Cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals could be sold in B.C. stores as early as December 16, the federal government announced June 14.
The December launch date is calculated by being 60 days after regulations for those products coming into force on October 17. Licensed producers must give Health Canada 60 days notice that they intend to sell those products.
The reality, however, is that these products will take longer to get to retail stores because federally licensed processors will need time to become familiar with, and to prepare to comply with, the new rules and to produce new products.
Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailers will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale, according to Health Canada.
The new products will fall under three main categories:
•Edible foods and drinks;
•topicals, such as lotions, oils, and makeup.
Some of the new restrictions were expected given Health Canada releasing draft regulations in February.
Prohibited are cannabis-infused beverages that contain either alcohol or tobacco, nicotine or caffeine.
Packaging requirements will include labelling that has a clear cannabis symbols as well as health warnings and limited use of logos and colours. Those packages must be child resistent.
Restaurants will not be able to sell cannabis-infused meals although the possibility exists for a Canadian business to sell edibles to a customer who would consume the product on-site. Regulating such consumption lounges would be up to the provinces, and B.C. has said that all retail businesses that sell cannabis are not able to sell non-cannabis-related items – a restriction that would almost certainly disqualify a restaurant.
If a restaurant did serve a cannabis edible, the product would have to be shelf-stable, come in child-proof packaging and be labelled as it would be in a retail store, according to Health Canada regulations.
More to come…