Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Cannabis edibles: Limits on potency, no mixing with caffeine, alcohol or nicotine

1a Getty Images 1148072023 e1560519699402 Coming soon! Ottawa will announce new regulations on cannabis edibles topicals extracts The regulations will take effect on Oct. 17 the one-year anniversary of federal cannabis legalization in Canada. MIGUEL MEDINA AFP Getty Images
Russell Knight | 17 June, 2019, 13:55

While the amended regulations will come into effect on October 17, Health Canada said it expects only a limited supply of the products-which include cannabis-infused drinks, food, beauty products and vape juice-to be available online and in stores no earlier than mid-December.

The amended cannabis regulations will come into force on October 17, the health regulator said, adding that cannabis producers with federal license will need to provide a 60-day notice of their intent to sell new products, as they are now required to do.

However, it noted that after the law takes effect, federal cannabis licence holders must provide 60 days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products.

That means that pot-infused brownies, beverages or lotions won't be available for legal sale until December 17 at the earliest.

"There will be lots more new products coming onto the market in 2021, mostly due to regulatory delays", she said. In addition to the now legal dried flower, oils, plants and seeds Canada is gearing up to legalize various recreational products including cannabis-infused foods, beverages and topicals before October 17, this year.

Indeed, selling cannabis-infused products that are appealing to kids could net the offender a three-year jail term and a $5-million fine. That's on top of the roughly $6-billion estimated domestic market the consultancy had already estimated for recreational and medical cannabis.

However, the government in its announcement on Friday said that it has not allowed the use of cannabis in things like gumbeers and lollipops.

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"We are likely to only see the first products launched late into December. with regulators likely to review numerous details of proposals including testing, manufacturing and packaging procedures as well as product data and ingredient specifications".

Speaking to reporters in Coquitlam, Blair defended the decision to ban cannabis edibles from restaurants and pubs and the relatively small amount government decided would constitute a single serving, calling it a responsible decision based on extensive consultation with experts keen on a public health rather than profit motive.

New provisions prohibit association with alcohol or tobacco products, allow multiple infused beverages to be packed together, and limit how cannabis can be advertised.

"It's really hard to answer [whether gummi bears would be allowed] in the abstract but if you are asking 'If a gummi bear is appealing to a young person, would that be permitted?' the answer is, 'No, '" a Health Canada official who was not to be named said on a June 14 conference call. "For instance, they say for edibles or capsules, look for products that contain 2.5 mg of THC or less".

The determination of whether a product does violate the guideline will be made on a case-by-case basis, the official said. Health Canada also stated in the draft regulations that Canadians can possess a maximum of 7.5 grams of these cannabis edibles, extracts or topical products, which is the equivalent to 30 grams of dried cannabis.

Omar Khan, a vice-president with Hill and Knowlton Strategies who advises several clients in the cannabis industry, said there were few surprises in the final regulations.

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