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Canada Details Rules For Edibles, Drinkables Ahead Of October Rollout

June 18, 2019

Canada’s cannabis market is set to enter new territory later this year with the launch of edibles, extracts, and topical products. Health Canada officials recently announced the official regulations for those new categories as well as the timetable for their coming to market.

Edibles, drinkables, and other new product forms become legal in a formal sense on October 17, 2019, a year to the day after Canada began allowing sales of cannabis flower. But that only clears the way for producers to initiate a 60-day minimum notification and approval process with the government. Products are expected to reach store shelves on December 16 at the earliest, and selection will remain sparse into 2020.

Under the new rules, THC limits are allocated by package, not by units or serving size, which creates some odd cases. For edibles, a blanket limit of 10 mg of THC applies to all packages regardless of contents. This means that a single cookie packaged individually can contain a full 10 mg, but a 6-pack of cannabis beverages, according to a Health Canada official, is considered equivalent and is allotted only 10 mg total, meaning each bottle can only contain 1.6 mg. However, the ingestible extracts category does make this distinction, with capsules or other units limited to 10 mg a piece, with a package allowed a total of 1,000 mg. Topicals also are capped at 1,000 mg.

Product labeling is also a central concern. All products are forbidden to be “appealing to youth,” and will undergo a case-by-case review during the two-month approval process. Labeling also may not draw connections or associations with alcoholic beverages, thus precluding the use of terms like “cannabis beer,” “cannabis wine,” “Chardonnay,” and “IPA.”—Danny Sullivan

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