Health Canada, the federal cannabis regulator, announced on December 9th, despite the changes taking effect one week earlier.
Canada’s cannabis drink limit has increased from a maximum of 5 standard-sized cans to 48. A standard-size can is 355 millilitres or about 12oz.
Canada’s Cannabis Drink Limit Increased
Health Canada said the change was to correct the unintended consequences of how drink limits relate to other cannabis products.
For example, there are legal THC oils on the market that can yield up to 800mg per bottle. The dropper apparatus, however, caps the dosage at 10mg (although you can always forgo the dropper entirely and down half the bottle). But overall, the THC oil contains the equivalent of 30 grams.
Likewise, you can legally purchase up to 30 grams of dried cannabis.
The idea with the previous cannabis drink control was to mimic these limits. So, if there are six grams per drink, the law would cap an individual at purchasing five cans.
“Adults in Canada are now able to possess up to 17.1 litres (equal to 48 cans of 355 ml each) of cannabis beverages in public for non-medical purposes, which is up from approximately 2.1 litres (equal to five cans of 355 ml each) under the previous rules,” says a statement from Health Canada. “Existing controls that mitigate the risks of overconsumption and accidental consumption, such as child-resistant packaging and strict limits on the amount of THC per container, remain in place.”
Industry Welcomes Change
Dave Schlosser, CEO & President of Truss Beverage Co, said: “Having worked closely with the Cannabis Council of Canada and other industry members to advocate for this regulatory change, we believe that increasing the number of cannabis beverages that can be purchased at one time will allow the category, and cannabis. more broadly, to thrive. These new conditions not only allows for a more convenient shopping experience, but provides legal-age Canadians with more opportunity to add beverages to their existing cannabis product order, driving in-store sales for licensed retailers.”
George Smitherman, CEO of Cannabis Council of Canada (C3), is also happy about Health Canada’s increased cannabis drink limit.
The government announced the regulatory changes through Orders in Council.
Health Canada also changed how it “regulates non-therapeutic cannabis research with human participants.” As well as easing the rules around testing and testing kids, “thereby support[ing] access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis.”
What’s the Point of the Cannabis Review?
So what’s the point of the 18-month-long Cannabis Review if the Trudeau government can listen to industry insiders and apply the changes through Orders in Council?
One might argue that listening to the industry’s loudest (and richest) will address their concerns without examining how legalization affects the smaller, more marginalized voices.
And this is true. However, it’s a leap in logic to assume an overly bureaucratic Cannabis Act Review will yield any better results. Bureaucrats dreamed up the original cannabis drink limit.
Trudeau’s government only implemented Canada’s cannabis legalization after a lengthy and costly Task Force.
Members of the Task Force heard from stakeholders, patients, consumers, etc. They knew an over-reliance on “public health” would undermine the reasons for cannabis legalization.
So how will the Cannabis Act Review be any different? And suppose they recommend all the changes everyone wants to see. What guarantee is there this federal government will implement those changes?
Government incompetence is why it’s better to embrace free and fair markets. Creating a level-playing field for all cannabis participants is a superior solution to the statist alternatives.
Increasing cannabis drink limits from 5 cans to 48? Why not just increase the THC limit? Or would Health Canada prefer Canadians drink more sugary drinks?