Edible Regulations 101

Edible Regulations

Edible Regulations 101 – What patients can expect from Canada’s second wave of legalization

Edibles are the buzzword right now with the legalization of cannabis-infused foods, beverages and topicals coming this fall. 

By: Ashley Keenan

Canada is expecting it’s unofficial second wave of legalization this October, with a new set of cannabis products becoming legal. While they won’t be lining the shelves in store and online until mid-December, Canadian’s are excited for legal access to products like edibles, beverages, topicals, and extracts that have remained illegal during the inaugural year of federal legalization.

Health Canada has released a comprehensive set of guidelines that must be followed in the manufacturing and sale of these new cannabis products. The new regulations come into effect on Oct. 17, 2019 and require a 60 day notice of intent to sell any of the new products. Due to the 60 day stipulation from Health Canada, it is estimated that a few companies will be able to release these products mid-December, with more variety and vendors in the new year.

The Regulations

Edibles and Beverages

  • 10mg THC per package
  • Limits of caffeine
  • Nutrition Facts Table
  • Must not make dietary claims

Cannabis Extracts

  • Maximum 10mg THC per unit
  • Maximum 1000mg THC per package
  • No caffeine or added sugars
  • Maximum package size of 7.5 g for extracts if over 3% THC
  • Maximum package size of 90 mL for liquid extracts if under 3% THC

Cannabis-infused Topicals

  • THC limit of 1000mg per package
  • For use only on nails, skin or hair
  • Not for use in eyes, or on damaged skin

Across the board

  • No nicotine or alcohol
  • No added vitamins or minerals
  • Cannot associate with alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or vaping products
  • Plain, child-resistant packaging required
  • Labels with THC symbol, THC/CBD content, health warning, and
  • Ingredient list, allergens and intended use information
  • Cannot make health claims or cosmetic claims
  • Cannot be appealing to youth

What this Means for Patients

The release of recreational adult-use cannabis products is a bit of a two-sided coin, while some are critical of the THC content restrictions and excessive packaging requirements, others are excited about increased access and variety of product types. While it is great news for micro-dosing patients, and those with a low THC tolerance, patients who require higher dosing than the regulations allow for would benefit from an exemption on THC limits.

Edibles, beverages and concentrates are considered to bea safe, discreet and effective method of medicatingfor patients, compared to smoking or vaping. Medical cannabis patients have had access to dry flower and cannabis infused oils legally but without access to edibles, topicals and extracts they were required to make their medication themselves. The second wave of legalization gives patients more options for utilizing the therapeutic properties of their cannabis medication. These amendments to the Cannabis Act for the legal sale of edible, topical, and extract products is a massive step in the right direction.