Health Canada's new amendments on cannabis research, testing and cannabis beverages

3 minute read
21 December 2022

On Dec. 9, 2022, Health Canada announced the approval of the proposed amendments introduced by the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Concerning Cannabis Research as well as the Order Amending Schedule 3 to the Cannabis Act.

These amendments increase the public possession limit for cannabis beverages, and facilitate non-therapeutic cannabis research and testing. Health Canada anticipates publishing the amendments in Canada Gazette Part II on Dec. 22, 2022.

The amendments are intended to provide increased consistency across cannabis product possession limits, and improve the regulation of research, testing, and analysis. Among other things, the amendments:

  • Introduce a definition for "cannabis beverage" to the Cannabis Regulations;
  • Add a distinct dry cannabis equivalency amount for cannabis beverages in Schedule 3 of the Cannabis Act;
  • Increase public possession limits for cannabis beverages to 17.1 litres of cannabis beverages for non-medicinal purposes;
    • The limit translates to roughly up to 48 cans of cannabis beverage of 355ml compared to the previous limit only allowing for up to five;
    • Strict controls to address risks of accidental or overconsumption, such as limits on THC amounts per container and child-resistant packaging, remain in place;
  • Introduce a definition for "non-therapeutic research on cannabis";
  • Simplify the regulation of non-therapeutic cannabis research with human participants to provide for a more easy-to-navigate research process;
    • The requirements for clinical trials under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) will no longer need to be met;
    • Research can now be conducted solely under the Cannabis Regulations;
    • Researchers will be allowed to investigate cannabis and its effects from a non-therapeutic perspective.

The amended regulations will include transition periods for existing licensed researchers and cannabis beverage producers.

Gowling WLG's Cannabis Group includes professionals with expertise in all matters cannabis law who can help you navigate this landscape and identify how your business can benefit from these changes.

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