File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Yannick Craigwell shows off some of his edible marijuana baked treats in Vancouver.

Health Canada releases draft regulations for edible cannabis products

OTTAWA — Canadians won’t be allowed to buy cannabis-infused booze when other marijuana-laced “edibles” become legal next fall, under new rules the federal government proposed Thursday.

The regulations say cannabis-infused alcoholic products would not be permitted in Canada, except where the alcohol content is minimal, such as in tinctures meant to be consumed a few drops at a time, and they would have to be labelled as non-alcoholic.

Packaging or labelling beer or wine products together with cannabis would also be prohibited, to reduce the risk of people mixing the two substances, which has been deemed a health risk. And companies that produce alcoholic drinks wouldn’t be allowed to put their names or brands on cannabis drinks.

The draft regulations, released Thursday by Health Canada, propose three new classes of cannabis: edibles, extracts and topicals — and includes a hard cap on the amount of THC these products can contain.

No package of edibles would be permitted more than 10 milligrams of THC, while extracts and topicals could not exceed 1,000 milligrams of THC.

Restrictions would also be placed on ingredients that would make edible cannabis more appealing to children, such as sweeteners or colourants, or adding ingredients that could encourage consumption, such as nicotine. Cannabis edibles that appear or are packaged like candy or other familiar children’s foods would also be banned.

Similar restrictions are proposed for topical products and cannabis extracts, and manufacturers would be prohibited from making any claims about health benefits or nutrition on their labels.

All packaging would have to be plain and child-resistant and display the standard cannabis symbol with a health warning.

Legal cannabis companies welcomed the proposed regulations Thursday, saying they appear at first glance to take into account the need to balance public safety with the effort to divert cannabis consumers from the illegal market.

“The bottom line here is that you want to create enough space for legal products while ensuring that kids are protected,” said Omar Khan, a vice-president with Hill and Knowlton Strategies and a former Ontario Liberal staffer, who advises several clients in the cannabis industry.

Licensed producers are very interested in the market for edibles and cannabis-infused products, Khan noted, pointing to a recent report by Deloitte that estimated most new recreational pot users would likely gravitate toward edible products.

Cannabis beer, wine or spirits won’t be permitted under the regulations but cannabis beverages that do not contain alcohol would be allowed. Bruce Linton, the CEO of Canopy Growth Corp., was especially happy to see that.

The company, which is headquartered in Smiths Falls, Ont., has spent the last four years developing a non-alcoholic cannabis drink and has even built a bottling plant in the hope the government would allow cannabis-infused beverages once edibles are legalized.

He said the categories and products that government is proposing to allow in its next phase of legalization are sure to make a big dent in the illegal market.

“When I look across these categories it strikes me that, if you’re currently in the illegal production business, we now have matchy-match on every category you make money on, which means you’re going to quit making money soon.”

edible cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

Advocate file photo
Man awaiting murder trial facing two new trials for breaching release conditions

Quentin Strawberry going to trial in March in connection with 2019 murder

Ecole La Prairie students and teachers dressed up in Halloween costumes and paraded by Barrett Kiwanis Place, while waving at the building’s residents in Red Deer on Friday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Ecole La Prairie students parade in Halloween costumes for Red Deer seniors

Dozens of Red Deer students put on their Halloween costumes to spread… Continue reading

Advocate file photo
Preliminary hearing set for Walmart shooting suspect

Chase Freed facing second-degree murder and attempted murder charges

Truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu walks into the Kerry Vickar Centre for his sentencing in Melfort, Sask., Friday, March 22, 2019. nbsp;A lawyer representing the truck driver responsible for the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus collision says he wants to stay in Canada once released from prison. nbsp; THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Truck driver responsible for Humboldt Broncos crash seeks to stay in Canada

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to multiple charges

North Carolina's Myles Dorn (1) celebrates a big stop with teammate Patrice Rene (5) during the first quarter of the team's NCAA college football game against Miami in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Canadian Rene appears set to return to North Carolina's lineup in time for the No. 15 Tarheels' rivalry game against Virginia and a potential all-Canadian showdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris Seward
Canadian Patrice Rene appears set to return to North Carolina’s lineup after injury

Canadian Patrice Rene appears set to return to North Carolina’s lineup after injury

Regina Pats defenceman Cale Fleury (4) tries to clear OHL Hamilton Bulldogs forward Nicholas Caamano (10) from in front of the net during third period Memorial Cup semifinal action in Regina on Friday, May, 25, 2018. The Ontario Hockey League will not have bodychecking this coming season. Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of sport, confirmed the decision on Friday afternoon.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
MacLeod: No bodychecking allowed in upcoming Ontario Hockey League season

MacLeod: No bodychecking allowed in upcoming Ontario Hockey League season

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz (39) makes the save on Minnesota Wild's Alex Galchenyuk (27) during third period NHL exhibition game action in Edmonton, on Wednesday July 29, 2020. Galchenyuk says his new team is getting a motivated player with something to prove. The forward signed a one-year, US$1.05-million contract with the Ottawa Senators in free agency earlier this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alex Galchenyuk eager for fresh start with Senators: ‘I have a lot to prove’

Alex Galchenyuk eager for fresh start with Senators: ‘I have a lot to prove’

Bayern's Alphonso Davies, right, challenges PSG's Thilo Kehrer, left, during the Champions League final soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Canadians Alphonso Davies, Will Johnson, Pat Onstad and Dwayne De Rosario are among the 134 finalists for Major League Soccer's "25 Greatest" players. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Miguel A. Lopes/Pool
Davies, DeRo join Beckham, Giovinco and others as finalists for MLS’ ‘25 Greatest’

Davies, DeRo join Beckham, Giovinco and others as finalists for MLS’ ‘25 Greatest’

Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team partners with Gibbs, Toyota

Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team partners with Gibbs, Toyota

Canadian junior men’s finalist Krats gets call to fill in on Team Gushue

Canadian junior men’s finalist Krats gets call to fill in on Team Gushue

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, file photo, Detroit Lions strong safety Duron Harmon (26), cornerback Darryl Roberts (29) and safety Jayron Kearse (42) review plays with defensive backs coach Steve Gregory and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, right, on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. The NFL is recommending that players on the sidelines who are not participating in a game or about to go on the field wear protective masks, according to a league management council memo obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Although the NFL stopped short of mandating masks for all players not on the field, it “strongly encouraged” all active players in the bench area who are not about to enter the game to wear masks while standing on the sideline and/or sitting on the bench. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
NFL recommends some sideline players wear masks during games

NFL recommends some sideline players wear masks during games

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos walks onto the field before an MLS soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes in Vancouver on Saturday, July 20, 2019. In a season full of adversity, the Vancouver Whitecaps have been dealt yet another blow in their quest for the playoffs. Major League Soccer has announced that post-season placements will be determined on points per game due to an unbalanced schedule caused by COVID-19 outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘We just have to deal with it’: Whitecaps’ path to playoffs gets a little rockier

‘We just have to deal with it’: Whitecaps’ path to playoffs gets a little rockier

Most Read