On October 3, 2017, the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) voted for an amendment to Bill C-45 (Cannabis Act) that would allow for the availability of cannabis edibles and concentrates within 12 months of the Cannabis Act coming into force. The amendment will need to be approved by the House of Commons.
Liberal committee member John Oliver indicated that the proposed amendment for cannabis edibles and concentrate was to respond to witness testimony calling for their regulations and provide a reasonable timeline for the public and industry. The committee heard from several witnesses which spoke of the need to provide such products in order to achieve certain stated purposes of the Cannabis Act, including: satisfy consumer demand; ensure the variety of legal products matches those available in the black market; and, to provide consumers with healthier options, as most experts (including Health Canada) agree that ingesting cannabis is better than smoking it.
With regard to the 12 month delay, John Oliver noted that many US jurisdictions have advised the Canadian government to move slowly on edibles. In addition, testimony from various related ministries has asked for more time due to the necessary complexity of regulations designed to manage edible products containing cannabis.
As mentioned above, this amendment to the Cannabis Act is not yet final, and could still be rejected by the House of Commons. HESA also continues to review the proposed Cannabis Act which means there may be further amendments before the legislation comes into force.