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Santé Canada propose une réglementation stricte sur les produits dérivés du cannabis

Santé Canada a dévoilé hier son projet de règlement sur les produits du cannabis additionnels. Notre équipe spécialisée en service-conseil sur l'industrie du cannabis résume ces mesures et les impacts qu'elles pourraient avoir sur les entreprises du secteur. (L'article est en anglais.)

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Health Canada released their draft regulations for additional cannabis products on December 20, proposing three new classes of cannabis: “edibles, extracts and topicals” to be permitted for legal sale under the Cannabis Act no later than October 17, 2019 (i.e. one year after Cannabis Legalization and Regulation). As expected, standard processing or micro processing licenses will be required to manufacture edibles, extracts and topicals and to package and sell them to consumers.

Major takeaways include a repeated focus on ensuring the safety of children while prohibiting alcohol content entirely. The proposed regulations also forbid companies from making any health, dietary or cosmetic claims. However, the regulations did spring up a few surprises for edible products such as the fact that caffeine will be allowed in limited amounts while there are no obvious restrictions on flavor and sugar.

Edibles

  • Quality Control – strict controls on manufacturing to reduce the risk of food contamination and prohibiting companies from making food and edible cannabis in the same facility
  • Concentration Limits – hard cap of 10 mg of THC per package or container; 30 mg of “naturally occurring caffeine” such as tea, chocolate or coffee per package or container
  • Package and Label Restrictions – child resistant; standardized cannabis symbol; health warning; ingredients list; allergens; nutrition facts table; and THC/CBD content
  • Product Restrictions – shelf stable; no added alcohol or mention of or association with alcohol; no health claims; no added vitamins or minerals; no meat, poultry or fish as ingredients unless they are dried and obtained from an authorized producer and have a water activity of 0.85 or less

Extracts

  • Quality Control – strict rules around manufacturing to control the quality of products
  • Concentration Limits – hard cap of 10 mg of THC per unit; and 1000 mg of THC per package
  • Package and Label Restrictions – maximum package size of 90 mL for liquid extracts and 7.5 g for non-liquid concentrated extracts; child resistant; standardized cannabis symbol; health warning; ingredients list; allergens; nutrition facts table; THC/CBD content; intended use; no health claims; and no mention of or association with alcohol;
  • Product Restrictions – no added vitamins or minerals for ingestible extracts; no sugars, colours or sweeteners; and no nicotine or caffeine;
  • Vape Restrictions – standardized cannabis symbol on accessories such as a vape pen; no vaping flavours appealing to youth

Topicals

  • Quality Control – strict rules around manufacturing to control the quality of products
  • Concentration Limits – hard cap of 1000 mg of THC per package
  • Package and Label Restrictions – child resistant; standardized cannabis symbol; health warning; ingredients list; allergens; nutrition facts table; THC/CBD content; intended use; directions for use; statement about not swallowing or using on broken skin; no health or cosmetic claims; and no mention of or association with alcohol
  • Product Restrictions – for use on skin, hair and nails; cosmetic grade ingredients; and not for use in eyes or damaged skin

What does this mean?

Rules around the appeal of products toward children will prohibit companies from producing candy-like products while shelf life restrictions will also limit producers from creating edibles that require refrigeration or freezing, such as cheesecakes and smoothies. Branding restrictions around the association of alcohol or alcohol brands will also mean new and creative marketing campaigns for cannabis-infused beverages.

The road ahead

We can expect a lengthy round of discussions between industry stakeholders, medical practitioners, and provincial and municipal governments and Health Canada on the details within the proposed regulations. Key areas for discussion include product rules, THC limits, packaging and labelling and production quality standards. Consultations are now underway until February 20, 2019, and Health Canada will also host regional roundtables and webinars to seek input during that time—ask our Public Affairs team how we can have your voice heard.

For additional insight, The Globe and Mail published a great piece on the proposed guidelines earlier today.