Oct. 17 marks the beginning of Canada’s second phase of cannabis laws, which legalize the production and sale of edible cannabis products for recreational use.
Below is a breakdown of what foodservice operators need to know about this regulatory development.
What has changed (and what hasn’t) as of Oct. 17?
New regulations are now in force, laying down the rules for edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals.
However Oct. 17 is simply one of the first hurdles for these new types of cannabis products to reach the legal Canadian market: As of this date, licensed producers can begin submitting their edible, extract and topical products to Health Canada. Those products will then be subjected to a 60-to-90-day approval and procurement process.
This means Canadians can expect to see a limited selection of these new products appear gradually in physical or online stores no earlier than mid-December 2019.
Where will Canadians be able to buy edibles?
Nothing in the Cannabis Act regulates where these products can be bought and consumed. The federal legislation leaves it up to the provinces and territories, and their municipalities, to set their own rules.
However, the federal regulations prohibit cannabis products from being manufactured in the same facility where regular food products are manufactured.
As with other cannabis products, different jurisdictions are choosing to make edibles available in different ways: either in licensed cannabis retail stores or through Crown corporations run by provincial governments.
Will edibles be available across all of Canada?
Not quite. Quebec has outlawed the sale of edible cannabis products that might grab the attention of children. This means a much more restricted selection of edibles will become available to purchase in the province.
Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with all levels of government to ensure the voice of foodservice is represented as new cannabis rules are rolled out across the country. Check back for updates on developments of interest to the restaurant industry.
If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at DLefebvre@restaurantscanada.org.