Canadian Cannabis Regulations Update

When Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, was enacted, it regulated several classes of cannabis products including flowers, seeds, plants, and oils. Meanwhile, products like cannabis-infused edibles, creams, and extracts were still deemed illegal. But this October, all of this is set to change as these products become legal for recreational purchase. (By the way, you can use your cannabis to make topicals and edibles. Our blog has plenty of resources including recipes.)

Apart from edibles, the revisions to Bill C-45 also include significant measures around child-resistant packaging and plain labeling. The revisions will come into law on Oct. 17, 2019, marking the one-year anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada.

close up of cannabis bud

History Behind Edibles Regulations in Canada

In December 2018, the Canadian government launched a 60-day public consultation to seek feedback from Canadians and a wide range of stakeholders on updates to the Cannabis Regulations to support the production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extract, and cannabis topicals. The feedback received was carefully reviewed and helped to develop the final changes to the Cannabis Regulations which are now being unveiled to the public.

When are Edibles legal in Canada?

To sell edibles, creams, and extracts, licensed producers must submit proposed products for approval two months before anything can be put into production. The government will then either approve or deny the application.  With legislation coming into effect in October, this means that mid-December is likely the earliest any of these items will appear for sale in-store or online (just in time for Christmas).

close up of bright green cannabis growing indoors

Edibles Potency in Canada

Edible cannabis products will carry a maximum of 10 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per package. Beverages will have the same 10 mg limit, meaning a six-pack will contain less than 1.7 mg of THC per can. Government officials say this is to reduce overdosing and hospitalization as a result of overconsumption. Also, beverages infused with THC cannot contain alcohol, which was to be expected.

Edibles Laws in Canada

Edibles can’t have added vitamins, minerals, or nicotine. Edible products also cannot contain sugar, sweeteners; or come in shapes, forms, colours, or flavours that appeal to children such as any type of candies. In addition, edibles will require child-resistant packaging and plain packaging in an effort to make the products less appealing to youth and children and lower the risk of accidental consumption.

outdoor cannabis plant leag close up full page dark background

Risk Reduction

Health Canada says these rules reinforce its overall goal of reducing youth interest or accidental consumption. It is unclear the extent of enforcement that is going to follow these regulation changes; for example, we don’t know if regular cookies will be allowed while chocolate chip cookies will not. Right now, the rules remain unclear, so it is hard to speculate.

Legal Gummies and Candies?

As far as gummies, chocolates, and candies are concerned, Health Canada didn’t want to eliminate these types of products altogether, but it says approval will happen on a case-by-case basis (wonder how time-consuming that will be). This gives companies and those with an ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit (and boatloads of money) the ability to innovate within the regulations. Edibles must also be prepared on a site separate to that of any other food or cannabis facility to prevent cross-contamination. If a company is found ignoring this regulation, it can carry up to $5 million in fines. The clear loser in edibles legislation? Startup companies. As the law stands right now, it will be difficult for Canadian entrepreneurs to find their footing in the market, as access to mass amounts of regulated flower is a significant barrier.

arial view of cannabis plant

Edibles and Packaging in Canada

Cannabis producers will not be allowed to make any claims about the potential health or nutrition benefits on product labels (so we’re safe from gluten-free, low carb, etc.), and packaging will also be required to display the standardized cannabis symbol and a health warning message. The packages, however, are now approved to have a peel-away information panel to allow for more information.

When it comes to cannabis extracts, the government says it will prohibit certain flavours that are appealing to young people; however, it’s unclear what flavours specifically will be targeted, or if cannabis granola will be the only allowable product.

When Can I Buy Edibles in Canada?

If you think you can go out on October 17th and buy some edibles; you’ll likely be disappointed. The government says federally licensed cannabis producers will need time to become familiar with and comply with the new rules to create new product lines. Producers will also need to provide Health Canada with 60 days’ notice of new products.

cannabis outdoor gorwing

What Do I Need to Know About Consuming Cannabis Edibles?

Along with the new regulations, the government has issued several cautionary statements about consuming cannabis, especially when it comes to “double-dosing” – taking twice as much cannabis as originally intended. This is more likely to happen when consuming edibles than it is smoking cannabis. Because it can take up to 4 hours to feel the full effects of edible cannabis, consuming more within this time period can result in overconsumption and adverse effects.

