Weed Edibles Are Finally Legal in Canada, But They’re Still Not for Sale
The Great White North is cautiously rolling out marijuana-infused edibles and other cannabis products, which should be available just in time for the holidaze.
Published on October 17, 2019

Talk about a tease: Weed edibles are now legal in Canada. But you’ll need to wait a couple more months before you can buy them.

One year ago, Canada became the second nation to federally legalize recreational, or adult-use, marijuana. It’s also the first country to legalize weed for all adults aged 21 and over, regardless of citizenship or national origin. (Uruguay is technically the first nation to go legal, but only Uruguayan citizens can legally access the herb.)

Yet, despite Canada’s revolutionary move, weed edibles, drinkables, vape pens, and extracts have not been available through the legal market. In June, Health Canada — the nation’s regulatory agency that oversees legal weed sales, distribution, and production — announced it would begin sales for these products on December 16th, just in time for the holidaze season. 

“...all that means is licensed producers can submit the products they want to bring to market to Health Canada for approval,” wrote Manisha Krishnan at VICE. “There’s a 60-day wait before any of the products can be sold in stores.”

Gallery — Happy Edibles Day, Canada!

Why the wait? Infused weed products don’t just grow on, ahem, trees. They require time to manufacture, as the plants must first be grown, harvested, and cured, then processed for extraction, clean-up, and ultimately infused into foods and vape pens. And before these products can officially hit the market, they need to be rigorously lab tested for quality and safety first.

Canada has followed in Colorado and California’s footsteps for standardizing weed edibles. In Canada, a single edible serving cannot contain more than 10mg THC each, and each edibles package is capped at 1,000mg THC total. The 10mg THC dose was first determined by a task force in Colorado back in 2013, which assessed previous scientific studies on minimum effective dosing for weed products. According to Andrew Livingston, who works at the pot law firm Vicente-Sederberg and was member of that task force, 5mg THC was too low for many adults, and 20mg THC, though widely effective, was too much for some lightweights. So, Colorado regulators settled on 10mg THC, which has become the standard in other weed-legal jurisdictions. 

Furthermore, Canada’s legal weed edibles cannot contain nicotine, nor can they contain alcohol. But there aren’t any laws preventing adults from chasing down a Blue Dream chocolate with some Svedka Blue Raspberry vodka, ya dig?

As Canadians get ready for the most lit Christmas in the Great White North’s history, weed vape pens and extracted oils may not be available by December 16th. Health Canada is keeping a close watch on the vape-illness (VAPI) epidemic in the US, which authorities believe is being caused by deadly contaminants in some vaping devices. VAPI has hospitalized over 1,300 people and killed at least 27. 

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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