How Health Canada consultations might change cannabis beverages

Published Dec 23, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
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2020 wasn’t quite as exciting as many of us had hoped, with cannabis edibles falling far short of what was once anticipated. Heavy restrictions, confusing regulations, and a whole bunch of licensing troubles got in the way of a lucrative edibles market, leaving only a handful of liquid marijuana drink options to choose from, but that might soon change. Canada’s federal cannabis regulator and Health Canada will join forces to review some of the biggest problems with the rules surrounding cannabis beverages. That’s got consumers and the business-minded excited.

Current discrepancies

Right now, THC and CBD drinks are regulated using measurements that make no sense when they’re put into action in the real world. A consumer is limited, not in the amount of THC, but the number of cannabis beverages they’d like to buy at a time. Whereas the producers have strict limits for either cannabinoid, regardless of how much or how little liquid is inside each one. We broke this problem down more in-depth not long ago, and these are some of the things that will be looked at during the new consultation.

The announcement

The Health Canada Consultation was announced on Friday, December 11th. The promise is to look into problems that are sitting in the way of small-scale processing, cultivation, or nursery businesses within the cannabis industry. This will not change the number of beverages that a consumer can buy, or anything at all for people really, but it may change a few things for those who were mentioned as part of the announcement.

Potential changes

At this point, labelling requirements for cannabis beverages are minimal, and there are recommendations to change them to go beyond the basic cannabinoids. Things like terpenes, specific genetics, and processing dates might soon be on all THC and CBD drinks, information that is all-important for the consumer and the vendors who work directly with these products. Equivalency limits for cannabis beverages are also going to be examined


New ways to facilitate nontherapeutic cannabis research

Most of this consultation period will be dedicated to changing things that already exist to meet more reasonable standards based on what we know today. Still, there is something new that’s up for consideration, and that is nontherapeutic research possibilities. This means testing that is designed precisely to gauge things for the recreational community rather than for medicinal treatments, something that is incredibly short supply these days.

Clock to submit feedback runs out on January 11th, 2021

Feedback from consumers and cannabis businesses is in high demand right now, and there is a 30-day window that began on December 11th that won’t stay open for long. Anyone who might be directly impacted by changes in cannabis beverage, micro license, cultivation, or the processing is encouraged to share their perspective so that those with the power to do something about this unfortunate state of affairs can know where to begin.

The feedback line is open to anyone who wants to say something. Still, they want to hear from the small cannabis businesses most significantly impacted by these small changes to regulation. These are the people who know exactly what consumers want, and they’ve seen first-hand the barriers that stand in the way of a much more lucrative industry, so they need to be the ones to speak up the loudest for all of us, especially during rare opportunities such as these.

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