What are your thoughts on the new edibles legislation? Is this a great first step, or a step in the wrong direction? For the latest up-to-date news about cannabis subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Now that cannabis has been legal for almost a year, traveling with cannabis for a vacation has probably crossed your mind. But travelling with cannabis can be complicated if you don’t do your research first. Cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17th, 2018 but the laws are constantly changing and evolving. To help you sort out the laws and all the misconceptions surrounding cannabis travel we put together this blog post.

Under the Cannabis Act, provinces and territories are responsible for determining their own rules about cannabis including possession limits, the minimum age requirement, where cannabis can be used in public and any other miscellaneous restrictions. It is the traveler’s responsibility to be aware of these rules and abide by them when using cannabis in the province or territory he or she is in. This means using an excuse like “in my province it’s legal, I didn’t know” won’t work very well.

pacjing cannabis traveling with cannabis tips and tricks whats legal canada

Can I fly with Cannabis?

Flying with cannabis within Canada is legal as long as you meet the minimum age requirement and possession limit for personal use. Travelers flying within Canada will be allowed to pack 30 grams of cannabis in their carry-on or checked luggage. If it is packed in your carry-on luggage, you should arrive earlier than you normally would just in case security asks you additional questions or flags you for a secondary screening. If you’re carrying more than the recreational legal limit for medical purposes to last the duration of your trip, be prepared to show medical documentation in accordance with regulations.

Can I Travel Abroad with Cannabis?

Transporting cannabis across any international border is illegal without exceptions, even if it’s legal at your destination, like in some U.S. states. This includes any product containing cannabis such as edibles, oils, or concentrates in any amount.

Even if you are authorized to possess cannabis for medical purposes, the Canadian government cannot authorize you to carry cannabis on vacation or during travel in foreign countries. Health Canada can issue permits for importing or exporting cannabis, but those are extremely difficult to obtain, involve a lengthy process and are only given under very limited circumstances.

The safest thing is not to risk it and leave your cannabis at home. It is a criminal offense that can result in severe penalties including fines, jail time, and a possible ban from the destination country. If you forget and do carry cannabis across the border, it is best to be truthful when questioned by a border guard.

traveling with cannabis tipsand tricks international cannada

Other Cannabis Issues

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canadians who are affiliated with the cannabis industry, either with ownership of a legal cannabis company or work for a cannabis company, for example, and who are visiting the U.S or another foreign country will be allowed in. However, if you are traveling to the U.S. for a reason related to the cannabis industry, you may be denied entry or detained, depending on the circumstance.

Can I Drive with Cannabis?

Like any drug or alcohol impairment, driving high is illegal. While law officers are still trying to figure out the best way to enforce this, it is imperative you don’t get high and drive. However, what about driving with cannabis simply in the car? The rules differ by province, but generally, similar to alcohol, cannabis should be in closed packaging and not in reach of the driver. In some cases, however, like in the province of Manitoba, it must be stored safely in the trunk. To be safe, keep receipts to show it was purchased at an official outlet, when possible and don’t let it sit unattended in the car.

driving with cannabis pot weed the legal way regulations and laws in cananda

What About CBD Oil?

CBD oil is non-intoxicating so theoretically; it should be safe to fly with. However, that isn’t the case. As the United States continue to legalize cannabis, the CBD industry is growing. In addition to luxury cannabis tours and dispensaries, CBD-infused coffees, burgers with CBD oil and CBD tinctures are appearing at restaurants, cafes and health food stores. Some companies are even offering topical creams, bath bombs, and other relaxation and pain-relief products with CBD. Shouldn’t those be okay? Unfortunately, as it stands now, you are not allowed to carry any of those products across the border and they should be left at home.

flying with canabis

The Bottom Line

While the rules are improving, there still can be difficulties as airlines and border guards adjust to the new rules. Unfortunately, if you carry cannabis with you while traveling there is no guarantee you’ll have a risk-free flight. You should also check the rules and guidelines of the particular airline you’re flying on. You can either call the airline or most of them have cannabis regulations on their website.

If you have trouble with anxiety on flights, it is best to consume cannabis before the flight rather than on it as edibles are still illegal and you cannot smoke on a flight.  If you had your heart set on anedible you can make your own, we have a few beginner-friendly recipes likes cannabis brownies orbutter, so you can cook your cannabis into anything you’d like!

