Feds to issue final rules on next-generation pot products today

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The federal government will release Canada’s final regulations for cannabis edibles, vaping and topical products on Friday.The rules will maintain most of the government’s early proposals drafted last year while adding several new provisions that ensure a clear division between legal pot offerings and the tobacco and alcohol industries.

While much of the content of the final regulations remain unchanged from the proposed regulations, some of the government’s amendments following a months-long public consultation process include adding new provisions to prohibit associating cannabis products with tobacco or vaping products, allowing multiple cannabis-infused edibles or beverages to be packaged together as long as the total amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) sold does not exceed 10 milligrams, and adding new provisions that limit how cannabis is advertised.

The final regulations on next-generation cannabis products come after a recent report from Deloitte found the Canadian market for edibles and extracts is worth an estimated $2.7 billion annually over 12 months once they become legal for sale in October. That’s on top of the roughly $6 billion estimated domestic market for recreational and medical cannabis, the consultancy said in its report.

Health Canada said in its draft regulations released in December that it expects cannabis products other than dried cannabis to account for just under half of the total market, a similar amount to the portion of sales found in Colorado, California, and Oregon between January and July of last year.

Other changes to the final regulations include prohibiting the manufacturing of all cannabis products in the same building as food products, removing the proposed prohibition on pressurized containers such as metered-dose inhalers, and standardizing requirements for the display of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) concentration on product labels to help determine their public possession limit.

Many previous regulations proposed will remain including the cap of 10 milligrams of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in the cannabis plant, per package of edibles, extracts limited to 10 mg of THC per unit and no more than 1,000 mg in a package. Cannabis topicals, such as lotions, will continue to be limited to 1,000 mg or one gram of THC per package. Health Canada also stated in the draft regulations that Canadians can possess a maximum of 7.5 grams of these cannabis edibles, extracts or topical products, which is the equivalent to 30 grams of dried cannabis.

Edibles and extracts will continue to be restricted to plain packaging, but there will be an allowance for peel-back labels. The requirement that all edible cannabis products need to be safe to consume without refrigeration or freezing will also remain.

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