Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis in October 2018. This year, besides the first anniversary of the historic day, Canadians will also be treated to a new set of approved products.
The new products will become permissible for sale as of October 17, 2019, though Health Canada must be notified 60-days before any product can be sold and therefore nothing will be available until after that cut off. The 60-day rule is not a time limit, and products may not be available until after the waiting period is over.
This means the earliest Canadians can expect to see the new wave of cannabis products is mid-December.
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None of the products can be associated with alcohol in any way, so while you may be able to buy drinkable cannabis in a bottle, it won’t be able to be marketed as alcohol flavoured.
All products will also have to meet the health agency’s strict branding requirements, cannot appeal to children, must bear a distinctive THC marking, and list an equivalent amount in dried flower, to make the legal possession amount clear to customers.
Regulations on edible cannabis will not allow more 10 mg of THC per packaged product. No added vitamins or minerals can be allowed, as well as no nicotine or added 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, Anything products determined to appeal to young people (either 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 though capsules) or inhaled (through vaping).
Ingested cannabis concentrates cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC per dose, though can be sold in packages of up to 1,000 mg. Vape containers can also only contain up to 1,000 mg of THC as well.
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.
Provinces will also be able to impose their own sets of restrictions on the products. Something Quebec has already made their intentions clear on when it comes to edible cannabis products.