Health Canada announces federal cannabis regulations

Posted Jun 27, 2018 by Karen Graham
Health Canada released regulations on Wednesday afternoon that support the Cannabis Act, which will come into effect on October 17.
Canada legalized recreational marijuana.
Canada legalized recreational marijuana.
Lars Hagberg, AFP/File
The 390-page set of regulations outlines the legal recreational cannabis and industrial hemp rules at the federal level, while provincial and municipal governments will be allowed to enforce their own bylaws.
CBC Canada was quick to point out the regulations do not include a clear limit on how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be sold in many products. As of Oct 17, Canadians will be able to legally buy fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants, and seeds. They will also be allowed to have in their possession up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public.
The regulations, which will be formally published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 11, 2018, say THC cannot be added to a dried product and places limits on the net weight of dried cannabis products, however, there is no cap on the potency of dried cannabis.
However, CBC reports that officials say this fits into the overall goal of the government's bill. "There are significant varieties of cannabis, some with high levels of THC. This is consistent with the medical regulations that exist today. There is not a hard cap on the potency of dried cannabis," one official said.
"(It's) a means to move to a regulated, diverse marketplace that can compete with the illegal marketplace and successfully achieve the government's objectives." But other marijuana products have strict potency rules.
For example, cannabis products intended to be "administered orally, rectally, vaginally or topically" must not exceed a maximum yield quantity of 10 milligrams of THC. Cannabis products "intended to be used in the human eye" are strictly banned.
Outdoor cultivation and home gardens
The new federal regulations allow outdoor cultivation of marijuana by licensed growers while households are allowed to grow four plants. In both cases, the province will be able to impose restrictions on private gardens or ban the outdoor cultivation of cannabis.
Licenses will be issues for micro, standard and nursery cultivation. Micro-growers will be restricted to growing cannabis within a 200 square meter area — but are not restricted in how many micro-licenses they can hold. Micro-licenses will not be issued until the Cannabis Act comes into effect on October 17.
Anyone who has been charged with trafficking will not be banned from being licensed in the legal regime. This is an important point cited by a Health Canada spokesperson today.
"I assume that if trafficking isn't a bar, then past production activity won't be either," he said. "That is absolutely critical to the development, particularly in B.C., of a micro-producer industry because many people who have been doing this for a long time do have those charges."
As for those using medical cannabis, the current system will remain in place. "Certain changes [to the medical-cannabis regulations] have been made to create consistency with rules for non-medical use of cannabis, to improve patient access and to reduce the risk of abuse of the system," Health Canada noted on its website.