Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Part of cannabis laws and regulations

Canada’s plan to strictly limit the potency of edible cannabis products is aimed at protecting people who may accidentally consume them, but the new rules will not discourage some consumers from resorting to the black market, critics say.

Crushing the sizable underground trade in cannabis was a core priority for the Liberal government when it legalized cannabis last fall. On Friday, Ottawa announced a “limited selection” of next-generation cannabis products such as edibles will “gradually” hit retail shelves no earlier than mid-December.

Edible cannabis, whether foods or beverages, will have a cap of 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive substance that produces the “high” – per package, according to the rules, Health Canada officials told reporters in a conference call on Friday.

Story continues below advertisement

High Chew edibles are shown for sale at the cannabis-themed Kushstock Festival at Adelanto, Calif. (File Photo).

Richard Vogel/The Associated Press

Cannabis extracts for inhalation or topicals, such as pot-infused lotions, will have a cap of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package.

These limits on THC were created to curb the damage to people who accidentally consume these products as well as to those who take too much, said officials with the federal department, speaking on background during the technical briefing.

Those dosage caps pale in comparison to what is currently being offered in the illicit market, with dozens of online dispensaries currently selling gummies, for example, that have as much as 80 milligrams per piece. As well, unlicensed dispensaries across the country are offering more potent products to medical marijuana patients who seek out various remedies not approved under Canadian law.

Experts say the underground industry will continue to meet this demand as long as Ottawa does not allow for a wider range of these products.

Jamie Shaw, chief communications and culture officer at publicly traded Pasha Brands, a cannabis firm working with microgrowers in B.C., said legalization has brought less, not more, choice in products for medical marijuana patients and long-time recreational users. This is because retailers must adhere to federal laws that have prohibited edibles, concentrates and creams up until now.

“As we see dispensaries transitioning to legal, we see customers either transition to their [illicit dealer] or online to dispensaries,” said Ms. Shaw, who has long worked with dispensaries catering to medical users.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that medical-marijuana users have the right to consume the drug in ways other than smoking – such as cookies, lip balm or lozenges – but the government system only provided pills and tinctures in response to this ruling.

Story continues below advertisement

Julia Veintrop, general manager at the unlicensed Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, which has been in operation for more than 23 years, said the regulated market simply does not meet the needs of her nonprofit’s 7,500 members and the new rules for edibles don’t change that.

“There really isn’t a licence that would enable us to keep providing for our members and, as a result, those people would suffer,” she said.

For example, she said, suppositories are not sold on the legal market, but her organization offers five types with doses ranging up to 200 milligrams of THC. They are popular with people who have vaginal cancers, PMS symptoms or those with stomach issues, she said.

The final regulations, which will be formally published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, have been highly anticipated by cannabis-industry players well as food, beverage and other consumer goods companies as they develop products to tap into anticipated demand.

A flurry of companies have announced plans for weed-infused products. For example, Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. said it plans to develop beverages infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, helped by an investment by Canopy Growth Corp.’s venture capital arm. Quebec-based Hexo Corp. has also partnered with alcohol giant Molson Coors to form a joint venture called Truss to make and sell cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beverages.

These products cannot contain nicotine, caffeine or alcohol. As well, no elements on these products would associate them with alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or vaping products. All packaging must be plain and child resistant, and must not be appealing to young people.

Story continues below advertisement

Whether an edible cannabis product is reasonably considered to be appealing to children would depend on various factors including its shape, colour, flavour, scent and how it’s packaged, a government official said on Friday. The determination of whether a product does violate the guideline will be made on a case-by-case basis, the official said.

With a report from The Canadian Press

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies