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Canada Lights Up with Cannabis Legalization

Posted Date: 
Thursday, September 6, 2018

As of October 17, 2018, adults who are 18 years of age or older would be legally able to:

  • Possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
  • Share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
  • Buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
  • In provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
  • Grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
  • Make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products

Both the Federal and Provincial government share responsibilities for the safe and legal use of cannabis.

The Federal government is responsible for:

  • Strict requirements for producers who grow and manufacture cannabis
  • Industry-wide rules and standards, including:
    • Types of cannabis products available for sale
    • Packaging and labelling requirements for products
    • Standardized serving sizes and potency
    • Prohibitions on the use of certain ingredients
    • Good production practices
    • Tracking requirements of cannabis from seed to sale to keep it out of the illegal market
    • Restrictions on promotional activities

 

Meanwhile, provinces and territories are responsible for developing, implementing, maintaining and enforcing systems to oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis. They are also able to add their own safety measures, such as:

  • Increasing the minimum age in their province or territory (but not lowering it)
  • Lowering the personal possession limit in their jurisdiction
  • Creating additional rules for growing cannabis at home, such as lowering the number of plants per residence
  • Restricting where adults can consume cannabis, such as in public or in vehicles

 

What does this mean regulation wise? Currently, cannabis is regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). As of October 17, 2018, cannabis will now be regulated under the Cannabis Act. This Act provides a framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada.

The main goals for this Act are to:

  • Prevent youth access to cannabis
  • Prevent profits from reaching criminals
  • Protect the public health and safety by allowing adults access to safe, legal cannabis

The two main regulations under the Cannabis Act are the Cannabis Regulations and Industrial Hemp Regulations.

Below is a brief summarization of some of the most important points outlined in the Act:

  • Licenses will be required for:
    • Cultivating and processing cannabis
    • Sale of cannabis for medical purposes
    • Analytical testing of and research with cannabis
    • Permits will be required for the import and export of cannabis regarding medical or scientific purposes or for industrial hemp
    • Packaging and labelling will be similar to what is seen for tobacco products. This includes strict requirements for:
      • Logos, colors, branding
      • Packaging and labelling cannot be made appealing to youth
      • Must list THC / CBD content (expressed as the percentage of THC / CBD the product could yield, and by unit or dose, if applicable)
      • Standardized cannabis symbol for products intended for ingestion that contain more than 10ppm (parts per million)
      • Along with general labelling requirements, the following additional information may be required to be listed
        • Health warning messages (similar to what is seen for tobacco products)
        • General health and safety information
        • Precautions and directions for use
        • Labels would need to be updated periodically when new information regarding the risks and health effects of cannabis use is released
        • Failure to comply with any part of the Cannabis Act will result in fines and possible jail time

Cannabis edible products and concentrates will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force.

For more information on the specific labelling and packaging requirements for cannabis products or for more general information regarding cannabis legalization, please contact Nexreg!

References:

Cannabis Act: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-24.5/

Cannabis Regulations: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2018-144/

Industrial Hemp Regulations: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2018-145/

 

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Complying with government labelling regulations can be a daunting task. Nexreg offers the expertise to make this job simple. Their courteous staff and quick response to all questions makes them the perfect choice. I highly recommend them.
Mel Hayes; Grime Eater Products Limited