Edibles Legalization in Canada: What Can We Expect?

With the upcoming legalization of edibles in Canada, many are interested to know what they can expect to find on the shelves of cannabis stores once the new law comes into place on October 17th. Although cannabis edibles, concentrates, topicals and other such products will become available for legal consumption on the 17th, the public should expect to see a limited selection of these products online and in stores no earlier than December.

Licensed producers show a general support for these rules, however strict they may be. They are pleased that they have had the time to prepare to launch their new products and have noted that although they would have been prepared to enter the market sooner, they would have done so with fewer products than they have developed now.

Although companies are ready for the new wave of products to enter the market, Canadians should still expect a small initial supply to start with, as well as a limited amount of products which will hopefully increase over time.

What are some of the Restrictions When it comes to Packaging and Marketing?

The promotion section of the Cannabis Act is unfortunately modeled by the tobacco act, instead of the way we look at alcohol. This means that most marketing services are prohibited, which include:

  • Promotion to youth, including places that can be viewed or accessed by people under the age of 18
  • Endorsements or testimonials where cannabis is presented in a way which depicts glamour, vitality, excitement, risk and so on
  • Edibles can’t look like something a child could easily grab

Violations of these rules may lead to a fine of up to 5 million dollars and 3 years of jail time.

However, there are a few exceptions to these restrictions, which include:

  • Advertisements in bars, which young people can’t access

Packaging Rules and Regulations

In addition to these, there’s also a set of very strict packaging rules and regulations set in place, which include:

  • Using clear, opaque packaging
  • Packaging the products in a way that’s not appealing to youth
  • A THC limit of 10 mg per package
  • The products must be sold in child-resistant packaging
  • The label must contain the THC warning symbol, a health warning message, the THC/CBD content and ingredient list, nutritional facts and allergens
  • The label must also contain the equivalency of the edible to dried cannabis, so people can determine their public possession limit, which is limited to 30 gr
  • The label must not contain any health or dietary claims

The Downsides to these Packaging Regulations

Some of the main cons to the final regulations regarding packaging and marketing of this second wave of cannabis products include:

  • Limiting producers from being innovative and standing out by putting together different kinds of creative designs for different products
  • Restraining cannabis producers from coming up with appealing and inviting packaging as a way to stand out among the competition
  • Producing edibles with limited doses of THC, compelling consumers to buy more packages so they can satisfy their needs
  • Producing excess, not so eco-friendly packaging which is hard to recycle and is due to the small and restrictive amounts of THC allowed per package

Although they may affect the prosperity of the cannabis business and cannabis tourism, all of these rules are put in place to protect underaged children from accessing and using cannabis.

However, many experts believe that these restrictions will decline with time and we’ll hopefully be able to see cannabis being treated more like alcohol than tobacco.

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