Canada Seeks Changes to Its Adult-Use Cannabis Program


According to the March 25 edition of the Canada Gazette, the federal government plans to launch a consultation that would change the country’s current Cannabis Regulations.

With this consultation, several cannabis regulatory reforms will be altered, including production requirements, packaging (and labeling regulations), licensing laws, and security. As the notice details:

“[Canada’s] legal cannabis industry has matured, the marketplace has evolved, and there is increased knowledge and data on public health and public safety risks associated with certain activities.”

The notice continues: “Health Canada recognizes there may be regulatory measures that could be made more efficient and streamlined without compromising the public health and public safety objectives in the [Cannabis] Act.”

As of this time, there are no specific details on how the Cannabis Regulations will change. All we know is Health Canada’s interest is in improving the current agenda.

Specifics Canada Seeks to Alter

As we discussed above, there are a few areas of change that may come to the Cannabis Regulations. In further detail, these include:

  • Licensing – Health Canada has an interest in changing how licenses operate within the country. Furthermore, they’re interested in allowing certain activities to take place that would no longer require licensing.
  • Security – While it remains up in the air as to how exactly security may change under these new rules, Health Canada asks whether or not “personal security requirements could be changed without increasing the risk of diversion or inversion of cannabis.” On top of this, they discuss whether or not physical security rules “could be changed without posing a risk to public safety.”
  • Production Requirements – Certain cannabis products are placed on a restrictive framework under Canada’s current laws. With that in mind, “Health Canada has heard there are product requirements that are more burdensome than those in analogous frameworks, such as those for medical devices or cosmetics.” Changes in cannabis production are likely to come that would directly address micro-producers and micro-cultivators. On top of this, you may see rule changes concerning specific cannabis products, such as vapes, cosmetics, and food.
  • Packaging and Labeling Regulations – As with any legal state, Canada requires certain information to be included on cannabis packaging. Health Canada now asks whether or not all this information is necessary and if any information can be removed.
  • Record Keeping – According to the notice, “Some license holders have raised concerns with respect to onerous and duplicative requirements.”

This consultation period is open until May 24. As the notice inquires, “Input received will ensure that regulatory amendments are informed by and responsive to the cannabis industry, other interested parties, and the public.”

Changes to Cannabis Industry Have Been a Long-Time Coming

This consultation has been in the works for quite some time – with Canada launching a review impact four years after legalization. This review largely sought after common complaints made against the industry, including high taxes, advertising restrictions, and sales limitations.

On top of this, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce National Cannabis Working Group, the review was to “effectively displace the illicit market and protect the public health and safety of all Canadians, law enforcement, businesses, industry and all levels of government…”

The discussion now being had with the latest consultation is a means of garnering more opinions about this matter. Namely, those working directly within the industry and those purchasing from the industry.

Beyond being a great opportunity to have people’s voices heard, it goes to show how forward-thinking Canada has become in concerns with cannabis.

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