Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for the Government of Canada. That is why the Government implemented a strict legal framework to regulate and restrict access to cannabis keeping it out of the hands of youth, and profits out of the pockets of criminals and organized crime.
Today, the Government of Canada announced amendments to the Cannabis Regulations setting out the rules governing the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. In keeping with the federal government’s public health approach to the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis, the amended regulations seek to reduce the health risks of these cannabis products. At the same time, the amendments provide for a broad diversity of cannabis products, which will help displace the illegal market. These products pose unique health risks, which is why we have taken the necessary time to establish appropriate safeguards.
As required by the Cannabis Act, the amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019. However, it will take time, after that date, before new cannabis products become available for purchase.
It is expected that a limited selection of products will appear gradually in physical or online stores, and no earlier than mid-December 2019. Federal licence holders will need to provide 60-days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do. Additionally, as with any new regulatory framework, federally licensed processors will need time to become familiar with and 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.
Public education and awareness efforts are critical to informing adult consumers about the unique health and safety risks posed by these cannabis products. Health Canada has made available today new evidence-based resources and updated content on its website to support consumers in making informed decisions about cannabis.
The Government will also continue to work closely with the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, the regulated industry, public health organizations, and law enforcement to support the effective implementation of the amended Cannabis Regulations.