Edibles Unlikely to Launch in Canadian Market Until 2020

Photo by Jesse Milns for Leafly

Yet another warning to those eager for new cannabis products to become legal: it could take a while.

This time it’s Tom “Canna Tom” Ulanowski, president of NextLeaf Labs, who’s warning consumers and investors alike that edibles, beverages, and other infused ingestibles won’t magically appear on Oct. 17, 2019.

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Various parties have been warning since this winter that while the government has established the one-year anniversary of legalization as the latest possible day to pass legislation permitting ingestibles, extracts, and topicals, that doesn’t mean those products will become available instantly.

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LPs must wait an absolute minimum of 60 days after legalization before bringing new products to market, but Ulanowski cautions that “we probably won’t see many—if any—of these new products hit the shelves until after January 2020.”

The reason is, these product categories are new to Health Canada, and, particularly for infused products, the agency will most likely proceed with utmost caution in reviewing products that demand the rigour of food-safety testing with the unknown factor of introducing a new legal delivery method for an intoxicating product. Following that, producers and distributors will have to figure out supply-chain issues particular to their needs.

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In short, new products are coming, but while they will be legalized this fall, the public likely won’t see edibles for sale until well into next year.