Licensing: If your application is deemed satisfactory and compliant, the SQDC will grant you a dispensary license. This will allow you to legally operate a cannabis dispensary in Quebec.

Dispensary license in Quebec, Canada is important to note that the process of obtaining a dispensary license in Quebec can be complex and time-consuming. Engaging legal counsel or consulting services with experience in cannabis licensing can help navigate the intricacies of the application process and ensure compliance with all regulations.

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