One option is if you’re traveling to the U.S. and you’re going to a state that cannabis is legal is simply buy your supply while you’re there, bringing your smoking supplies and then buying the herb itself when you arrive at your destination. A safety case stash box allows you to pack all your smoking essentials like rolling papers, pipes, grinders, lighters and more. If the whole idea makes you uncomfortable, we recommend you do your best to go without on your trip. As the rules and regulations keep changing, we will keep you updated through our social media and newsletter so subscribe today!

This week marks the first anniversary of Canada’s recreational cannabis legalization. It’s an appropriate time to review what happened last year and consider what’s coming next.

Legalization brought big changes for some folks. About 9,200 employees now work at cannabis producers, with thousands more at retailers. Unfortunately, company profits remain scarce and tax revenues are modest.

By contrast, cannabis users are largely unchanged. In the nine months before legalization, an average of 14.9 per cent of Canadians reported using cannabis. That increased by only one-tenth, to 16.3 per cent, during the nine months after.

However, those users have increasingly bought their cannabis legally.

Sales grew

Health Canada data show July’s legal recreational and medical sales totalled 11,387 kilograms of dry cannabis and 9,854 litres of cannabis oil. That’s the fifth consecutive month of expanding sales.

Assuming the growth trend continued into August and September, legal products might now constitute 30 per cent of Canada’s estimated consumption. Legal home growers likely supply a few percentage points more.

That’s a big improvement from September 2018, when legal sales represented only eight per cent of national demand. But illegal suppliers still control most of the market.

Producers and retailers expanded

The limited sales success was largely due to ongoing shortages of dry cannabis products throughout fall and winter. But supplies began improving in spring.

Alongside improving supplies came expanding retail networks. Canada had just over 100 licensed stores in October 2018, but now has more than 550.

Some of those have succeeded wildly. Quebec‘s government-owned outlets each averaged $940,000 in monthly sales over the summer. Ontario‘s private retailers likely did too.

But the high sales per store were largely due to having few stores per province. The store scarcity meant legal cannabis captured merely a fraction of each province’s market.

By contrast, Alberta and New Brunswick have far more retailers per capita, letting legal cannabis seize bigger market shares. But New Brunswick’s outlets averaged just $150,000 each in monthly sales, while Alberta‘s shops did only slightly better.

So, low store density is good for retailer profitability but not for public policy.

From the latter perspective, Alberta‘s retailing approach appears inspired. It had 65 stores open in November, more than any other province. It now has 301, more than all other provinces combined.

Conversely, Ontario‘s approach increasingly seems misguided. Its initial 25-store limit was reasonable, given last December’s shortages of products and information. But its July decision to license only 50 more shops was far too timid, given how much supplies had improved.

Policies need review about legal cannabis

In fact, this is a good time for all governments to revisit their cannabis strategies. But any resulting updates should reflect their newfound experience, not their ideological reflexes.

Consider Quebec‘s good example. It recently announced plans to double its store count by spring, thereby improving access for its large population.

Ontario should follow that lead. As its Chamber of Commerce argued last month, the province needs more retailers and clear processes for adding them.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick is considering privatizing its money-losing cannabis retailer. But it might be better to follow Nova Scotia’s example and put its cannabis shops inside liquor stores. That would maintain accessibility while lowering operating costs.

Provinces should also rethink store ownership limits. To ensure competition, Alberta forbids any company from holding more than 15 per cent of all retail licences. That’s about 45 shops, reasonable enough given the province’s size.

By contrast, Ontario limits chains to only 75 sites, too few for its large population. And British Columbia restricts them to eight, dooming retailers to inefficiency.

Provinces should review cannabis pricing too. Quebec charges retail prices just 28 per cent above what it pays producers. That makes legal products competitive with illicit ones.

By contrast, price mark-ups apparently average 54 per cent in New Brunswick, 74 per cent in Ontario and 90 per cent in Newfoundland. That generates more revenue but gives black markets big advantages.

This pricing issue will grow more important as Canada’s cannabis market evolves in the years ahead.

Coming competition on legal cannabis

Until recently, the main limits on legal cannabis’ success have been shortages of products and stores. But with those improving, the new challenges will be to compete with black markets on price and quality.

