Regulation of Cannabis in Canada
From November 21, 2017 to January 20, 2018, Health Canada launched a 60-day public consultation period for the proposed approach to the regulation of cannabis in Canada, which was published in a consultation paper entitled “Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis”. Throughout this consultation period, Health Canada engaged with Canadians, provincial and territorial governments, indigenous governments and representative organizations, municipalities, patients, the public health community, law enforcement, the cannabis industry (present and future) and the hemp industry in order to solicit comments and concerns with their proposed regulatory framework. All input received would be considered in order to structure the regulatory framework that would be implemented once the proposed Cannabis Act (here now known as the proposed Act) received Royal Assent.
On March 19, 2018, Health Canada published another paper entitled “Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis: Summary of Comments Received During the Public Consultation”. The publishing of this document was especially important for two reasons in particular:
- Health Canada has acknowledged that no draft regulations will be pre-published and instead “…detailed regulatory proposals set out in the consultation paper were intended to provide industry and stakeholders with as much detail as possible on the proposed regulatory requirements so that their feedback and perspectives could be incorporated into the final regulations.”; and
This document provided details for the requirements for plain packaging and labelling of cannabis products.
- The details for the requirements for plain packaging and labelling of cannabis products can be found in Annexes A, B and C in the document entitled “Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis: Summary of Comments Received During the Public Consultation” as published by Health Canada. It is important to note that in addition to the requirements set out in the Annexes provided that there are a number of other packaging and labelling requirements set out in the proposed Act to which regulated parties would be subject to. It is important that all requirements be considered with regards to any decisions made regarding packaging and labelling that could be made between the date the document was published and the anticipated coming into force of the propose Act and its regulations. A summary of these requirements is provided below:
Annex A: Details of Proposed Label Content Requirements for Cannabis
This Annex provides details regarding the proposed label content requirements for cannabis products. Information provided in this Annex includes:
- Placement of information on the packaging (elements require on the principal display panel and elements that can appear on any surface of the package, except for the bottom).
- The requirements for mandatory health warning messages that must appear on the product packaging.
- Other information that will be required to appear on the product packaging such as contact information for the licensed producer, product class (e.g. fresh or dried cannabis), brand name, lot number and recommended storage conditions.
- Details regarding specific requirements for the different classes of cannabis (e.g. fresh, dried, oil) in both non-discrete and discrete forms such as net weight, percentage of THC/CBD content and quantity.
Annex B: Details of Proposed Label Display Requirements for Cannabis
This Annex provides details regarding the proposed label display requirements for cannabis products. Information provided in this Annex includes:
- General requirements for all labels (e.g. text and font requirements).
- Use of the standardized cannabis symbol and details pertaining to where it must appear, its size, where the symbol can be accessed from and how it must be oriented.
- Details regarding how health warning messages must be displayed on the product packaging such as font requirements (e.g. size, placement, case), spacing and colour requirements.
- Details regarding how other required information must be formatted such as font requirements and how information can be displayed.
- Details regarding information that is not required such as brand names and logos.
Annex C: Details of Proposed Label Display Requirements for Cannabis
This Annex provides details and requirements regarding the proposed health warning messages that will be required for all cannabis related packaging materials. The Annex provides both the primary and secondary sentences that will be required to be displayed on cannabis packaging materials outlined by a yellow box.
dicentra is committed to keeping both current and prospective clients well informed and educated on the proposed Cannabis Act and the proposed cannabis regulatory framework. We are committed to providing you with news, updates and information as Bill C-45 (the proposed Cannabis Act) progresses through the legislature. For any cannabis related questions, please contact us by phone at 416-361-3400 or toll free at 1-866-647-3279 or via email at email@example.com.
 Accessed March 30, 2018 from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/drugs-health-products/summary-comments-public-consultation-regulation-cannabis.html
 Accessed March 30, 2018 from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-proposed-approach-regulation-cannabis.html