October 17 marked one full year since Bill C-45 (The Cannabis Act), which legalized recreational cannabis across Canada, came into effect. As per the details of the act, cannabis extracts, edibles and topicals have now officially been made legal.
Though now legalized, consumers will not be able to find any edible cannabis products on the Ontario cannabis store website or at licensed store fronts. Cannabis retail companies must provide a 60-day notice to Health Canada before selling these products which then has to be approved. As such, edibles will not make an appearance in the legal market until mid-December at the earliest, but more realistically within the first quarter of 2020.
Despite not being able to sell cannabis edibles at the moment, companies have already begun unveiling details of their products ahead of time. Products range from infused spring water to mints that contain CBD and THC, two active ingredients found in cannabis. Lotions or balms, called topicals, that allow cannabis to be absorbed through the skin, are also expected to hit the market within the same time frame.
All newly legalized cannabis-derived products will face strict regulations. Health Canada officials describe the regulations — which include strict packaging and labelling requirements — as designed to limit the appeal of cannabis products and reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses or over-consumption.
The products will require child-resistant and child-proof packaging, and products must not be appealing to youth. They also cannot contain nicotine, caffeine or alcohol, and companies will not be able to label cannabis-infused beverages as ‘beer’ or ‘wine’.
For edible cannabis, whether food or beverage, the amount of THC will be capped at 10 milligrams per container, according to Health Canada regulations. For example, in a package of flavoured gummies, the total amount of THC in all the pieces must amount to no more than 10 milligrams.
Cannabis extracts are limited to 1,000 milligrams of THC per container but still must only contain up to 10 milligrams of THC per capsule. Topicals, such as lotions, must also adhere to that regulation and have no more than 1,000 milligrams of THC in each container.
Provinces can also further regulate how edibles, extracts and topicals are distributed and where they’re sold. The regulations about transporting cannabis and cannabis-derivatives across international borders will remain the same and the regulations related to public consumption and use in vehicles/while driving will more than likely remain the same across the province.
As of right now, Brock’s stance on extracts, edibles and topical cannabis products remains the same and will likely not see an update until those products start being sold legally online and in store fronts.
Students interested in reading Brock’s policy on cannabis are encouraged to visit brocku.ca/cannabis. To keep up to date with the most accurate information about Bill C-45, individuals can visit canada.ca/en/health-canada.