OTTAWA—Health Canada has nearly doubled the number of licensed producers in the country over the past six months and new numbers show hundreds more applicants are in the final stages of approval as the government rushes toward national marijuana legalization by next July.

The dramatic surge in approved and aspiring producers comes in the wake of the agency’s concerted efforts to loosen its bureaucratic approval process and head off what many experts fear will be a looming supply crunch for the burgeoning legal cannabis market.

In late May, Health Canada announced it would “streamline” the approval process, which many would-be producers described as onerous and contended took years to complete. The agency stepped up the resources to process applications and said it would start conducting some phases of the approval process at the same time and also made it easier for existing license holders to expand.

Source: Toronto Star

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