If you thought that the Canadian government’s legalization of cannabis was already bad enough, it’s about to get much worse with the impending legalization of edibles and concentrates this October.
The government’s efforts to make legal edibles as unappealing as possible to children may end up being so successful that even the adults won’t want it (much the same way legal weed grown by licensed producers is boycotted by many in the cannabis community over quality concerns and pesticides) with unreasonable THC limits, excessive (and boring) plain packaging requirements, and ambiguous rules that threaten to eliminate certain products altogether are just some of the most pressing reasons that consumers who prefer edibles and concentrates are going to be worse off than their flower-smoking peers.
With Health Canada’s proposal, we get a peek at what the future may hold and we have until Feb. 20 to let the government know what we think. All the information you need to give your input is available here.
[Editor’s note: A larger version of this table can be found here]
Edibles “Must not be appealing to kids”
In Health Canada’s proposed edibles regulations, the phrase “must not be appealing to kids” is found in every product category from cannabis drinkables to topicals- but what does that even mean?
Can edibles makers even make gummies, lollipops, brownies, and many of the other common forms of edibles? Those are all very appealing to children, but liking candy isn’t limited to just kids which leaves the question of how far will the government go in regulating edible cannabis products?
Maybe the “must not be appealing to kids” requirement only refers to the marketing and packaging of edibles and not the form they come in? When it comes to marketing, the same restrictions will apply to edibles as dried flower, so things like animal mascots aren’t allowed because of their appeal to kids- which is also a primary justification for the plain packaging requirements.
We need to watch what the government does closely or else it could overstep its bounds and get into nanny state territory, when all we really need is parents to be responsible and keep their edibles out of their children’s reach, much the same way that alcohol, prescription medicines, and chemical cleaners are kept away from kids in places they can’t easily get to.
Dosage limits and packaging
The 10 mg of THC limit per package for cannabis edibles and drinkables proposed by Health Canada is preposterous because when it comes to edibles, there is a huge range in potency- from as little as 5 mg of THC to 400 mg and above- and edibles containing 5-10 mg of THC are considered low dose and are recommended to people trying edibles for the first time and those with a low tolerance to THC.
But limiting edibles to 10 mg of THC per package would put those looking for a stronger dose of THC out of luck- unless they want to buy 20 packages at a time just to get 200 mg of THC.
For comparison’s sake, if you think of dried flower as the beer and wine of cannabis, then high-potency edibles and concentrates can be seen as the hard liquor equivalent. Using that analogy the proposed 10 mg of THC limit per package for cannabis edibles would be like a liquor store selling spirits not in bottles but by the shot, with each fluid ounce coming in its own separate packaging.
But it gets worse, particularly for the environment, because of all the…
Wasteful plastic packaging
This requirement would guarantee that edibles would be an even greater waste of packaging than dried flower which runs the risk of alienating the target market as surveys have shown cannabis users are more environmentally conscious than the general population, and the excess packaging would make buying legal edibles harder to justify.
The LP’s recognize this, too, as CEO of CannTrust Peter Aceto said:
“The edible legislation does imply a lot of packaging but we would like less of it — our patients and customers would like less packaging”
Health Canada needs to consider the fact that there’s already enough plastic in the landfills already and ask itself why should it make more when it doesn’t have to?
To let the government know what you think of the proposals, click here.
Featured image courtesy of Oregon Cannabis Connection.
Government of Canada: Proposed Regulations for Additional Cannabis Products.