Backgrounder: Consultation on the strict regulation of additional cannabis products 

Backgrounder

December 2018

Health Canada is launching a 60-day public consultation on draft regulations addressing additional cannabis products, namely edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. 

The draft regulations are designed to better protect the health and safety of Canadians through strict regulatory controls and to enable the legal industry to displace the illegal market. These cannabis products will be permitted for legal sale under the Cannabis Act no later than October 17, 2019.

Stakeholders and Canadians who are interested in participating in the consultation are encouraged to review the draft regulations. This new consultation builds on the extensive consultations conducted by the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation. Comments received from this consultation will be carefully reviewed, and the feedback will inform the development of the regulations. The online consultation will be open until February 20, 2019. 

Edible cannabis

Draft regulations propose the following:

  • Restricting the use of ingredients that could increase the appeal of edible cannabis to young persons, increase the risk of food-borne illness and accidental consumption, and encourage over-consumption.
  • Placing a hard cap of 10 mg of THC on the amount of THC that could be in a package of edible cannabis. 
  • Requiring child-resistant and plain packaging for edible cannabis to lower the risk of accidental ingestion and making packages less appealing to young persons. 
    • The label would need to display the standardized cannabis symbol and a health warning message. 
    • It would be prohibited to make any claims respecting health benefits or nutrition on the label.
  • Putting in place strict new manufacturing controls for the production of edible cannabis products to reduce the risk of food-borne illness; and
  • Prohibiting the production of food and edible cannabis in the same facility to ensure the safety and integrity of Canada’s food system.

Cannabis extracts

Draft regulations propose the following:

  • Restricting the use of certain ingredients that could appeal to young persons, such as sweeteners and colourants, or ingredients that could encourage consumption, such as nicotine.
  • Prohibiting certain flavours that are appealing to youth from being displayed on a product label, consistent with rules for other vaping products. 
  • Placing a hard cap on the amount of THC that could be in a unit of a cannabis extract—such as a capsule—of 10 mg of THC per unit. The total amount of THC in a package would be capped at 1,000 mg (e.g., 100 10-mg capsules).
  • Requiring child-resistant and plain packaging for cannabis extracts. All packaging, as well as certain pre-filled accessories, such as a vape pen, would be required to display the standardized cannabis symbol.
  • Prohibiting any claims respecting health benefits on the label.
  • Putting in place strict new manufacturing controls for the production of cannabis extracts to control the quality of the products.

Cannabis topicals

Draft regulations propose the following: 

  • Like edible cannabis and cannabis extracts, restrictions would be placed on the types of ingredients that could be added to cannabis topicals.
  • A hard cap of 1,000 mg of THC would be placed on each package of a cannabis topical.
  • The packaging would need to be child-resistant and display the standardized cannabis symbol and a health warning message.
  • Any claims respecting health benefits on the label would be prohibited.

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