By Elijah O’Donnell
Edible cannabis products will soon hit the Canadian market. Full legalization is planned for Oct 21 and sales are set to start mid-December.
The edibles are launching alongside cannabis extracts, commonly known as “shatter” or “dabs”. Cannabis topicals, like infused balms, salves, creams and makeup will also be legalized and sold.
“It is going to normalize cannabis,” said Karl, the owner of Strainbows Cannabis in Edmonton*. “Just eating it or drinking it is going to make it more normal.”
Karl expects there’s a stigma behind cannabis that he hopes will fall with these new products.
Strict regulation around the packaging of edibles is set with legalization. Any edible cannabis products, like baked goods or gummies, will need to come in plain, childproof packaging. Extracts and topicals will take the same packaging regulations and have limitations to portion sizes.
Edibles have previously been packaged in colourful and eye-catching labels that Karl explains resembled candy found in stores. The regulations state that products cannot contain sugar, sweeteners, or come in shapes, forms, colours or flavours that appeal to children.
Regulations also state they must not contain nicotine, alcohol or caffeine. And in the case of edibles, no added vitamins or minerals. Edible products have been given an exception for things like chocolate, which already has a small amount of caffeine in it.
There are also strict regulations set on THC levels in each item, though no restrictions have been set for the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) in products.
While edibles, extracts and topicals are legalized, it will take at least two months for consumers to see them in stores, as Health Canada requires a 60-day notice from retailers before selling any new products.
*who requested the omission of his full name.