Quebec’s rules on edible cannabis will be the toughest in the country

Published July 31, 2019

The Quebec government has tabled new regulations that will outlaw the sale of most edible cannabis products that will become legally available across the rest of the country this fall.

With the goal of banning products that might be “attractive to minors”, the regulations prohibit additives (flavouring or colouring) that would alter the smell or flavour of cannabis products. The sale of cannabis skin, hair and nail creams will also be prohibited in Quebec under the new regulations.

As reported by the CBC, the province’s junior health minister said federal cannabis regulations don’t go far enough to protect children from accidentally consuming the drug.

“To reduce the risk of accidental poisoning in children, we are proposing a ban on the sale of products that are attractive to them, like chocolate and gummies,” Lionel Carmant said in a statement released on July 24. “This will also allow us to reduce [the consumption] of cannabis products in general.”

These new regulations are the latest measures proposed by the Coalition Avenir Québec government to restrict cannabis use in the province.

The government introduced a bill last year to raise Quebec’s legal age for cannabis consumption to 21 — the highest in Canada.

Quebec vs. federal rules on edible cannabis

Federal regulations on cannabis edibles, topical products — such as ointments and skin creams — and extracts are scheduled to come into force on Oct. 17, 2019.

They do not bar the sale of cannabis candies and other sweets, but do require packaging be plain and child-resistant.

The federal rules also restrict the amount of caffeine allowed in edible cannabis products and prohibit them from containing nicotine, as well as any added vitamins, minerals or alcohol.

Quebec’s new cannabis regulations only target edibles that might grab the attention of children. Other edibles, such as cannabis-infused butter, will be allowed. But these edibles will be subject to the following rules in Quebec:

  • A package of solid edibles cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC (which is the same limit as federal regulations).
  • Liquid cannabis edibles cannot contain more than 5 mg of THC per package (the federal limit is 10 mg).

Next steps

Quebec’s new cannabis rules were unveiled on July 24 and are subject to a 45-day consultation period before they take effect. At the end of the consultation period they will be updated by government and published. Once published, they will come into force.

Restaurants Canada will be providing a submission to the Quebec government during the consultation period.

Anyone else who wishes to comment can send a written submission to: Ministre délégué à la Santé et aux Services sociaux, 1075, chemin Sainte-Foy, 15e étage, Québec (Québec) G1S 2M1.

The complete text of the proposed regulations can be found here (in French): http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=1&file=71073.pdf

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.

Marlee Wasser

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