Alberta bans cannabis vape sales amid smoking law review

One of Four20's cannabis retail locations in Alberta.

Cannabis vapes will not be among the mix of new edible, extract and topical products available in Alberta’s retail stores in the coming weeks, the provincial regulator said.

In early December, Marijuana Business Daily reported that the province was weighing legal changes involving vaping devices – including those containing cannabis – as part of a review of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act.

Results of the review, which is scheduled to wind up by the end of this year, could lead to legislative or regulatory changes in early 2020.

Now the province has decided not to allow any sales of cannabis vaping products while the review is being carried out.

“Vape products will not be available in the initial launch of (edibles, extracts and topicals),” Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) said in a notice this week, citing recent reports about the health effects of vaping.

“AGLC and government are considering various aspects related to cannabis vape products to determine whether or not they will be available for consumer purchase in Alberta.”

The notice provided clarity for the 381 cannabis providers preparing to sell edible, extract and topical cannabis products.

The AGLC said the new products, minus vapes, will be available to order from the wholesaler in January.

“We’re monitoring closely in conjunction with other provinces and the national public health agency. This evidence-based information may inform changes to legislation and regulations around cannabis vaping,” the province told MJBizDaily in early December.

The review of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act is being led by the Health ministry.

Any potential legal changes regarding cannabis vaping would be a joint function of the Health and Finance ministries.

Alberta is not alone in temporarily halting sales of cannabis vaping products.

Regulators in Quebec and Newfoundland took similar steps in recent weeks.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].

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