That means legal prices must drop, at least for value-priced products. Other provinces should follow Quebec’s lead on that.

Meanwhile, producers must continuously improve their product quality to offer aromas, potencies and effects comparable to the best illicit weed.

The arrival of cannabis foods, drinks, vapes and lotions in late December should also help. They’re important because about a quarter of cannabis usage involves foods and vapes. Plus, those value-added products provide licensed producers with excellent opportunities to distinguish themselves from illegal suppliers.

Cannabis beverages will be particularly interesting to watch. Will they partly replace alcohol as a social beverage, as many producers hope? Or will they remain a niche product?

Of course, illegal suppliers will also be dropping their prices and improving their products. Consequently, the more legal sales grow, the tougher it will be to grow them further. And that dynamic could make legalization‘s first year, despite all its stumbles, look like the easy part.

Michael J. Armstrong, Associate Professor of Operations Research, Goodman School of Business, Brock University , The Canadian PressFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

I dated a guy who never smoked weed but from time to time, he liked to get baked with cannabis cookies. Whenever he felt the urge, we would create the ultimate stoner activity. For example, he would save up restaurant gift cards and we would nearly fast all day. Arriving at the restaurant giggling with red eyes, we would time our edibles perfectly. Let me tell you, nothing makes you enjoy having a delicious meal served to you like being baked out of your mind.

Whether its a first date or date night, here are some ideas to help you create an amazing night out that compliments your cannabis!

If you are going to go for dinner, go hard.

If you want to go for a dinner date, get ripped to make the most of it. Pick a place that you love, wear loose pants and go to town. This is not the time to choose a new place. The last thing you want is to nurture that brain fog with a long menu; especially when cannabis has a way of making everything sound good. Avoid risks and favor your gluttony. If you love meat and have yet to experience a super baked, All You Can Eat rib night, what are you waiting for? Go grab a date and let loose! After all, it is pretty easy to break the ice when you both have bbq sauce all over your face. 

Go for Dessert

Dessert is rarely ordered anymore and as a result, many people are missing out on some culinary mastery. Who better to appreciate a delicious creation than a happy couple, baked out of their minds? 

Here are some more reasons this date is a winner:

  • Dessert menus are shorter so it will take less time to make up your mind.
  • It’s pretty hard to find a dessert that someone absolutely hates.
  • You won’t have to wait for a long time unless they are making something from scratch. If that is the case, you are probably in for something good.
  • It’s cheap.

Head to the IMAX

Dating is about human connection and trying to create that during a two-hour-long movie is hard to do. IMAX movies don’t usually last longer than an hour, so you can balance having time to talk and having your attention taken. The added bonus is that by the time you are jonesing for another joint, the movie is over. Plus, going to an Imax film is a symphony of stimulation for the senses, so adding cannabis will help you both enjoy it on a whole other level. 

Go to a local comedy show

Local comics have some of the best material because it is usually easy to relate to. But, even if the comic sucks, their awkwardness will make you laugh. Bring a joint and your date to a comedy show because nothing helps you bond like getting baked and busting a gut.

Museums 

Never underestimate the amount of fun that you can have getting baked and going to the museum. Even if you have been there multiple times, there is always something new and trippy to learn. A museum can inspire all kinds of conversations, especially when complemented with the right strain. 

Theatre, Ballet, or Opera

If you are not a frequent patron of theatrical arts, allow me to suggest it for a date. To put it very plainly, Opera tells a story through song, and ballet through dance. Some are incredibly beautiful while others can get really weird, it all depends on the composer and production. Getting baked before you go can really compliment the entire experience and you can usually count on being able to duck out for a quick puff during intermission. 

Paint your own Ceramics

Have you ever heard of drop-in ceramic painting? It’s available in most cities and a lot of fun. With plentiful options all grouped by price, you and your date pick an unglazed ceramic and paint it. All the supplies you need are there and the store will fire the finished piece in their kiln.

However, the biggest reason this makes a great date isn’t just because it’s fun, it’s because of the therapeutic value. The communication that needs to happen to foster a healthy relationship can take a lot out of a person and that is precisely why this date is such a great choice. It adds an element of art therapy to dating.

Art therapy causes relaxation by lowering the activity of the amygdala; the part of the brain that controls our emotional response to stress. So, if you are struggling to let yourself open up to your partner or can’t help but feel anxious, get baked and go paint.  

