When Health Canada released its new regulations for cannabis edibles, beverages, topicals, and concentrates, they made sure to let the public know that it would take time to vet and approve products.
It’s now been 60 days since October 17, 2019, meaning the waiting period is up.
And while Monday has brought reports of a few edibles popping up on the east coast of Canada, BC will likely not see a legally infused snack on shelves until late-December.
“The BC Liquor Distribution Branch expects to receive our first shipments of products under the new categories [on December 18] and will make them available to private and public retailers across the province via our wholesale customer portal on December 19,” a representative told Grow via email. “Consumers can expect to see these products on legal retail store shelves in late December, in accordance with LDB’s shipping schedules.
“Products will be available to consumers tomorrow via our online BC Cannabis Store.”
The new line of cannabis products has appeared in CannabisNL’s website — Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial distributor. At the time of publication, it is the only provincial site showing edibles, concentrates, and topical products in stock.
According to BC LDB, the regulator has registered more than 260 individual products that fall within the new categories of edibles, extracts and topicals to make up its initial wholesale product assortment.
However, it expects “only a small number to be available for retail sale within the first few months of next year. Availability of products is dependent upon a number of factors, including the ability of manufacturers to meet demand from other markets across Canada.”
Reporting by Bloomberg BNN on the subject says that all other provinces are being mired by delays, though some could have products available before the end of the week, and others expected by Christmas.
This second wave of cannabis products comes with some fairly stringent regulations on packaging and dosage.
Regulations on edible cannabis will not allow more than 10 mg of THC per packaged product. No added vitamins or minerals can be allowed, as well as no added nicotine or alcohol. A limit is being placed on caffeine.
They are also not allowed to have any dietary claims. Cannabis edibles cannot be produced in the same facility as non-infused foods. Health Canada says this is to limit cross-contamination.
Health Canada would not comment specifically on gummy products during a teleconference call to media, though they did say that they would evaluate them on a case-by-case basis. Any products determined to appeal to young people (by shape, colour, flavour, etc.) would be found to not be in compliance and could face penalties (including a $5 million fine).
Cannabis concentrates can be both ingested (typically through capsules) or inhaled (through vaping).
Ingested cannabis concentrates cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC per dose, though they can be sold in packages of up to 1,000 mg. Vape containers can also only contain up to 1,000 mg of THC.
The maximum package size is 90 mL for liquid extracts if under 3% THC, and 7.5 g for solid extracts if over 3% THC.
Products cannot have added vitamins, minerals, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, sugars, colours, or sweeteners.
Topicals are cannabis products applied to the skin, hair, or nails. As with concentrates, packages must not contain more than 1,000 mg of THC.
They can contain no nicotine or alcohol and are only for use on skin, hair, and nails. They are not to be used or advertised for use, in eyes or on damaged skin.
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