The Bis Weekly News Update December 22 to 27

Happy holi-daze Canada! While the country may be in the middle of a long winter’s nap (aka vacation) the cannabis news hasn’t stopped breaking this week. 

The ‘Bis is here though, with our weekly round-up, making sure you stay up to date on the latest happenings in cannabis. The government has not only published its drafted regulations for cannabis-infused edibles, it has also begun public consultation on the subject, one LP may have been selling an unregulated product, and more. 

From the Bis family to you and yours, here’s the latest in cannabis news. 

Canada releases the first regulations for cannabis edibles

On Saturday, the Health Canada published an early draft of the regulations around cannabis edibles in the Canada Gazette as well as an easy to read table to their website.

Their draft showed what the rules surrounding products ranging from cannabis-infused foods and drinks to THC extracts and topical solutions would be including proposed regulations on THC limits, product rules, packaging, labels and more.

Cannabis-containing foods, drink and ingested extracts will only be allowed to contain 10 mg of THC per package, while inhaled and topical extracts will be allowed to have 1000 mg per package.

All packaging must be plain and child-proof, and all products are barred from containing nicotine and alcohol.

Drinks and foods may not contain added vitamins or minerals, while THC extracts, often used in vaporizers cannot contain sugars, colours or sweeteners.

All labelling will carry the standardized cannabis symbol for products containing THC, a health warning, the THC and CBD content, an ingredient and allergens list, as well as a nutrition facts table.

Health Canada is quick to point out that this is not a complete list of proposed regulatory rules for each class of cannabis. It is also not a complete list of product examples.

The rules are not set in stone however as…

The government wants to know what you think of cannabis edibles

A little over two months after the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, the federal government announced it is now seeking feedback on draft regulations around cannabis edibles and other similar products to minimize what it calls “the public health and public safety risks” posed by such products.

The government said it is seeking ideas and input from the public on the draft regulations, specifically around three themes including product rules, packaging and labelling, and quality control requirements.

The consultation opened late last week and runs until February 20, 2019.

Those looking to participate should consult the official website set up for the process

Canadians spent $43 million on weed during the first two weeks of legalization

In its monthly release of retail trade figures on Friday, December 21, Stats Can outline how various sectors of the Canadian retail market performed in previous months.

According to the report, the category of ‘miscellaneous store retailers’ reported 4.5% higher sales in October, due in “large part to the introduction of a new miscellaneous retail store type, cannabis stores.”

Remove cannabis from the equation and receipts at miscellaneous store retailers increased by only 1.1%.

Sales at cannabis stores totalled $43 million during the two week period following legalization. An impressive figure, but one that hardly scratches the surface compared to the $22.1 billion worth of alcoholic beverages sold in Canada during the 2016 fiscal year, which when averaged out, comes to roughly $850 million for a two-week period.

Next month’s figures will bring the first full month of sales figures for cannabis, giving the government a firm idea of how much money Canadians are spending on legal weed.

Health Canada seized product from licensed producer alleged selling unregulated weed

On Friday, news broke that Bonify, a medical cannabis supplier, was the subject of an investigation by Health Canada after a whistleblower reported a large amount of cannabis being bought from an illegal seller.

According to a Health Canada statement on November 23, they received an email complaint alleging wrongdoing by Bonify. The complaint was assessed and referred to Health Canada’s regional cannabis inspectors.

A week later, on November 30, Bonify notified Health Canada that it would be initiating a recall of two lots of cannabis products sold to the public for which they were unable to verify if the required laboratory testing had occurred.

A recall notice on December 7 shows that this is likely in reference to the 3.5 gram packaged Worlock Kush and Cherry Lime Pie dried cannabis flower. The recalls affected customers who purchased weed from three different stores located in Regina, Moosejaw and Saskatoon between November 20 and 30, 2018.

After cancelling a scheduled inspection, Health Canada conducted an “unannounced and far more extensive inspection of the company’s premises,” over the span of four days, December 11 to 14.

Health Canada inspectors identified concerns over the purchase records of eight lots of cannabis products, including the two that were already recalled.

The suspect cannabis was seized and Health Canada says Bonify’s Board of Directors has “removed company executives and brought in a third-party management consultant to review how unapproved cannabis products were released for sale.”

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