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Canada: Delays expected as edibles go legal

Cannabis edibles are legal in Canada as of today as ‘Cannabis 2.0’ gets underway

The Federal Cannabis Act came into effect in October 2018. However, the first wave of legalised products was limited to raw flower, tinctures and capsules.

Regulations governing edibles were announced this October. However, companies are required to provide Health Canada 60 days notice prior to putting the products onto their shelves.

Regulation and distribution laws vary by province. This means that consumers in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta will have to wait until mid-to-late January to get hold of the products.

However, retailers are confident that the new products will draw in a new demographic of customers.

Harrison Stoker is a vice-president with Donnelly Group, parent company of retailer Hobo Recreational Cannabis.

He believes that the new range of products will enable his company to compete with the illegal market.

Stoker said:

“I think it’s going to bring a whole new demographic out of the woodwork.

“I think that bringing on these new formats gives the legal format a fighting chance … we’ve been handcuffed this year.”

What else has ‘Cannabis 2.0’ legalised?

As well as edibles, Canadians will now be able to legally buy topicals, drinks and vapes.

However, there will be strict regulations governing these products, especially given the recent of THC vape-related illnesses in the US.

Health Canada spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau said:

“It will be prohibited for cannabis extracts, including cannabis vaping products, to contain anything that may cause injury to the health of the user when the cannabis product is used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable way.”

The roll-out of legalisation has been an intentionally slow process as the industry and consumers adjust to a legalised marketplace.

Bethany Gomez, managing director of market research firm the Brightfield Group said:

“It’s important to ensure that expectations are in line.

“The rollout is always a lot slower than people are expecting it to be …we’re not going to see the market change overnight — even 60 days from [today].”

Photo by Guillaume Jaillet on Unsplash

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