A word of caution – Avoid this date if the relationship is new because, at some point in the future, both of you will need to return to pick up your finished masterpieces. 

At home movie and TV food pairing

If you want to stay in, smoke weed and watch movies, spice it up with a food pairing. Have you ever watched a show that makes you crave a certain food? Listen to that little voice inside you and prepare your munchies for the next viewing. Here are a few of my favorite TV and movie food pairings

  • The Sopranos and pasta 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a vast array of candies and chocolate – the key to making this food pairing a success is a selection variety.
  • Vikings and meat – any kind of meat, but pulled pork sandwiches are my favorite
  • Outlander – a delicious Scotch or Bourbon to sip on

Bad Ideas

These dates might seem like a good idea but a stoner couple should be wary.

Escape rooms – Escape rooms are fun but there is often nowhere to sit.

Dinner at a new restaurant – My buddy let his date pick a new restaurant that I happened to be at. It was a Chinese restaurant he had never been to and I watched them stare at the menu for at least ten minutes. He looked so uncomfortable with his meal when it arrived. Later, he told me that he ordered the “assorted meat on rice” and got an assortment of meats, organs, boned tissue and a grey sponge thing. Don’t let this be you.

Movies – A classic date idea but there is no opportunity to talk or blaze at the movie theater. Even worse, one of you could pass out and start snoring, or fart.  

No matter what activities you do or don’t do, as long as your relationship has open communication and common interest, it’s heading in the right direction. I hope that this helps you take date night to a much higher level because after all, the couple that blazes together, stays together.

Every year the news warns us of treacherous stoners who are filling your children’s plastic pumpkins with cannabis edibles disguised as Halloween candies. And every year, every person around this office sighs the largest of sighs because we all know that these concerns are ridiculous and merit-less.

Why? Multiple reasons. And because I have too much time on my hands and too much pettiness in my soul, I’m going to tell you the top 5 reasons why NO ONE IS GIVING YOUR KID EDIBLES.

Time

Time is the most precious resource that any of us have. And every day, we all battle with ourselves about how to use it most efficiently. One way to NOT use time efficiently is taking the 15-30 minutes to go to a cannabis dispensary, give your ID to the door person, go inside, shop around various glass cases, choose your products, show your ID again, buy them in bulk, and then head home to take the time to open every package, transfer them to a big plastic candy bowl, and then hand them out to underage children for 3-6 evening hours.Related

Money

While time is our most important resource, money is the biggest reason this list exists. Straight up, NO ONE IS SPENDING THEIR HARD-EARNED 40-HOUR-PER-WEEK DOLLARS ON EDIBLES TO GIVE AWAY TO YOUR KID. Bro, cannabis is so damn expensive. A single edible is hitting you for like $5-10 and a multipack hits for $20-40, so to pull off a silly trick like the edible fake-out would hit any of us for a smooth $200-400.

Doorbells

Stoners hate doorbells, and “CHECK YOUR KIDS’ CANDY FOR THC SNACKS” ignores that fact. You ever been sitting on the couch smoking on a fatty when the doorbell rang unexpectedly? You know friends don’t ring the doorbell, so it’s like “Hold up… Who invited the cops?!”

The simple fact that none of us want to take a break from chillin’ and watching Wu Tang: An American Saga on Hulu to get up and sit down 100 times for a joke that none of us will even see pay off is enough reason to dispel any fears that trick-or-treating is a gateway drug.Related

Humor

The only reason to tell a joke is to get a laugh. The only reason to pull a prank is to watch the victim get pranked. Neither of these can happen if your kid is eating edibles in the comfort of their own home, miles away from where they got the supposedly tainted candy. So there’s literally no reason for anyone to ever do this in the name of humor. And since THC would only get your kid high and not actually cause any physical harm, there’s no motivation for that type of evil, either. Therefore, it’s time to accept the truth.

Legalization

Literally the biggest mission of cannabis enthusiasts is to get this plant legalized so we can smoke freely like the good Lord intended. That can’t happen if shady shit like children getting tricked by edibles is happening. So why would anyone in this community set us back by pulling off one of the worst and least rewarding jokes possible?

Answer: they wouldn’t. They didn’t last Halloween, they won’t this Halloween, and guess what? Next Halloween is off the table, too.