On July 24, 2019, the Québec Government published the Regulation determining other cannabis categories that may be sold by the Société Québécoise du cannabis and certain standards relating to cannabis composition and characteristics project (the "Draft Regulation"). This Draft Regulation follows Health Canada's announcement of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations that will come into force on October 17, 2019 in order to introduce new categories of cannabis, namely cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals.
The purpose of the Draft Regulation is to permit the sale of these new categories of cannabis by the Société Québécoise du cannabis (the "SQDC").
In short, the Draft Regulation provides that edible cannabis products and cannabis extracts may be sold by the SQDC. Nevertheless, it does not provide for the sale of topicals, which means that Québec simply does not intend to allow the sale of topical cannabis in the province.
In addition, it prohibits the SQDC from selling edible cannabis products that are sweets, confectionery, dessert, chocolate or any other "product appealing to minors". In this manner, the Draft Regulation is much more restrictive than the recent amendments to the federal Cannabis Regulations.
Moreover, the Draft Regulation provides some important insights, since for the first time it defines what is meant by a "product appealing for minors", namely, a cannabis product that is either directly marketed to minors, or in respect of which there are reasonable grounds to believe that its shape, appearance or other sensory properties could be appealing to minors.
The Draft Regulation also sets standards for the composition of the new cannabis categories as well as restrictions on its characteristics.
First, the Draft Regulation provides that no component, including a cannabinoid, can be added to cannabis in order to strengthen its intoxicating psychological effects. It also provides that except for edible cannabis products, the THC concentration in cannabis may not exceed 30% by weight (w/w).
The Draft Regulation also provides that the distinguishable unit portion of an edible cannabis product may not contain more than 5 milligrams of THC. It also provides that the quantity of THC per package may not exceed 10 milligrams, regardless of the number of distinguishable unit portions included in the same package. On this point, the Draft Regulation, is consistent with the amendments to be made to the federal Cannabis Regulations, since it provides a limit of 10 milligrams of THC per package. Nevertheless, the Draft Regulation specifies that any liquid form of edible cannabis product may not contain more than 5 milligrams of THC per container.
Finally, the Draft Regulation provides that a cannabis extract must not contain any additives or other substances intended to modify odour, taste or colour.
Any stakeholder who wishes to offer comments on the Draft Regulation may do so within 45 days following publication thereof.