Although cannabis is legal across Canada, the framework for selling legal edible products does not yet exist in the country. Releasing a set of proposed regulations on Thursday, the Liberal government hopes to make the anticipated deadline for hitting the legal market by October 17th 2019.
The stated reason for the year-long gap between cannabis legalization and the sale of edible products is the government’s desire to keep the products out of the hands of young people.
"These proposed regulations under the Cannabis Act support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting public health and safety,” said Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor in a news release.
The prosed regulations are as follows:
- Edibles must be "shelf stable" and not require refrigeration or freezing.
- Edibles must offer consumers nutritional information, including ingredients and a best-before date
- Naturally occurring caffeine in items like chocolate, tea or coffee is allowed, but the use of caffeine as an additive is prohibited.
- Extracts can contain flavouring agents, but no sugars, sweeteners or sweetening agents.
- Flavours that appeal to youth, such as dessert or confectionery flavours, are banned on packaging and labelling of cannabis extracts.
- Use of meat products, poultry or fish is banned, unless it is dried by someone authorized under provincial or territorial law.
- Forms that pose a greater risk to health, such as eyedrops or needles, will be prohibited.
Health Canada has launched a two-month public consultation period for these regulations, holding roundtable discussions across the country throughout that time.
Given the large market share of edible products in legal US states, it is expected that cannabis-infused food and drink products will take a significant share of the total industry, making a solid regulatory foundation for sales all the more important.