Canadians will soon be able to legally purchase weed edibles, extracts, vapes, and topicals.
Nine months ago, Canada became the first nation to legalize marijuana for all adults within its borders. Initially, only smokable forms of weed — the flowers, or buds — were legally available. Vape cartridges, edibles, topicals, and extracts weren’t permitted in the billion-dollar legal market due to safety concerns. Until now.
On Friday, during a live teleconference, government officials announced that they would soon roll out new regulations so adults can finally get their hands on more potent cannabis products that have proven incredibly successful in US legal markets.
However, the roll-out isn’t immediate. Canadian officials shared a timeline for when the new products would become available. The regulations officially kick in on October 17, and companies can begin offering edibles and extracts on December 16 — just in time for the holidaze.
What do the new product regulations include? For those familiar with the rules in the US, Canada’s should look similar. For example, every edible serving is capped at 10mg THC. Other oral forms, like capsules, will be capped at 10mg THC per unit, too. Cannabis extracts are capped at 1000mg THC per package.
And just like the rules in Colorado, Washington, and California, Canadian operators must design their packages so they won’t entice young kids.
“One of the key aspects of the Cannabis Act is to prevent young people from being exposed to cannabis and its risks,” a government official said during the teleconference. “A key component is a prohibition against packaging that could be appealing to a young person.”
To keep kids away from pot, packages must be “plain” so they won’t appeal to young children, and they must be child-resistant. All products will feature labels denoting they contain THC, and labels must include warning messages regarding cannabis use.
Anyone who markets weed to kids could face five years in prison and $5 million dollar fine, an official noted.
Furthermore, cannabis edibles cannot contain alcohol, nicotine, or vitamin additives. Caffeine content is capped at 30 mg per serving. Extracts cannot contain sugar, sweeteners, or color additives.
Gummy lovers are in luck, though, since the new rules “do not prohibit gummies,” an official clarified.
Officials also squashed rumors that CBD products would be regulated separately from other cannabis products. “Nothing that was announced today will affect how CBD is regulated in Canada,” an official said. “CBD can be manufactured and sold under the Canada Cannabis Act.”
For licensed producers, any new products they want to offer must be submitted to Health Canada for review at least 60 days prior to the planned sale dates.
Canadian officials also announced that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research would grant $32 million over 9 years for cannabis research under its Integrated Cannabis Research Strategy program. An additional $20 million will be allocated for substance abuse and other public health research regarding legal cannabis.
A complete list of the new rules will be published publicly in the Canada Gazette on June 26.
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