More than 200 companies are now licensed by Health Canada to conduct cannabis related activities, including cultivators, packagers, and medical sellers.
This week, for the first time, it appears that Health Canada has issued a license to an individual—not a corporation—for commercial medical sale, almost one year into the country’s legalization of cannabis.
Canadians at large can apply to cultivate cannabis for themselves or on behalf of another patient.
While thousands of Canadians have signed up with Health Canada to receive this status, no one individual can do what Jeffrey Meyers, a former law enforcement official with experience in the RCMP, can do now with cannabis, such as selling directly to multiple patients and conducting intra-industry sales between commercial parties.
When Leafly told Meyers he appears to be the first commercial individual licensee for cannabis activities under Health Canada, Meyers said that he was “humbled to be the first one, and I didn’t realize that.”
Meyers said he saw an opportunity with the legalization of the substance in Canada.
“I noted that there was this opportunity for individuals to apply for a variety of different cannabis licenses. My understanding of the regulations and knowing the amount of support required for an application, and the difficulty in getting securities—the avenue of doing it individually seemed like a quicker route.
“Although it did go faster than it typically takes for a federal commercial application to weave through the system, and although it did go faster than most ones through the process, it did not negate me having to work hard for it.”
And when Leafly asked Meyers about his employment background, he’s clear.
“I’m a law enforcement guy. Retired from the RCMP [in 2017], specializing in organized crime investigations and was also [an] undercover operator.” He started his work with Canada Customs in 1993 and never left law enforcement.
Meyers said he doesn’t think it’s hypocritical that there appears to be many law enforcement officers who previously enforced drug laws against cannabis sellers, that are now cashing in on legalization on the other side.
“I hear this question a lot. You get the insinuations of hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is that I specialized in organized crime investigations, and organized crime doesn’t look at a commodity in and of itself as being a key business tool, like cannabis. Organized crime uses any [and] all means to excel their network, whether human trafficking, murder for hire, or drug dealing—it’s just a commodity. So I was never a police officer that was anti-cannabis.
“My job and my dedicated career were to prevent organized crime from flourishing in the industry, cannabis just happened to be one commodity used.”
Meyers believes that his involvement in keeping organized crime out of the industry continues to this day—albeit as an active participant in the industry.
It’s not only preventing access by youth, but access by organized crime.
The license is for “no possession on site” meaning that Meyers will not actually be possessing and warehousing the cannabis. Instead, he would broker deals between industry participants.
While he can sell directly to patients across Canada, Meyers won’t be doing that just yet. His short term goal is to leverage his experience to provide deals to commercial parties through intra-industry sales.
Editors note: A previous version of this article mis-attributed Meyers as saying he does think it’s hypocritical for former law enforcement to enter the cannabis industry.
Full story is available here.