Canada Proposes New Cannabis Regulations


On Tuesday, Nov. 21 the Canadian government released a new set of proposed regulations for the legalization of cannabis nation-wide. The proposed regulations lay out how the government would restrict and regulate the cannabis industry going forward. The areas covered are licensing, security clearances, cannabis tracking, cannabis products, packaging and labelling, medical marijuana and health and cosmetic products that use cannabis.

An interesting and welcome proposal was the inclusion of micro-cultivation licenses which would allow for small scale or craft cannabis producers to enter the market. 

The Cultivation License tiers are as follows: 

  • Standard cultivation, which would authorize the large-scale growing of cannabis plants and harvesting material from those plants, as well as associated activities

  • Micro-cultivation, which would authorize the small-scale growing of cannabis plants and harvesting material from those plants, as well as associated activities

  • Industrial hemp, which would authorize the growing of industrial hemp plants (those containing 0.3% THC or less) and associated activities
  • Nursery, which would authorize the growing of cannabis plants to produce starting material (seed and seedlings) and associated activities

Labelling Requirements

Licensed processors would be required to label the package in which the cannabis product is contained, and do so in both official languages. It is proposed that the regulations would set out the following general labelling requirements:

  • Name and contact information of the processor who packaged the product;
  • Product description;
  • Product lot number;
  • Product weight or volume, depending on the product class;
  • Packaging date (and expiry date, if one has been set);
  • Recommended storage conditions;
  • THC / CBD content (expressed as the percentage of THC / CBD the product could yield, and by unit or dose, if applicable); and
  • Inclusion of the statement: “KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN”.

It is proposed that general labelling requirements would be the same for all cannabis products, regardless of whether the cannabis is sold for medical or non-medical purposes. Further, it is proposed that labels for cannabis oil products would be required, among other things, to list the type of carrier oil used and the name of certain allergens.

Pre-Rolls and Vape Pens

Additionally, there is a possibility of more products being made available to Canadians who currently can only access dried flower and oils through medical prescriptions. "Additional product forms could include, for example, pre-rolled cannabis and vaporization cartridges manufactured with dried cannabis," the proposals say. "Product forms for cannabis oil, such as cannabis oil capsules, oral sprays, and cannabis oil intended for topical application, would continue to be permitted."


Under the proposed Act, the Minister of Health would have the authority to grant or refuse to grant a security clearance, or suspend or cancel a security clearance, with respect to individuals associated with a licence applicant or a licence holder. However, the government wants to hear from Canadians about this too.  

"We have over 500,000 Canadians with minor drug offences on their criminal records," Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health told reporters. "We're just asking the question: should these people with a small amount of personal possession, should they be excluded from the market or should we consider them."  

Have your Say

The government has asked Canadians to weigh in on the proposed regs before Jan 20, 2018. To provide feedback click here

To read the Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis click here.