Health Canada Releases Edible Regulations

When Canada legalized cannabis for adult-use consumption this past October, the only products made available to consumers were flower and ingestible oils. Edibles and extracts (which make up a large portion of sales in regulated markets in the U.S.) are not currently available through legal channels.

However on December 20, 2018, the Liberal government released the proposed regulations for these types of products. Legal cannabis-infused edibles, extracts and topicals will be made available by Oct. 17, 2019, the one year anniversary of recreational legalization.

The complete list of proposed regulations will be published in the Canadian Gazette on Dec. 22, 2018. The public may request a copy of the regulations pre-publication by emailing cannabis@canada.ca directly.

Regulating cannabis-infused products is a daunting task since it involves both drug and food safety protocols. Let’s take a look at the main takeaways from these new regulations.

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Edibles, beverages, concentrates and topicals will all be subject to THC limits. The initial proposed limits are 10 mg per package, while capsules will have a limit of 10 mg per dose and 1000 mg per package. Concentrates and topicals both have a proposed THC limit of 1000mg per package.

Certain ingredients are banned or limited. There will be no added vitamins, minerals, or alcohol allowed and there will be limits placed on the amount of caffeine permitted. Extracts will be subject to restrictions on the use of sugars, vitamins, minerals, colours, sweeteners, caffeine, and nicotine.

Packaging and labeling will mostly have the same restrictions that are currently placed on Licensed Producer’s selling flower and oils. Labelling must contain information about cannabinoid percentages, health warning messages, ingredient lists, potential allergens and nutritional facts. Products and packaging cannot appeal to youth or children. For example, gummy bears will likely be banned as they are seen as a snack for children.

No health claims can be made surrounding these products. This is consistent with the current regulations for legal cannabis. Additionally no association can be made with alcoholic beverages or brands of alcohol. This may spell trouble for some LPs that have made partnerships with alcohol companies looking to leverage their existing brand awareness.

The public has 60 days to comment on these new regulations. Want to have your voice heard? The draft regulations will be open for a public consultation period until Feb. 20, 2019. Comments can be submitted online or by mail.

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