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Current Cannabis Act and Regulations Updates as of January 2021

Health Canada now wants prospective cannabis licence holders to build their facilities first before going and applying for their particular licence. In the past, all you had to do was submit a series of paperwork to the government regulator and they would determine whether or not it would be appropriate for them to give you a licence. This change is largely because over the past three years 70% of the awarded licences remain dormant and those applicants did not produce facilities. This change also aims to help alleviate the shortage of legal cannabis.

Changes to Site Approval Requirements

Cannabis licence holders are no longer required to submit an amendment for review and approval by Health Canada for adding a new operations area within an approved building that already appears on your licence and also for changing an operations area within an approved building that already appears on your licence. The only exception to this is if these changes result in a change to your organizational security plan.

Notice of New Cannabis Products

A processing licence holder must provide the minister with a written notice at least 60 days before making a new cannabis product that has not been sold in the past available for sale. In order to make this process faster, licence holders can now submit just one notice of new cannabis product (for dried and fresh cannabis only) to Health Canada to obtain information about the various immediate container sizes that will become available for sale. The notice of new cannabis product should include all the container sizes the producer intends to sell for the product. Also, when one licence holder sells a product-for which a notice of new cannabis product was already submitted, to another licence holder, the notice of new cannabis product that has already been submitted is considered sufficient notice for the purpose of complying with subsection 244(1) (60-day notice of new cannabis product) of the Cannabis Regulations.

October 16th, 2020 Regulation Updates

After October 16, 2020, as per the Regulations, holders of a federal licence for cultivation or a licence for processing will no longer be permitted to sell dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis plants or cannabis plant seeds that are cannabis products – or that are contained in a cannabis accessory that is a cannabis product:

1.With an outer container that contains more than one immediate container.
2.That are labelled with health warning messages set out in the document “Cannabis Health Warning Messages” as it read immediately prior to October 17, 2019.
3.Unless they are labelled with a dried cannabis equivalency statement in accordance with the Cannabis Regulations.
4.Unless the concentrations of THC and CBD are reported milligrams/gram rather than as a w/w percentage.
5.If they display a brand element that is an image which is larger than what is permitted by subparagraph 130(9)(d)(ii) of the Cannabis Regulations.

New Classes of Cannabis

One of the most notable recent updates to the Cannabis Regulations was on October 17th, 2019, when the legal sale of cannabis products belonging to the edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topical classes became authorized under the Cannabis Act. At the same time, the Regulations amending the Cannabis Regulations (New Classes of Cannabis) came into force to address the public health and public safety risks of these new classes of cannabis. The amendments to the Cannabis Regulations included new packaging and labelling requirements, and microbial and chemical contaminants limits, which took effect immediately for products belonging to these new classes. As of October 17, 2020, cannabis oil is no longer a separate product class under Schedule 4 of the Cannabis Act. Oil products have been reclassified either as cannabis extracts, edibles, or topical products, depending on the intended use. Oil has therefore been removed from Schedule 4.

At NACPT Pharma College, we have worked hard with both the Canadian government and cannabis industry experts to fill the need of educating those who wish to have a successful career as cannabis Quality Assurance Person (QAP).

For those interested in learning more about Cannabis Act and Regulations we invite you to attend the webinars

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