A few questions with Halifax artist Élana Camille Saimovici
Why can’t it be you? The driving force behind success
SUCCESS = career + money ... or does it?
Should I stay or should I go? A look at graduate retention
A conversation with Canadian Armed Forces veteran and health ...
Generational value gaps shifting as individualist thinking warps view ...
Success: Two women. Two lives. One take.
Five questions, 10 answers: let's make prejudice, inequality history
Money. Happiness. Family. How do we define success?
Canada will embark on its second wave of cannabis legalization — which will see edibles, concentrates and topicals become available for recreational consumption to the public — on October 17, 2019, almost a year after the government first legalized cannabis dried flower and oils. But government officials expect that only a limited selection of products will appear in physical or online stores “no earlier than mid-December 2019”.
Under the current regulations, cannabis producers must notify Health Canada 60 days in advance of their plans to sell new products. The department will start accepting new product applications from Oct. 17 of this year.
“Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailers will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale,” officials said on a technical briefing with the media Friday afternoon.
Despite a four-month consultation period with the public and industry stakeholders to evaluate the draft regulations that came out last December, there were no major changes to the kinds of products that would be made legal, and the THC content in those products.
The government’s final regulations for edibles sets a strict limit of 10 milligrams of THC in a “single-serving”, while concentrates (usually consumed using devices like vape pens) will have a limit of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package. Cannabis topicals, like lotions, balms and oils that are absorbed through the skin usually for pain relief or inflammation will also have a limit of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package.
The government reiterated its restrictions on advertising these products, specifically noting that products must not be “appealing to kids”, and contain no health claims. In addition, there should be no elements in a product that could associate it with alcoholic beverages, or brands of alcohol. It is still unclear as to whether beer brewed from the cannabis plant — a patented recipe that Canadian start-up Province Brands has been marketing for over two years now — will be allowed.
“All products containing THC will carry standardized symbols and contain a warning message. Cannabis cannot be manufactured in the same facility where regular food products are manufactured,” officials added.
“It’s unfortunate despite extensive industry consultations and feedback, HC has ignored extremely environmentally unfriendly packaging restrictions into the final regulations” said Deepak Anand, industry advisory and CEO of Materia Ventures.
A number of major licensed producers like Canopy Growth Corp., Quebec-based HEXO Corp. and CannTrust have already forged relationships with major companies in the food and beverage industries in order to prepare for this second wave of legalization.
Canopy — which received a $9 billion investment from alcohol giant Constellation Brands last fall — has a bottling factory up and running in Smiths Falls, Ont., and an in-house chocolate maker Hummingbird, that is developing cannabis-infused chocolates. But in a recent interview with the Financial Post, Canopy Chief Executive Bruce Linton was vague in his response to just how ready Canopy would be come October with its new line of pot ingestibles and beverages.
“We gave our feedback to Health Canada, and we’re waiting to see what the actual regulations will look like. But I’m happy with our bottling factory across the street,” Linton said.
Besides its joint venture with Molson Coors to develop cannabis-infused beverages, HEXO Corp. — as a result of its acquisition of Newstrike Brands — has an agreement with food company Neal Brothers Inc., to develop pot-infused specialty food products.
Aurora Cannabis Inc., the second largest cannabis producer in the country, is directing its focus on vape pens, which Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley believes is what will really be a game-changer for cannabis demand in Canada. “You’re going to start seeing people shift over from the illicit market, the minute vape pens become available. And we have a head start on that,” Battley said recently.
Late last year, Aurora launched a high-potency, vape-ready CBD oil product line called Aurora Cloud, which contains 550mg of CBD and less than 30mg of THC, in line with Health Canada’s guidelines. It is the only vape-ready CBD product that is legally available in Canada to date.
Meanwhile, cannabis extractors like MediPharm Labs and Valens GroWorks have seen their valuations soar in the leadup to cannabis legalization 2.0, as licensed producers who do not have extraction facilities in operation yet are outsourcing this service. But it is still unclear, given Canada’s cannabis shortage, how much dried flower the large licensed producers like Canopy, Aphria Inc. and Aurora have accumulated for extraction, which will be a key factor in determining when Canadians will be able to legally purchase edibles, concentrates and topicals.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019