Cannabis edibles in Canada expected to be available mid-December

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A statement from Health Canada last week states that a “limited selection” of new cannabis products including some edibles will be available no sooner than December.

The new laws based on the final regulatory framework will take effect on October 17 but federally licensed companies and businesses will need to give notice of 60 days to Health Canada if they plan to sell new products like edibles.

“As with any new regulatory framework, federally licensed processors will need time to become familiar with and prepare to comply with the new rules and to produce new products,” Health Canada said in a statement. “Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailed will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale.”

The regulations concerning cannabis-infused food and beverages state that a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC per package is allowed and topicals as well as extracts for vaping or other methods of inhalation can only have up to 1,000 milligrams of THC per package. All packing will also be required to be child proof and should not appeal to children.

“If you’re asking if a gummy bear is appealing to a young person, would that be permitted, the answer is now,” said one official in a response. “A gummy bear that is appealing to kids is prohibited … and it’s an offence that’s punishable by very serious consequences … five years in prison and a million dollar fine.”

Health Canada said in a briefing last week that all products will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not they are appealing to children based on flavor, color, shape, smell and branding. It’s not currently known exactly how these decisions will be made.

The new regulations also state that licensed producers will be prohibited from making any claims about health and nutritional benefits of their products on labels which will still have the standard warning label.

Ryan Tomkins, an analyst at Jefferies, wrote in a letter to his clients that he expects most products will not be rolled out until 2020.

“We are likely to only see the first products launched late into December… with regulators likely to review numerous details of proposals including testing, manufacturing and packaging procedures as well as product data and ingredient specifications.”

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