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Canada's possession limit for legal cannabis drinks jumps 860%

The previous limit of five cans was based on volume and weight, not potency.
legalcannabisdrinks
Cans of legal cannabis drinks continue to come with Health Canada stickers and child-resistant packaging.

Canada today confirmed changes to cannabis regulations that included increasing the number of 355-millilitre cans of cannabis-laced drinks that consumers can buy: to 48, from five.

The change officially took effect Dec. 2, Health Canada said Dec. 9.

Other government changes include:

  • making the process of conducting research easier by changing how Health Canada regulates non-therapeutic cannabis research with human participants;
     
  • increasing access to cannabis-testing materials by allowing analytical-testing licence holders and federal and provincial government laboratories to produce, distribute and sell reference standards and test kits; and
     
  • making it easier to become what Health Canada calls a "head of laboratory" — a position that companies need to fill in order to obtain an analytical-testing licence — by broadening the educational qualifications for that job category.

The biggest change consumers are likely to see is that they will now be able to buy six-packs, 24-packs or even 48-packs of cannabis beverage cans, much like Canadians are able to make those purchases of alcoholic drinks, such as beer.

Health Canada's former formula for determining the limit for how many cans of cannabis drinks consumers could buy included the product's volume, or weight. Including volume or weight as a consideration distorted the calculation and meant that consumers could buy far less of the active ingredient THC than they would have if they had instead purchased edibles, oils or cannabis flower. 

Cannabis drink companies will now be able to package their product in a way that will sell more cans. 

Industry observer and consultant Deepak Anand told BIV in late 2020 that he did not see the cannabis-drinks industry thriving until Health Canada increased the purchase limits

gkorstrom@biv.com

twitter.com/GlenKorstrom

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