Cannabis edibles: Limits on potency, no mixing with caffeine, alcohol or nicotine
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 7:13PM PDT
Provincial regulators are preparing to crack down on rule-breakers as federal officials unveil strict regulations for the sale of edible marijuana products.
The Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General says their newly formed Community Safety Unit (CSU) is prepared to target anyone selling products that don’t meet Health Canada requirements. By mid-December, approved producers will be able to sell cannabis-infused products at authorized retailers and those skirting the rules can face a raft of consequences from violation tickets to criminal charges.
Among the new rules, packaged edible cannabis products can contain a maximum 10 mg of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, and the products can’t mix THC with nicotine, caffeine or alcohol. Some edible products easily available for sale at illicit retail stores and websites claim to contain 200 mg for a single chocolate bar.
"If [consumers] buy it on the street that's a crapshoot, that can't be allowed to continue," said Bill Blair, former chief of police in Toronto and current minister of border security and organized crime reduction.
Speaking to reporters in Coquitlam, Blair defended the decision to ban cannabis edibles from restaurants and pubs and the relatively small amount government decided would constitute a single serving, calling it a responsible decision based on extensive consultation with experts keen on a public health rather than profit motive.
Government officials say that like dried flower product legally available for sale through official channels since Oct. 17, edible cannabis products can only come in plain packaging with clear labelling of potency. When it comes to the vague descriptions of limiting the appeal to children, Blair said they would take a common-sense approach when determining what that means.
"When it is presented in a way either in colour or presentation that would be appealing to kids, and as an example gummy bears or things that represent cartoon [that are] clearly aimed at a younger audience, a younger market,” explained Blair.
He said Health Canada has 70 inspectors nation-wide ready to scrutinize everything from potency measurements to cleanliness of production facilities and acknowledged the regulations will likely change in the future.
"I think Health Canada has done an extraordinary job in bringing forward very thoughtful and well-researched regulations to control the production, distribution and consumption of edible extracts and topicals in Canada,” he said.
“We will continue to measure and evaluate and to look at risks as either they emerge or are mitigated with respect to these substances, and there is a constant adaptation and learning that is applied."