As the deadline for legalization draws closer, the federal government of Canada announced a public consultation campaign set to last 60 days.
The government of Canada wants more input in the long process towards filling in the details ahead of cannabis regulation across the country.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor took the podium in the halls of parliament on Tuesday (Nov. 21) to announce a new public consultation campaign on the regulatory plan for all aspects of cannabis, including the much anticipated recreational market slated for July 1, 2018.
The federal government has faced criticism on its insistence to maintain its legalization deadline of cannabis despite numerous requests for a delay from the opposition and other government levels.
When asked about the possibility of moving the legalization date the minister said it won’t be changed, adding if provinces or other territories don’t have a functioning distribution model by the deadline, residents in those areas could buy cannabis online while the details are completed.
No limit on licenses given by Health Canada
According to Petitpas Taylor, Health Canada will not limit the number of licenses it gives out to cannabis producers next year, following adult-use legalization.
Alan Brochstein, a cannabis analyst with 420 Investor, told INN in an email licensed producers (LPs) don’t see micro-producers as potential disruptors on their business. In fact “some look forward to working with them to help them distribute”, he said.
Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to both the health and justice ministers–and the person tasked with leading cannabis regulation for the Liberals–said these micro-producers will be able to sell their product through “provincial sellers.”
It was unclear if the micro-producers will face the same type of scrutiny as the LPs do when it comes to their growing methods. However, Petitpas Taylor still encouraged small businesses to apply for licenses through Health Canada and enter the market.
Petitpas Taylor outlined the proposed packaging regulations set to be followed by LPs in Canada. She described the packing must indicate THC levels, CBD levels, a health warning, be sealed and tamper resistant. The minister emphasized the coloring and prints in the packaging can’t entice minors or children to consume cannabis in any way.
The minister cautioned that these are not final regulations but instead the government is seeking more input from Canadians. Brochstein told INN that LPs don’t want plain packaging.
Parties will have 60 days for their voices and concerns to be heard by the government of Canada, after which time the government will publish “a summary of the comments received as well as a detailed outline of any changes to the regulatory proposal.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.