Although cannabis extracts and edibles are not yet legal in Canada, the government plans to legalize them by the end of the year. So while we eagerly wait for the new changes to come into place, let’s have a look at what some of the rules and regulations surrounding the packaging of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals will be, so that you can be better prepared and informed for when they are legalized.
What Do You Need to Know About The New Regulations?
As of last month the Canadian government officially laid out the new rules and regulations regarding the production, use and sale of edibles, beverages, extracts and topicals, which will come into effect a year after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada.
Here’s what some of those regulations involve:
- The products need to be regulated for purity and strength
- They cannot contain more than 10mg of THC per package
- They have to be packaged in child-resistant packaging
- The packaging must be plain, so it’s not inviting and appealing to children
- Cannabis infused alcoholic beverages and cannabis products that contain caffeine, nicotine or tobacco will be prohibited
- The labeling and packaging must be clear and understandable. It must contain the cannabis symbol, a health warning and the concentration of cannabis present in the product
You can find these and the rest of the regulations surrounding cannabis packaging on the government’s website.
How Do People Feel About These Packaging Regulations?
Health Canada’s new regulations on packaging edibles, beverages and cannabis extracts will be very strict when it comes to labeling and youth appeal. The main reason behind these regulations is to limit the appeal of such products and reduce the risk of children unintentionally taking them.
Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says that they’re aware that if they relaxed some of the regulations they could make bigger profits, but as he stated during an event in Coquitlam, B.C. last month, they are not interested in profits but instead they are focused on protecting the health and safety of consumers and children.
Many consumers and people from the industry have spoken against these strict regulations that are placed on cannabis products, mainly the fact that they cannot place any images or specific information about a product, such as benefits and health claims, which can help users decide which products are best for them.
Will These Rules And Regulations Benefit Or Hurt The Cannabis Market?
One of the main arguments against these strict regulations is the fact that the same don’t apply to liquor products, which are permitted to have colourful packaging that’s is appealing to children, whilst cannabis products are only allowed to be packaged in clear, opaque packaging, featuring only the brand name and logo of the company, as the only way to separate themselves from the competition.
This will limit the producers when it comes to creating a creative and innovative, competitive packaging which will stand out amongst the competition, but until we see some changes in the regulations, a few companies have chosen to be creative by finding loopholes in the regulations so they can create the best packaging they can without breaking any laws.
Since we still don’t have a clear picture of what the use and adoption of these products will be like once they’re legalized as well as what kind of challenges might arise, all we can do is give it some time so we can see whether or not these regulations will hurt or benefit the consumers and the companies. The best thing about these rules and regulations surrounding production and packaging is that they can always be loosened later on. This means that we might be able to see less and less limits on branding, packaging and access later on, as we get a better sense of how these product are adapted by the consumers.