Legalizing Edible Cannabis – Further Amendments to the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations

One year after the legalization of cannabis, further amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, contained within the Cannabis Act, are coming into force.

As of October 17, 2019, the Cannabis Regulations will establish rules for the legal production and sale of three new classes of cannabis, including:

  • Edible Cannabis;
  • Cannabis Extracts; and
  • Cannabis Topicals

The legal framework will include a comprehensive set of controls for the production and sales of the three new classes of cannabis. These controls will include, amongst other things:

  • Legal limits on the quantity of THC content that can be included in the product;
  • Restrictions on product additives;
  • Strict requirements for the packaging and labelling of the products; and
  • Prohibitions on marketing.

An overview of these new rules is available here.

Generally, the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations will not apply to edible cannabis. Cannabis and activities with cannabis will only be subject to regulation under the Food and Drugs Act, in addition to the Cannabis Act, if the cannabis is represented with a therapeutic claim.

Although the amendments to the Cannabis Regulations come into force on October 17, 2019, the new products will not be available for purchase, both online and in physical stores, until later in the year. While the products are not yet available, employers should ensure their policies clearly communicate to employees what is and is not permitted.

Moreover, employers should consider how they will manage the impact of the availability of these new forms of recreational cannabis in their workplaces. Specifically including issues of workplace productivity, absenteeism, accommodation, motivation, consumption on breaks and workplace safety.

If you have any questions regarding the impact of legal recreational cannabis use on your workplace, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of our Labour & Employment group.

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