The second wave of legalization will see three new categories of cannabis products become available to Canadians before the end of the year.
In December 2018, the Government of Canada launched a 60-day public consultation. Health Canada has unveiled the final regulations governing the legal production and sale of edible products, extracts and news items.
"The amended regulation is the next step in our process to reduce the public health and safety risks associated with edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis extracts, and to displace the illegal market for these products in Canada." Said the Honorable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. "We are committed to working closely with the provinces and territories and the industry over the coming weeks to prepare for the effective implementation of these new regulations."
The new regulation will come into effect on October 17, 2019, the anniversary of the first anniversary of the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
Here is Leafly's summary of the important things we learned today.
Edible products should not be sold until the end of 2019
Health Canada has confirmed that edible products, extracts and concentrates are unlikely to be available for sale until mid-December 2019 and that "only limited selection of products will be phased in". This is because of a rule that obliges cannabis processors to give Health Canada 60 notice of intent to sell new products for several days because authorized distributors and retailers need time to make their stocks and put new products on sale.
Some products will arrive in stores before the end of 2019, but a slow implementation is expected. Do not expect to have too many foods and concentrates available before Christmas.
CBD Escape Regulations
CBD and products containing cannabidiol are considered cannabis under the cannabis law, but will not be subject to the same limitations as THC. According to the new regulation, only 10 mg of THC will be allowed per pack of edible products. Meanwhile, the extracts and concentrates will be limited to 1000 mg per bottle.
The CBD remains largely unregulated, which means that we could see companies specializing in products with a high concentration of CBD.
New warning labels
The new regulations will also result in changes to the warning labels on THC products.
Labeling claims contain statistics, such that 1 in 11 cannabis users will become addicted and up to 1 in 2 people who use cannabis daily will become addicted.
Although the messages are not deleted completely, they will be considerably lessened. Some warnings continue to be mandatory on labels, but as of October 17, 2019, many claims will be removed.
Allegations that infants born to mothers who use cannabis may result in a low birth rate are also over. A statement about the risks of schizophrenia has also been withdrawn.
No to cannabis ice cream
Last week, Ben and Jerry's envisioned free ice cream at the CBD, but Canadians may not have the chance to taste these frozen delights.
The regulation specifies that edible products must be stable for consumption, effectively excluding perishable products and means that commercial cannabutter and ice cream will no longer be allowed.
Big surprise = no surprises
All in all, the biggest surprise is that there were no surprises. Health Canada released a draft regulation in December and, with the exception of a few minor changes, many proposed regulations are retained.
The industry had speculated on the elimination of the maximum limit of 10 mg in edible products and has survived.
Industry groups had wanted Health Canada to remove the requirement that cannabis products be produced in separate facilities from other food service facilities, but this was also incorporated into the final version.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Health Canada was able to implement the public consultation considerations – about 7,000 submissions – as quickly.
As the first country to regulate the sale of cannabis products to all adults, there was no doubt that they would impose heavy limits on the industry and its products, but it is always a delicate task to find a balance and to take into account the points of view of the different actors.