Cannabis edibles are about to appear on shelves across Canada and the government wants you to be careful

When recreational cannabis was officially made legal in Canada in October 2018, there were a lot of complaints.

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When recreational cannabis was officially made legal in Canada in October 2018, there were a lot of complaints. When will stores actually open their doors? Why is this bud so dry? And, perhaps loudest of all, when are you going to let me purchase edibles?

Since then, the nuts and bolts of legalization have slowly begun to fall into place.

The city of Vancouver’s first storefront dispensary opened almost a year ago now. Government-approved bud that comes via mail-order is often still kind-of dry. And now edibles are finally becoming available.

Federal health minister Patty Hajdu announced the news today (December 17) with a stern wag of her finger.

“Edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals can legally be made available for sale in Canada, following strict rules, and by authorized retailers only,” she said quoted in a media release. “Cannabis products may be produced only in federally licensed facilities, are subject to standards regarding ingredients, testing and THC limits, and must have plain and child-resistant packaging. They must also have specific labelling for consumers, including health warning messages, ingredient lists and THC content.”

Edibles and other alternatives to smoking were legalized last October but have only begun to actually appear on store shelves this month (just in time for the holidays).

It was only yesterday (December 16) that the federal government first officially permitted authorized distributors to sell edibles, concentrates, and topicals to government-owned wholesalers like B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch, the Straight previously reported.

“Adults who choose to use cannabis should be responsible and should secure any cannabis that they have in their home away from children, youth and pets,” Hajdu continued. “We also encourage Canadians to take the time to educate themselves about how these new products can affect them and how to minimize risks of overconsumption.”

The health minister’s message also includes a warnings for retailers.

“Licensed processors are responsible for ensuring that all their products meet safety requirements, and that none of their products contain anything that may cause injury to the health of the user when the product is used as intended.,” she said. “They are also required to notify Health Canada of products they intend to sell 60 days before they go to market so that the Department has the opportunity to intervene before any product enters the Canadian market if it has concerns or questions.”

In June 2019, the financial-analysis firm Deloitte estimated that Canada’s market for cannabis edibles and other non-smoking cannabis products could be worth as much as $2.7 billion annually.

However, big profits as well as consumer satisfaction might not come overnight, Deloitte’s report warns

“There will be missteps, delays, and frustration,” it reads. “This is to be expected in an industry that just launched.”

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