June 14, 2019 – Today, the Government of Canada announced amendments to the Cannabis Regulations setting out the rules governing the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The final regulations reflect the views and feedback received during a 60-day public consultation on the proposed regulations that were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 22, 2018.
The amended regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on June 26, 2019 and will come into force on October 17, 2019. However, it will take time, after October 17, before new cannabis products become available for purchase (no earlier than mid-December 2019) as federal licence holders will need to provide 60-days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do. Health Canada will begin accepting such notices on October 17, 2019.
The amended regulations introduce a series of controls including restrictions on product composition and ingredients, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limits, and new requirements pertaining to promotion, packaging and labelling, good production practices and record keeping. The amendments also enable a comprehensive range of product forms, consistent with the objective of enabling the legal industry to displace the illegal industry.
Many notable changes have been made to the final regulations in response to feedback received during the consultation period, including (but not limited to):
- New provisions to prohibit associating cannabis products with tobacco and nicotine or colours, flavours or sweeteners with vaping products
- Prohibiting the manufacturing of all cannabis products (not just edible cannabis) in the same building as food products
- Permitting multiple containers of edible cannabis (e.g., beverages) to be packaged together (multi-pack) provided the total amount of THC in the multi-pack does not exceed 10 milligrams
- Remove the proposed prohibition on pressurized containers (such as metered-dose inhalers)
- Standardize requirements for the display of THC and CBD concentration on product labels
- Requiring product labels to display the product’s equivalency to dried cannabis to provide consumers with a new tool to help determine their public possession
- Extend the transition period for cannabis oil from 6 months to 12 months
- Adding new provisions to limit certain types of permitted advertising (e.g., displaying a cannabis brand on products) to better protect young persons from inducements to using cannabis.
Health Canada will continue to process applications under the current regulations until October 16, 2019 and begin processing applications under the new amended regulations thereafter. Federal licence holders will be able to submit requests for licence amendments to add the new classes of cannabis (edibles, extracts and topicals) on July 15, 2019.
While the majority of changes to the Cannabis Regulations concern activities carried out by processing licence holders, all applicants (new and existing) are encouraged to carefully review the amended regulations to understand how they may be affected.
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