Federal News & Events

New Cannabis Edibles Regulations Released Today for Stakeholders: The Big Picture Details

By Whitney Abrams | June 14, 2019

The Regulations on cannabis edibles will be formally published in the Canada Gazette Part II on June 26, 2019, but have been sent to stakeholders in the industry today by Health Canada.  As required by the Cannabis Act, the new Regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019, but the earliest date that new products may be available for purchase will be December 16, 2019.

The reason for this is that federally licensed producers must notify Health Canada in writing of any new products they intend to produce at least 60 days before making it for sale.  The notice must state the product class of the new product, describe the product (including the brand name it will retail under), and the date on which the product is expected to be made available for sale. This is not a pre-approval for sale, but simply a notice.  The first date that licence holders can begin to submit requests for license amendments is on July 15, 2019.  Health Canada will begin accepting new product notifications on October 17, 2019. When you take into account the new product notification period, that puts us into the holiday season before we will see anything on shelves. 

In order to sell new products, federally licensed producers will need to seek an amendment to their licence and attest that all regulatory requirements have been met. In order to retail these products, federal and provincial retailers will need to decide which products they will offer and how they will be distributed within their retail networks.  They will, as Health Canada noted, need time to purchase the products from manufacturers and make them available for sale to the public. 

So, what can we look forward to seeing in stores this winter?

Edible cannabis products (i.e. those designed for eating and drinking) will have a maximum THC limit of 10 mg per package.  Extracts intended for ingestion will have a 10 mg THC per unit limit per capsule or dispensed amount or 1000 mg per package (ex. 100 10-mg capsules in a bottle).  Cannabis extracts for inhaling will be limited to 1000 mg THC per package.  The limits imposed by Health Canada are intended with the express effort to lowers the risk of serious adverse reactions to these products.

The manufacture of edibles will be put to strict manufacturing controls to reduce the risk of food-borne illness and for quality control.  Production of edibles in the same facility as the production of non-cannabis related food will be prohibited. 

Across the board, products must not contain any added vitamins or minerals, nicotine and/or added alcohol. With respect to the alcohol question, the Regulations go further and say that it will be prohibited to package and label a cannabis product and/or promote a cannabis product in a manner that evokes an image of an alcoholic beverage or uses an alcohol or tobacco brand or expression.  This is meant to preclude things like cannabis beer or wine or associate a cannabis product with an alcohol brand.  Edible cannabis will have limits on the amount of caffeine and cannabis extracts will not be permitted to have sugars, sweeteners, or colours added. 

Child-resistant and plain packaging will be required for all products.  Certain maximums are set for package sizes for extract products.  Like the product types currently available, all labels will be required to have the standardized cannabis symbol, health warning messages, and display the THC/CBD content.  In addition, these products will need to include the equivalency to dried cannabis to determine public possession limit, ingredient lists, and intended use.  For edible products, allergens, and nutrition facts will also need to be listed.

An important and interesting aspect of these Regulations is that edibles must not be appealing to youth.  The determination of whether or not it is appealing to youth will consider things like shape, smell, flavour, name, label, and how it is presented.  These determinations will be made on a case by case basis.  Health Canada says that the industry is ultimately responsible for self-policing and regulatory compliance. 

This will be an interesting testing of the waters to see how manufacturers are able to respond to this.  Certainly, consumers should not expect brightly coloured bears to be for sale in the first round of products. 

Health Canada has stated that if, in the pre-approval notice, a product seems to be one that might appeal to children, Health Canada may reach out to a producer to advise that producer of its obligations for regulatory compliance and of Health Canada’s concern. 

A table summary of the regulations can be seen below. Click on the link here to access the full regulations: https://www.canadacannabislegal.com/assets/files/2018-Canada-Regulations_and_RIAS_-_R%C3%A8glement_et_REIR.pdf

Health Canada: Table of Final Regulations for Cannabis Edibles, Topicals and Extracts

Continue to check Canada Cannabis Legal as we dig through the new regulations.  We will provide you with many more substantive blog posts as we do so.  We are always available by phone or e-mail to answer your questions (Turn on Javascript! | 416-369-4148). 


Whitney Abrams

Whitney Abrams

Whitney’s work focuses on providing regulatory advice and advocating on behalf of cannabis businesses in the North American market. She is a frequent contributor to Canada Cannabis Legal.
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Comments (3)

  1. Jules:
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:53 AM

    Fascinating article. Very in depth. My one question is: from where would Canada import cannabis? Are there countries currently exporting cannabis legally? Uraguay seems like the most economical source, although shipping costs could be an issue.

  2. miss lena:
    Feb 24, 2019 at 01:52 PM


    All labels will need to be plain, not appealing to children, and make no health claims. For edibles, there may be no dietary claims, and for topicals, there may be no cosmetic claims. For all of the new product classes, packaging and labelling must not contain any elements that associate the product with an alcoholic beverage, alcohol, or an alcohol brand.

  3. miss lena:
    Feb 24, 2019 at 01:52 PM

    All labels will need to be plain, not appealing to children, and make no health claims. For edibles, there may be no dietary claims, and for topicals, there may be no cosmetic claims. For all of the new product classes, packaging and labelling must not contain any elements that associate the product with an alcoholic beverage, alcohol, or an alcohol brand.






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