OTTAWA – HEALTH – The Government of Canada legalized and regulated cannabis to keep it out of the hands of youth, and profits out of the pockets of criminals. To continue to achieve these objectives, edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals can legally be made available for sale in Canada, following strict rules, and by authorized retailers only.
The strict rules in place are there to minimize the appeal of these new products to young Canadians, and to decrease the risks of accidental consumption and overconsumption. Cannabis products may be produced only in federally licensed facilities, are subject to standards regarding ingredients, testing, and THC limits, and must have plain and child-resistant packaging. They must also have specific labeling for consumers, including health warning messages, ingredient lists, and THC content.
Licensed processors are responsible for ensuring that all their products meet safety requirements and that none of their products contain anything that may cause injury to the health of the user when the product is used as intended. They are also required to notify Health Canada of products they intend to sell 60 days before they go to market so that the Department has the opportunity to intervene before any product enters the Canadian market if it has concerns or questions. Given the recent cases of vaping-associated lung illnesses, Health Canada requested additional information from licensed processors on the ingredients and product formulation of certain vaping products they intend to sell in Canada’s legal market.
The best way for Canadians to protect their health is not to consume cannabis, and adults who choose to use cannabis should avoid products from illegal or unknown sources. The new categories of legal cannabis products will gradually become available in physical and online stores in the coming days and weeks, depending on the province or territory.
Adults who choose to use cannabis should be responsible and should secure any cannabis that they have in their home away from children, youth and pets. We also encourage Canadians to take the time to educate themselves about how these new products can affect them and how to minimize risks of overconsumption, by visiting Canada.ca/Cannabis. If you choose to use cannabis, look for products with low levels of THC, and know that it can take up to two hours to feel the effects from eating or drinking cannabis, and up to four hours to feel the full effects.
The Government of Canada will continue to invest in public education and work closely with the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, the regulated industry, public health organizations, and law enforcement to protect the health and safety of Canadians.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.