Health Canada’s proposed regulations for extracts, edibles, and beverages in 2019

Published Jan 25, 2019 05:04 p.m. ET

 On October 17, 2018 marijuana was officially legalized for recreational use right across Canada with the Federal government leaving specifics surrounding public consumption and sales up to each province. Unfortunately, the only thing that was included in The Cannabis Act was regulations for dried herb in select quantities. Edibles, beverages, extracts, and topicals were all excluded. The only mention of any cannabis products in The Cannabis Act was that people were free to make their tinctures, concentrates, and edibles at home, but the sale of any THC infused products has remained prohibited. This disappointed many Canadians who were hoping for a little more selection than those that could be smoked.

New recommendations have been proposed by Health Canada on how the government should go forward in allowing the sales of THC infused products. Along with that announcement came the federal government's promise to push through Health Canada Regulations just in time to celebrate pot being legal for an entire year on October 17, 2019. So, what do the new Health Canada regulations look like?

Health Canada regulations

These Health Canada regulations will officially come into effect on October 17, 2019. Health Canada decided to break down controls and limits into three separate categories. Edibles, extracts, and topicals. Some rules apply to all products across the board while others are geared more towards a specific group of products.

  • Cannabis infused alcohol will not be permitted unless in the form of a tincture.
  • Packaging and or labeling of marijuana-infusedproducts with alcohol including beer and wine will not be allowed at all.
  • Companies that currently have their name on alcohol products will not be allowed to put their current name, logo, or brand style on any cannabis-infused products.
  • There will be three different categories for THC infused goods including edibles, extracts, and topicals including pain relief creams, makeup.
  • No marijuana-infused edibles, extracts, or topicals will be allowed to use packaging that could be appealing to children in any way.
  • All cannabis-infused products must have a clear visible health warning present.
  • Manufacturers of THC infused goods of any kind will not be permitted to make any sort of health benefit claims.
  • All cannabis-derived products must be contained within plain packaging with only words visible.
  • Only Health Canada approved licensed vendors may carry or sell THC infused products.

Edibles

  • No single package of THC infused edibles may exceed ten milligrams of THC content.
  • Restrictions will be placed on certain ingredients that may make THC edibles more appealing to kids including sweeteners and artificial colors.
  • Nicotine will not be allowed as an additive to encourage consumption or addiction.

Extracts

  • No individual package of extract may contain more than one thousand milligrams of THC.
  • Nicotine will not be allowed as an additive to encourage consumption or addiction.

Topicals

  • No single topical ointment package may exceed one thousand milligrams of THC content.

It would appear the wheels are in motion as far as the legalization of edibles, concentrates, and topicals. Though there already seems to be a voiced concern over the potential waste forcing manufacturers to package their goods in such small amounts. While Health Canada claims the regulations will reduce overconsumption and irresponsible consumption of THC, most people will likely just buy more and be left with mounds of plastic that could have easily been diminished had it been packaged together. Despite the seemingly strict restrictions, most Canadians are excited to witness the cannabis market expand into products that can be enjoyed by those who prefer not to smoke or vape.

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