The Federal Cannabis Act came into force on June 21, 2018 and came into force on October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Act permits the sale, possession and use of recreational cannabis, but only when sold by a Province, or, in some cases, when grown by the user. The federal regulations made under the Act (the Cannabis Regulations) came into force on the same day as the Act. Each province has made laws and regulations to implement the provincial areas of this substantial change.  There are considerable variations in availability from province to province.

Of note to our clients is that specific changes have been made to some categories of regulated product to include or (mostly) exclude cannabis and its derivatives.  For example, On June 27, Health Canada announced that they would add phytocannabinoids to the “Prescription Drug List” effective October 17, 2018, and also add them to Schedule 2 (“Excluded Natural Health Product Substances”) of the Natural Health Product Regulations effective the same day. They have also stated that further evidence will need to be submitted to Health Canada to change the prescription status of phytocannabinoids, until which time they will remain on the Prescription Drug List.

As long as phytocannabinoids remain on the Prescription Drug List, products containing them cannot be a Natural Health Product in Canada. (No prescription drug can be a Natural Health Product).  These changes made by Health Canada (to the Prescription Drug List and to Schedule 2 of the Natural Health Product Regulations) do exempt certain cannabis containing products where the THC level is less than 10 ppm.

Edibles containing phytocannbinoids are also prohibited although the Cannabis Act commits the government to permitting their introduction by October 17, 2019.

For more information on how this affects your business, contact Gordon Jepson at or Jennifer Davidson at

Summary By: Gordon Jepson


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