Canada: Regulations For Cannabis Edibles, Extracts And Topicals To Take Effect In October 2019

On June 14, 2019 the Government of Canada announced its final amendments to the Cannabis Regulations (the "Regulations"), which set the rules for the production and sale of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals – the three new classes of cannabis products that will be legal for recreational use in Canada later this year.

The Regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019. Health Canada advises that it will begin to accept applications for new product licences in mid-September 2019. However, consistent with the regulations in force now, licence holders will be required to give Health Canada 60-days' written notice before making a new cannabis product available for sale. This means the earliest date that cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals can be put on shelves or in online stores will be December 16, 2019.

Changes from draft Regulations proposed last year

After Health Canada proposed its draft regulations for the new products in December 2018, we highlighted what you needed to know about the key product requirements (e.g. THC limits, ingredients and additives, packaging and labelling, etc.) associated with each. The final Regulations are mostly unchanged, with some notable differences and additions relating to:

  • packaging and labelling requirements;
  • prohibitions on manufacturing cannabis in the same building as food;
  • prohibitions on brand promotion; and
  • extending the transition period for cannabis oil.

This post seeks to  highlight the main differences between the proposed and final Regulations, as well as summarize key components of the final Regulations.

1.               Product Rules

  • Packaging and Labelling

Cross branding: The proposed prohibition on cross-branding with alcohol products is extended to also prohibit cross-branding with tobacco and vaping products.

Health warning messages: All cannabis products must be labelled with new warning messages listed in the amended Cannabis Health Warning Messages document that will take effect with the Regulations.

Standardized quantity: All cannabis products will be required to display the THC and CBD quantity in a standardized way – either milligrams per gram (mg/g) or milligrams. All products will also be required to display the product's equivalency to 30 grams of dried cannabis.

Guidance to be provided on packaging that is "appealing to young persons": In addition, the government received feedback from industry groups that further guidance was needed on how to assess whether a product or package can reasonably be considered "appealing to young persons". Health Canada plans to publish guidance on the factors to consider when making this assessment (e.g., a product's shape, colour, ingredients, flavour, packaging).

Transition period: For the new product classes, the new labelling requirements come into effect with the Regulations; however, for existing product classes, processors will have a 12-month transition period to update their packaging to comply.

  • Limits on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content

The proposed per-unit and per-package THC limits will remain the same for all three product classes: edible cannabis (10 mg/package); cannabis extracts (10 mg/unit; 1,000 mg/package); cannabis topicals (1,000 mg/package). In relation to cannabis extracts intended to be inhaled, such as vaporizer cartridges, there is a limit of 1,000 milligrams of THC per cartridge.

  • Composition and Ingredients

The proposed and final restrictions on product additives and ingredients are nearly identical, with the minor clarification that, while products intended to penetrate the skin or eyes will be prohibited, transdermal patches will be allowed as part of the cannabis topicals class.

2.               Promotion

In addition to the packaging and labelling requirements, the final Regulations will extend the existing Cannabis Act restrictions on promotion so that anything prohibited on a product's package or label will equally not be allowed in promotions. There are also new specifications on promotional branding which place limits on the size of logos and text on t-shirts, hats, etc.

3.               Production Practices – Prohibition on Same-Site Production

The list of "good production practices" required by the proposed Regulations has been maintained, with some changes. Significantly, the prohibition on same-site production of edible cannabis and food has been extended to prohibit the production, packaging, labelling and storage of any class of cannabis product and the production, packaging, labelling and storage of food in the same building on a site.

4.               Cannabis Oil

The final Regulations will allow for a 12-month transition period for activities related to cannabis oil, extended from the 6-month period initially proposed. During this 12-month period, cannabis oil can continue to be sold under the current rules, after which it will be subsumed under the new cannabis extracts class.

5.               Contaminant Testing

Under the final Regulations, licenced processors will have the option to perform contaminant testing on either the final product or the "input" cannabis. However, for edible cannabis, all testing must be performed on the "input" cannabis only. The Regulations also create new testing requirements which will apply to all classes of cannabis products, including dried and fresh cannabis. The Regulations allow for a 12-month transition period during which dried or fresh cannabis can be sold without compliance with the new contaminant testing requirements.

Additional Health Canada guidance documents

Health Canada will be publishing amended guidance documents that may be of interest if you or your organization intend to engage with the new cannabis products. The following documents will take effect with the Regulations on October 17, 2019:

Provincial rules may continue to vary

It is important to keep in mind that each provincial government continues to be responsible for regulating the possession, consumption, sale and home cultivation of all cannabis products in their respective province. Since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada last year, we have seen the provinces' approaches and attitudes toward their respective frameworks continue to evolve and change. This means that, while the above requirements will serve as baseline rules, the province where you or your organization is located may or may not decide to enact stricter requirements.

If you or your organization plan to engage with cannabis edibles, cannabis extracts or cannabis topicals in any way, be sure to understand how these new Regulations may affect you. The McCarthy Tétrault Cannabis Law Group is always up to date on changes to the legislation and can assist clients successfully navigate the evolving demands of the high-growth cannabis market in Canada and abroad.

To view the original article click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions