On October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada passed legislation legalizing and regulating the use of recreational marijuana. This new law allows adults aged 18 and older to legally purchase and consume cannabis. It also sets out restrictions on where people can use cannabis, how much they can buy, and how they can transport it.
Last week, Health Canada announced amendments to the Cannabis Act and its regulations concerning cannabis research and testing, and cannabis beverages which have been approved and are now in force as of December 2, 2022.
Health Canada’s Newest Cannabis Amendments:
The amendments announced by Health Canada follow extensive engagement with stakeholders, universities, researchers, health authorities, cannabis industry associations, cannabis license holders, provinces, territories, and the public. Their goal is to make research and testing of cannabis easier and amend the public possession limit for cannabis beverages.
Here are the main amendments announced by Health Canada:
- Adults in Canada are now able to possess up to 17.1 liters (equal to 48 cans of 355 ml each) of cannabis beverages in public for non-medical purposes, which is up from approximately 2.1 litres (equal to five cans of 355 ml each) under the previous rules.
- Changes in how Health Canada regulates non-therapeutic cannabis research with human participants, helping make the research process easier, while still maintaining appropriate public health and safety controls.
- Analytical testing license holders along with federal and provincial government laboratories can now produce, distribute and sell reference standards and test kits.
- Educational qualifications for the Head of the Laboratory have been broadened. The Head of Laboratory is a position that is required for an analytical testing license holder and this individual is responsible for all cannabis testing activities that occur at the licensed site.
Key benefits of the Health Canada Research License changes for LPs:
- Allows for consumer-facing interactions to gain more specific data on the desires and concerns of the end purchaser before entering into large costly production runs
- lowers the financial barrier that LPs, especially smaller operations (micros) have faced when wishing to conduct non-invasive research.
- LPs or stand-alone holders of these licenses will be able to leverage the data collected and sell these, again providing a potential alternative revenue stream.
- Expanded educational requirements for the head of Laboratory will make finding and retaining these key team members easier.
- This entire regulatory evolution provides an added layer of assurance that Health Canada and our industry stakeholders are gaining common ground surrounding the uses and risks surrounding cannabis consumption.
*We can help you find an enclosed testing area, create relevant SOPs, pick a research method, and a lot more.
Health Canada Cannabis Amendments transition period:
There will be transition periods to reduce potential impacts on:
- Existing research license holders conducting research with human participants
- Processing license holders who produce cannabis beverages.
The Cannabis Act serves as a smart legislative framework that adapts and responds to the needs of Canadians.
Quick Facts (From Health Canada)
- The Cannabis Act (the Act) came into force on October 17, 2018. With the Act, the Government of Canada legalized and strictly regulated the production, distribution, sale, import and export, and possession of cannabis.
- The Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions launched the legislative review of the Cannabis Act on September 22, 2022. The review is being conducted by a five-member independent, expert panel, who will report their conclusions and advice to the Ministers by Spring 2024.
- Health Canada’s Forward Regulatory Plan provides information on regulatory initiatives that Health Canada aims to propose or finalize in the next two years, including those about the cannabis framework.
How our Cannabis License Experts can help:
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We leverage years of cannabis quality assurance, operational and cultivation knowledge with real-life hands-on experience. Our team has the experience of submitting over 150 cannabis license applications under ACMPR and the Cannabis Act with no refusals to date! This speaks to our team’s dedication and due diligence to help our clients succeed. Through trust, transparency, and respect, our team will work with you to achieve your goals of getting your cannabis business licensed and legalized.