As you probably know by now, cannabis will be legal in Canada on October 17th. Of course, we’re all expecting some restrictions on who can buy it, who can sell it, and where we can smoke it, but otherwise it’s all fair game, right?
The truth is, not all cannabis products will be legal on October 17th. Why, you may ask? Health Canada is taking this extra time to create regulations to assess the risks and govern certain products.
What’s Going to be Legal?
Before we get too far, here is what the Cannabis Act permits you to legally do, subject to the province or territory you live in:
- Possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
- Share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
- Buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
- Grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
- Make cannabis products, such as food or drink, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
Which Products Haven’t Made the Cut?
As you can see, the list above is not all-inclusive. Some products like edibles, concentrated oils, cannabis vape pens, and home-made dabs will still be on the no-go list. So what about these products – will they become available eventually?
First, lets clear up some confusion. Edibles are on the list of legal uses and yet they are still restricted. That’s because you’re free to bake with cannabis at your own home, so long as you don’t use organic solvents. But, there will be no mass-produced cannabis edibles permitted for legal sale as of yet.
In the case of concentrated oils and vapes, we looked to the U.S. From them we learned that cannabis concentrates and liquid vaping solutions usually have 50-60 per cent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Based off this, Health Canada highlighted the following issue: the health risks associated with products that have high levels of THC.
Finally, you will not be able to make your own shatter after legalization. This is because shatter is made using organic solvents like butane or propane. The federal Cannabis Act prohibits manipulating cannabis using organic solvents unless you’re licensed to do so.
Breathe Easy; These Products are Coming
While these products are prohibited now, we can expect edibles, concentrated oils, and vapes to be legalized in the months following cannabis legalization. Home-made shatter and dabs, however, will not be making the cut.
The government isn’t rushing to legalize these products. They are working to understand potential health risks and create a regulatory system that addresses the potential risks. So when can we expect to see these products on the market? They aren’t expected to be legal until 2019 at the earliest, as it’s expected to take 12 months to create the necessary regulations.
You can have your say in this, though. According to the Canadian government website“Health Canada intends to consult with Canadians on the development of regulations for cannabis edibles and concentrates in 2018.” Stay tuned to the blog for updates on how you can voice your opinion.