It is being reported by multiple media outlets that cannabis edibles, extracts, beverages, and topicals will be available for purchase in Canada by December 2019. The new edibles regulations will come into effect on October 17, 2019, but the actual purchasing of these products won’t be permitted until two months later.
Complete details on the new regulations including a full timeline were released by Health Canada today. It is anticipated that in the beginning there will be a limited selection of products for consumers to choose in online and physical stores. The selection is expected to increase gradually over time.
All Federal license holders looking to sell edibles must provide their plan and 60 days notice to Health Canada. Authorized retailers and distributors will need ample time to build their inventory of new edibles products.
The new Health Canada regulations will provide access to the following new cannabis products:
Greg Boone, CEO of Dosecann, has been preparing for the past three years for this announcement.
“That will get us into the full production of these edibles or value-added products,” he said. “And the goal is to build inventory to be able to satisfy the market that we believe exists across the country for these types of products.
“Things such as vape pens, potentially topicals, and edibles such as chocolates and potentially gummies. Those types of products will eventually be rolled out.”
The following products will not be allowed:
- Cannabis beverages infused with alcohol
- Cannabis products containing tobacco
- Cannabis products containing nicotine
- Cannabis products containing caffeine
As expected Health Canada will enforce strict packaging rules so the products do not appeal to children. Packaging must also be childproof with limited use of logos and colours. In addition to this, the packaging must clearly display a cannabis symbol as well as the THC and CBD concentration amounts.
The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation has recommended a ban on all cannabis products that resemble popular food items that could appeal to children as well as products that are packaged in a similar way to candy.
With these new regulations in place, companies will now be able to offer cannabis vape oils. Any flavours or scents that could appeal to children will not be permitted.
Restaurants will not be permitted to serve any foods containing cannabis.
According to a report from Deloitte, the new edibles market is expected to be worth roughly $2.7 billion a year.
The Deloitte report stated that about 50% of edibles users surveyed said they planned to consume some form of edibles at least once every three months.
Health Canada’s final regulations include the following:
- A strict limit of 10mg of THC in a single-serving of edibles
- Concentrates and vapes will have a limit of 1,000mg of THC per package
- Cannabis topicals will also have a limit of 1,000mg of THC per package
- Advertisements must not be appealing to children
- Advertisements must not contain health claims
- Products must not contain elements that could associate it with alcohol or alcohol brands
- Any products containing THC must have standardized symbols and contain a warning message
- Cannabis products cannot be manufactured in the same facility as food products
“A single serving of cannabis edibles can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC, which means that whether or not there are 10 cookies in a packet or just one cookie, for example, the THC content will remain the same” officials said.
Leading licensed producers have shown early support for Health Canada’s final regulations including the timeline leading to sales beginning in December.
“We have been working towards this timeline, and one of the things we have learned from last year is that you want to have sufficient inventory before going to market,” said Greg Engel CEO of Organigram Holding (TSXV: OGI) (OTCQX: OGRMF).
“I think if we had launched any earlier, we would have been prepared but we would have launched with fewer products. In December, we will have some of our edible products ready,” Engel confirmed.
A number of top LPs such as Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC), HEXO Corp. (TSX: HEXO) (NYSE-A: HEXO) and CannTrust Holdings (TSX: TRST) (NYSE: CTST) have already signed deals with major players in the beverage space in order to get a head start on cannabis legalization 2.0.
“We gave our feedback to Health Canada, and we’re waiting to see what the actual regulations will look like. But I’m happy with our bottling factory across the street,” said Bruce Linton CEO of Canopy Growth.
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