Health Canada to allow some edible cannabis products starting mid-December

FILE PHOTO: Cannabis plants fill a room in an aquaponics grow operation by licensed marijuana producer Green Relief in Flamborough, Ontario, Canada January 25, 2019. Picture taken January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

(Reuters) - Health Canada said on Friday that some edible cannabis products, extracts and topicals would be sold in physical or online stores from mid-December.

The amended cannabis regulations will come into force on Oct. 17, the health regulator said, adding that cannabis producers with federal license will need to provide a 60-day notice of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do.

“We think these new product forms are going to accelerate the shift away from black market into the legal market,” said Martin Landry, chief of corporate development & strategy at Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. The Canadian firm specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of cannabis products.

“They are critical for the legal market to capture a bigger part of the consumer spending,” Landry said.

The amendments will also limit the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance in cannabis that makes people high, to 10 milligrams per serving in cannabis edibles and extracts. For cannabis topicals, the limit will be 1 gram of THC per package.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce said even though the new proposed regulations will allow for the development of a range of products to meet consumer demand, the industry body was disappointed to see that multi-packs for edibles cannot exceed 10 mg of THC per package.

The OCC in a recent report had said it supports a THC limit of 10-mg per discrete unit of edibles, as well as the sale of multi-packs or multiple products up to a maximum of 100-mg of THC per package.

Ontario is home to more than half the licensed producers of recreational cannabis in Canada and a majority of employment.

Last year, Canada became one of the first major economies to legalize recreational marijuana, a move that has led to the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Maju Samuel