Cannabis edibles are officially legal across Canada but as per federal regulations, consumers will not be getting their hands on any until late December 2019.
This second phase of the legalization process was officially put into action as of Thursday, October 17th, and allows the retail sale and commercial production of three new categories of non-medical cannabis:
- edible cannabis, such as baked goods and beverages;
- cannabis extracts, such as liquids, tinctures, wax, hash and cannabis oil; and
- cannabis topicals, such as creams, balms and similar products that are meant to be applied to a person’s hair, skin or nails.
However these products will not be available at either private retail stores or the provincial BC Cannabis Stores until December.
This is because Health Canada requires federally licensed producers to provide at least 60 days notice of their intent to make a new cannabis product available for sale.
Here are the government’s final regulations regarding edibles, extracts, and topicals:
Legalization in BC
Since non-medicinal cannabis was first legalized in October 2018, the BC provincial government has issued 144 private cannabis retail store licences and 33 other applicants have “received approval in principle”.
There are also currently seven BC Cannabis Stores retail locations across the province, with one of them on Vancouver Island.
“Unlike other provinces, B.C. had a well-entrenched cannabis industry prior to legalization, and over the last year, we’ve been working hard on the transition to a well-regulated, legal industry,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“As this new industry matures, B.C. will continue to take the steps necessary to make sure it is safe and successful. For example, we know there is interest in farm-to-gate sales, particularly from small-scale producers, and that’s an option we’re considering in determining how to support B.C.’s cannabis industry.”
Authorities have also been cracking down on unlicensed private cannabis retailers across the province.
Earlier this year, BC Community Safety Units conducted raids on two Trees Cannabis (Trees Island Grown) locations, forcing the company’s CEO to suspend operations at all of their stores.
Despite the province’s efforts to reduce the availability of illegal cannabis, a recent online survey from Research Co. finds that only 33% of recent cannabis users say they got their product from a licensed retailer.
“In April, only 6% of British Columbians said they had consumed marijuana only after it became legal,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Now, the proportion has risen to 13%, including more than one-in-five residents aged 18-to-34 (22%).”