Since it’s legalization in October last year, the regulated sales of cannabis and hemp products have reached phenomenal heights. According to Statistics Canada, monthly sales have already surpassed the $100 million mark.
Canada’s legal recreational cannabis sector has sold over $676.4 million worth of cannabis, while sales for medicinal use has more than tripled in the past 6 years, bringing in $11 billion in revenue. Wall Street has projected an estimate of between $50 billion and $200 billion in annual sales, making the cannabis industry one of Canada’s most lucrative options for prospective investors and entrepreneurs.
In order to sustain its growing demand, Canada, which is the world’s largest marijuana producer, has made immigration provisions to meet the urgent need for highly skilled growers.
There are many paths that you could take to capitalize on the sector’s growth opportunities. Considering that Canada has made its immigration system much more accessible to skilled foreign workers and immigrant business owners, it seems that there is no better time than the present to make the move to Canada.
The Canadian immigration system can be difficult to maneuver through, especially considering that there are over 100 different programs and visas to choose from. We’ve highlighted the best options to immigrate to Canada as a cannabis farmer and help facilitate the economic growth of one of the country’s most lucrative business sectors.
How Do I Immigrate to Canada as a Cannabis Grower?
Step 1: Determine Your NOC Code
The first thing that you would need to do is to determine what your National Occupational Classification (NOC) is. The following table lists job titles in the cannabis sector:
|NOC Codes for the Canadian Cannabis Industry|
|0212||quality assurance manager - cannabis|
|0621||cannabis dispensary manager|
cannabis shop manager
|0822||master grower - cannabis|
head grower - cannabis
|2121||extraction specialist - cannabis|
|2211||quality control technician - cannabis|
|2225||cloning technician - cannabis|
landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists (high demand)
|3233||nurse educator - cannabis|
|6421||budtender - cannabis|
bud expert - cannabis/cannabis educator
cannabis delivery driver
|8255||section grower - cannabis|
lead grower - cannabis
contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and horticulture services (high demand)
cannabis trim worker
grower - cannabis
nursery and greenhouse workers(high demand)
|9213||production supervisor - cannabis processing/cannabis processing supervisor|
supervisors, food and beverage processing (high demand)
|9461||encapsulator - cannabis processing|
|9617||cannabis processing labourer|
Step 2: Choose your Location
According to Forbes, the following provinces have voted in favour of laws regarding buying, consuming, and growing cannabis:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Step 3: Apply for your License
All cannabis producers, distributors, and sellers are required to get a license from Health Canada. There are different license classes and subclasses:
- Cultivation (including micro and standard cultivation or nursery)
- Processing (including micro or standard processing)
- Sale for medical purposes
- Analytical testing
Please note that as of May 8, 2019, all new applicants are required to have a site that meets the criteria of the Cannabis Regulations when they apply.
Step 4: Create a CTLS account
The Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System (CTLS) is required by law as it is how the government keeps track of legal sales.
Please note that all associated individuals are also required to create their own accounts and, depending on the license type, may also be required to have a security clearance.
Step 5: Submit Application
All applications will be screened before Health Canada conducts a final review.
Step 6: Choose Your Immigration Program
The best ways to move to Canada through the cannabis business sector are the Entrepreneur Program and Investor or Start-up Program.
The Entrepreneur Visa is best suited to those who want to start or invest in a business in Canada. Applicants are required to have a minimum net worth of $300,000 and have 2 years of experience running a business, amongst other criteria.
For those who wish to start an innovative business that can both create jobs and compete on a global scale, the Start-Up or Investor Program is for you. Applicants will be required to meet the following criteria in order to apply:
- have a qualifying business;
- have a letter of support from a designated organization;
- meet language requirements; and
- have enough money to settle in Canada.
For those who want to move to Canada as a cannabis grower, the Express Entry System or Provincial Nominee Programs are the way to go.
The Express Entry system is a great way to immigrate to Canada as it fast tracks the process and does not require a job offer. Applicants are ranked according to factors such as age, education, and work experience, to name a few, and will need a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 67 out of a possible 100. If eligible, applicants will be entered into a draw pool, of which the highest-ranking candidates will be selected to receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence in Canada.
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is for those who may not qualify for the Express Entry System however have an occupation that is in demand in Canada, a valid job offer, and wants to live in Canada. The best part about this program is that candidates are given 600 extra points to add to their CRS score, giving them a leg up in the application process.
For more information on immigrating to Canada as a general farm worker visit our blog here.
How We Can Help
Immigrating to Canada as a cannabis farmer can be both complex and confusing. But by using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only optimize your chances of success in the visa application process, but you will receive expert immigration advice on which program category or stream is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are registered with the ICCRC and are legally permitted to assist you by evaluating your eligibility, reviewing all documentation, and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf. Don't risk your chances of living your Canadian dream. Let us make sure that all forms are completed correctly and sent in on time.
Put your green thumb to good use and let the high times roll in one of the world’s most lucrative cannabis industry. Simply fill out our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. Immigrating to Canada has never been so simple.