Cannabis edibles now legal in Canada, but won’t be available

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A year after the legalization of cannabis, edibles have been added to the playing field, prompting people to wonder when they can get their hands on some.

Author of the article:

Jennifer Ackerman  •  Regina Leader-Post

Publishing date:

Oct 17, 2019  •  October 17, 2019  •  3 minute read  •  comment bubbleJoin the conversation Cannabis-infused candies. In Canada, edibles will be limited to containing 10mg of THC.Cannabis-infused candies. In Canada, edibles will be limited to containing 10mg of THC. Photo by Richard Vogel /The Associated Press

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A year after the legalization of cannabis, edibles and topicals have been added to the playing field, prompting people to wonder when they can get their hands on some.

“We’ve had quite a few inquires this morning already,” Falon Rothe, shop manager at Tweed’s Albert Street location, said on Thursday morning.

Edibles were legal as of Thursday but won’t be available for at least 60 days, to allow Health Canada to review and approve products.

When that time comes, Rothe said Tweed will be looking to bring in products like cannabis-infused chocolates and drinks.

“Whatever we can get our hands on we’re hoping to bring in,” she said.

Edibles can range from gummy candies to cannabis-infused beer. In Canada, they will be limited to containing 10mg of THC, and the provincial government is urging caution when consuming them.

“The effects take longer to hit you and they last for longer,” said Minister Responsible for Liquor and Gaming Authority Gene Makowsky. “Start slow and then see the effects and how long it lasts.”

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If you have to work or drive somewhere, make sure to factor that in if you’re consuming edibles, he added.

Makowsky also urged residents to ensure edibles are stored safely away from children and pets once they are brought home.

As Quebec moves to ban sweet cannabis-based edibles because they would be attractive to minors, the province says it has not considered such a ban.

“You want to have a reasonable amount of products available to compete with the black market,” said Makowsky.

In Saskatchewan, the minimum age for buying and consuming all forms of cannabis, including edibles, is 19 years of age, and licensed retailers are required to follow specific health and safety guidelines regarding the products they sell.

Consuming any form of non-medical cannabis in public spaces is prohibited, including schools and daycares. Individuals can only carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent in public.

Falon Rothe, store manager for Tweed, stands inside their Dewdney Avenue and Albert Street location in Regina. Today marks the one year anniversary of weed being legalized. Falon Rothe, store manager for Tweed, stands inside their Dewdney Avenue and Albert Street location in Regina. Today marks the one year anniversary of weed being legalized. Photo by TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

All other laws and regulations around cannabis-impaired driving, minors possessing cannabis, and consuming cannabis in vehicles apply to edibles as well.

As edibles come into play, Makowsky reflected on how the first year of cannabis legalization has gone for the province.

“I think in general the industry has been quite pleased with Saskatchewan,” he said.

Being able to sell directly to retailers from licensed producers offers more flexibility for retailers, rather than having to go through government producers, which can lead to a higher cost.

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“One thing we have heard is on the online sales,” said Makowsky. “The black market has been very present there, and so I know retailers are having a difficult time injecting themselves into that market.”

When asked if the province in considering expanding the number of retail permits in the province, he said they will likely be making an announcement related to that before the end of the year.

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For Rothe, the first year of legalization has proved fruitful for Tweed, which opened up shop in December 2018.

“Every day, every month, every week just keeps getting better and better,” she said. “The selection of cannabis from producers is way better. Prices are dropping. We’re noticing a more steady increase of customers as well.”

Rothe doesn’t anticipate a supply issue with edibles, the way shortages posed a challenge for shops in the early days of legalization.

And despite national statistics showing most people are still getting their cannabis from illegal sources, Rothe said she’s not worried about business.

With several strains in stock that have prices comparable to black market pricing, she said the shop is competitive and offers an experience and a selection the black market doesn’t.

“I’m very confident that we’ll be here for a long time to come,” said Rothe.

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