Under new Health Canada regulations, single-serving cannabis edibles will have their THC content capped at just 10 milligrams of THC per package. Industry advocates call it regulatory overreach and warn that the rules will lead to excessive packaging waste.
Health Canada’s new regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals set THC caps for food and drink products at 10 milligrams per package and 1,000 milligrams per package for concentrates and topical products.
The packaging rules for edibles forbid the products to be “appealing to young persons” or make any health or nutrition claims. Producing edibles and cannabis in the same facility is also banned to “ensure the safety and integrity of Canada’s food system,” the regulations state.
For extracts, producers are prohibited from using some flavors that would appeal to children and teenagers and from using “sweeteners and colorants, or ingredients that could increase the appeal of cannabis extracts.”
Topical packaging is also banned from including “any claims respecting health or cosmetic benefits on the label.”
Dana Larsen, a legalization activist and cannabis retailer, called the 10-milligram limit “the equivalent of selling alcohol only in little airline bottles to stop people from getting too drunk.”
“We are treating cannabis 10,000 times more severely than alcohol, which is clearly the greater risk to health and public safety. … All these little portions individually wrapped is really going to create a lot of extra packaging and waste.” — Larsen, to the Vancouver Sun
Larsen added that he has some cancer patients who use 500 milligrams via cannabis suppositories per day and “no one wants to put 50 things up their butt.”
A Deloitte study earlier this month estimated the market for the new products in Canada could reach as high as $2.7 billion and that edibleswould comprise the lion’s share of that figure at $1.6 billion.
The new rules take effect Oct. 17; however, Health Canada indicated that products would likely not be available in stores or online until mid-December. Licensed retailers will need to seek an amendment to their licenses to sell all of the new products.