acmpr health canada

Health Canada’s cannabis proposals: Health warnings, dosage limits, & packaging rules

Health Canada has just released a collection of proposed regulations for cannabis in a consultation paper that calls for mandatory health warnings like those on tobacco products.

The proposed health warnings will include rotating messages that tell people about the risks of cannabis use while pregnant, driving, and consuming other substances (like alcohol and other drugs). Other messages will be intended to prevent accidental ingestion, warn of the “risks associated with different methods of use”, and the “impacts of cannabis use on mental health”.

The paper, which was released yesterday, Nov. 21, is open for public feedback for the next 60 days with a deadline of January 20, 2018. If you’re interested in letting the government know what you think about their proposed regulations, the online questionnaire can be found here.

Cannabis products and dosage limits

According to Health Canada’s consultation paper, “The initial regulations would permit the sale to the public of dried cannabis, cannabis oil, fresh cannabis, cannabis plants, and cannabis seeds”, meaning those who prefer edibles or concentrates will have to wait until at least July 2019.

Health Canada’s regulations propose limiting the maximum THC content based on how the product is consumed:

  • Single use products that will be smoked (or vaporized), like pre-rolled joints, cannot contain more than 1 g of dried cannabis
  • Products meant for ingestion have a limit of 10 mg of THC per dose
  • Cannabis oil not meant for ingestion and topicals will have a limit of 30 mg of THC per mL

Also, any products that mix cannabis with nicotine, caffeine, or ethyl alcohol (aka the one you can drink) will be banned.

Packaging and labeling rules

Health Canada proposes that all cannabis packaging be tamper-evident, child-resistant, and opaque, with a maximum amount of 30 g of dried cannabis in a single package, while also calling for a standardized cannabis symbol for products that contain more than 0.001% THC.

In addition to the Health Warnings to be included on all product labels, the “use of colour, graphics, and font size” will be strictly regulated so that the “standardized cannabis symbol and the health warning messages would be the most prominently displayed elements.”

Cannabis products will also be prohibited from appealing to youth, encouraging consumption, and using testimonials. Cannabis products will not be allowed to use real or fictional characters or animals, or lifestyle branding elements, either.

What else is included in Health Canada’s proposed regulations?

According to the website, the Consultation Paper also outlines regulatory proposals for:

  • Licences, permits, and authorizations
  • Security clearances
  • Cannabis tracking system
  • Product standards
  • Cannabis for medical purposes
  • Health products and cosmetics containing cannabis


Government of Canada: Consultation on the proposed approach to the regulation of cannabis.

Government of Canada: Proposed approach to the regulation of cannabis.

Toronto Sun: Liberals announce Canadian legalized marijuana regulations with public consultation.