Health Canada: No ‘advance notice’ for new infused marijuana products allowed

Canada marijuana edibles, Health Canada: No ‘advance notice’ for new infused marijuana products allowed

Companies hoping to bypass or shorten the “60-day rule” requirement to notify Canadian regulators of new cannabis products will be out of luck, according to the country’s regulatory body.

That’s going to give businesses more time to build up inventory and establish sales infrastructure – heading off some of the bottlenecks and distribution problems Canada saw in the months after legalization last October.

That sets up sales to start near the end of 2019, but experts say the 60 calendar day period should be viewed as one part of the process – a minimum – meaning sales of some products could begin much later.

Section 244 of Canada’s Cannabis Regulations requires licensed processors to provide notice of new marijuana products 60 days before making that new product available for sale.

“It will not be possible for licensed processors to provide notice of products in the proposed new classes of cannabis – i.e., edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – until the date that those classes have been added to Schedule 4 of the Cannabis Act,” Tammy Jarbeau, senior media relations adviser for Health Canada, told Marijuana Business Daily.

The written notice must contain “the class of cannabis set out in Schedule 4 to the Cannabis Act to which the cannabis product belongs,” as well as a description of the product and “the date on which the cannabis product is expected to be made available for sale.”

New classes of cannabis – edibles, extracts and topicals – are required by law to be added to Schedule 4 no later than Oct. 17, 2019.

Some companies wanted to start the 60-day clock after the regulations were finalized – expected in the coming months – but before they came into force to allow for more of an on-ramp for those products.

Analysts expect extracts to make up half of Canada’s market for cannabis.

Vape pens are expected to lead with 20% of the sector, followed up by edibles (15%), beverages (10%) and other (5%).

Matt Lamers can be reached at