Medical marijuana has been legal for patients with qualifying medical conditions since as early as 2001. Recreational cannabis was legalized across the country in 2018. Since then, however, Canada residents have found themselves limited to purchasing only certain forms of cannabis, including smokable flower and vaporizable marijuana.

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New regulations on marijuana-containing edibles will take effect on October 17th of this year.

The amendments to current law will also apply to cannabis extracts and topicals.

This could be especially good news for those medical patients who have been seeking alternative methods of consumption.

Available In Dispensaries Soon

Home-made cannabis foodstuffs for sale in Michigan. Cannabis is taken in through the skin, the lungs and the digestive system. Infused foods come in an endless variety of kinds and styles, including imitations of some popular retail treats. IStock / Rick_Thompson

Don’t expect to see THC gummies in Canadian dispensaries right away, though.

It will take a few more months for edibles to become available on dispensary shelves; Canadians can expect to be able to purchase cannabis edibles for themselves sometime in mid-December, just in time for the holiday season.

Just last week, Health Canada, the country’s regulatory agency for all health-related affairs, announced new rules governing the production and sale of edible cannabis products, saying, “It is expected that a limited selection of products will appear gradually in physical or online stores, and no earlier than mid-December 2019. Federal license holders will need to provide 60-days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do.”

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The amended regulations will apply to the Cannabis Act, the law that made recreational marijuana legal in Canada in the first place, and they will include “strict packaging and labeling requirements,” and companies are strongly prohibited from making edible cannabis products “appealing to youth.”

Keep Out Of Reach Of Children

According to the Canadian Minister of Health, the Honorable Ginette Pepitpas Taylor, “The amended regulations under the Cannabis Act will support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting Canadians by helping mitigate the health risks posed by these new cannabis products. I encourage adult Canadians who choose to consume cannabis to remember to store it safely out of the reach of children and youth, and to consult the new evidence-based resources on Heath Canada’s website that can support you in making informed decisions.”

Furthermore, said the Honorable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, “The amended regulations are the next step in our process to reduce the risks to public health and safety from edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals and displace the illegal market for these products in Canada. We are committed to working closely with the provinces and territories as well as the industry in the weeks ahead to prepare for effective implementation of these new regulations.”

Cannabis edibles sold in Canada will be required to contain a maximum of 10 mg per package. This could be in an effort to minimize overconsumption of edible cannabis-containing products. Concerns that edible products could be more appealing to children have slowed similar efforts at making edible cannabis products available in Canada.

The release of the final version of the amended regulations is planned for publication next week in the Canada Gazette.