Health Canada Finalizes Regulations for the Production and Sale of Edible Cannabis, Cannabis Extracts and Cannabis Topicals

Published: June 17, 2019

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.

“The amended regulations under the Cannabis Act will support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting Canadians by helping to mitigate the health risks posed by these new cannabis products,” stated Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, “I encourage adult Canadians who choose to consume cannabis to remember to store it safely out of the reach of children and youth, and to consult the new evidence-based resources on Health Canada’s website that can support you in making informed decisions.”

Quick Facts

  • The amended Cannabis Regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on June 26, 2019. In the meantime, Canadians may request a copy from Health Canada at cannabis@canada.ca. These regulations will not be in force until October 17, 2019.
  • The expert Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation recommended that the Government of Canadapermit the legal sale of a diverse range of cannabis products to displace the illegal market and that the products be subject to strict regulatory controls.
  • In December 2018, the Government of Canada launched a 60-day public consultation to seek feedback from Canadians and a wide range of stakeholders on the draft amendments to the Cannabis Regulations to support the production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The feedback received was carefully reviewed and helped to inform the development of the final changes to the Cannabis Regulations.
  • If adults choose to consume cannabis in any form, they should
    • Avoid consuming it with nicotine, alcohol, other drugs or health products,
    • Store all cannabis products securely and out of reach of children and pet, and
    • Not drive high.