Ontario Cannabis Store’s Plea for a New THC Limit in Edibles

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Ontario Cannabis Store’s Plea for a New THC Limit in Edibles

Advocating for Change: Ontario Cannabis Store's Push to Raise Canada's THC Edibles Cap

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The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), Canada’s largest adult-use wholesaler, is adding its voice to the growing chorus calling for an adjustment to the THC limit governing cannabis edibles. In a position paper submitted to Health Canada, the OCS highlights the need to raise the current cap and addresses the environmental impact of the cannabis industry’s packaging practices.

Introduction

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the country’s premier adult-use wholesaler, has joined the ranks of those urging the Canadian government to revise the THC limit for cannabis edibles. The OCS recently sent a position paper to Health Canada, outlining its concerns and suggestions for improving the country’s legal marijuana framework. Alongside the call to adjust the THC edibles cap, the OCS also draws attention to the industry’s environmental footprint and advocates for reducing packaging waste.

The Ontario Cannabis Store’s Position

According to the OCS, the current THC edibles cap of 10 milligrams per package is inadequate to compete with the illicit market. The OCS proposes an increase to the THC limit, suggesting a new threshold of 50 milligrams per package. They argue that such a change would maintain a relatively low THC limit while offering products that can effectively displace illegal alternatives. Additionally, the OCS emphasizes that higher THC limits would enable producers to achieve economies of scale, resulting in reduced costs.

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Other Calls for Change

The OCS is not alone in its call for an adjustment to the THC limit. In May, the federal Competition Bureau released recommendations that included a suggestion for Health Canada to consider increasing the THC limits on cannabis edibles. Similarly, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce proposed raising the THC limit to 100 milligrams per package to make the legal industry more competitive with the illicit market.

Omar Khan, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer for High Tide, a cannabis retailer based in Calgary, Alberta, supports the idea of increasing the THC limit in edibles. He argues that such a step is crucial to public health, given the availability of high-THC illicit-market edibles targeted at youth. Khan cites a study conducted by the OCS and the Ontario Provincial Police, which revealed that illegal edibles often contain less THC than advertised and unauthorized pesticides, posing significant risks to public health.

Risks and Concerns

The current low THC limit for legal edibles presents various risks and concerns. Illicit-market edibles often contain dangerously high levels of THC, some even reaching up to 900 milligrams. Moreover, these products are often packaged in a manner that targets youth and children, exacerbating the potential harm. The OCS and the Ontario Provincial Police’s analysis underscores the health risks associated with illegal edibles, emphasizing the need for a competitive legal market.

Environmental Footprint and Packaging

The OCS position paper also highlights the cannabis industry’s unsustainable environmental footprint, primarily due to packaging practices. Most cannabis products are packaged in single-use plastic containers, which often end up being discarded rather than recycled. To address this issue, the OCS suggests several measures, including improving the recyclability of cannabis packaging, allowing recycling instructions or symbols on packages, and incentivizing the use of renewable materials through financial incentives.

Additional Recommendations

In addition to addressing the THC limit and environmental concerns, the OCS position paper puts forward several other recommendations for consideration. These recommendations include expanding brand-preference promotions for edible cannabis and cannabis topicals, clarifying the permissibility of online product reviews for legal retailers, adjusting product labeling requirements, changing labeling requirements for CBD-dominant products, adjusting the concentration statement for ingestible cannabis extracts, and establishing national standards for third-party testing.

Conclusion

The Ontario Cannabis Store’s position paper urges Health Canada to raise the THC edibles cap and addresses the industry’s environmental impact. By increasing the THC limit, the legal market can better compete with the illicit market while reducing health risks associated with high-THC illegal products. Additionally, the OCS emphasizes the need for more sustainable packaging practices. As the review panel concludes its analysis and prepares to deliver the final report to Canada’s health minister in early 2024, the importance of considering these recommendations cannot be overstated.


FAQs

FAQ 1: What is the current THC limit for cannabis edibles in Canada?

The current THC limit for cannabis edibles in Canada is set at 10 milligrams per package.

FAQ 2: Why is there a need to increase the THC edibles cap?

Increasing the THC edibles cap is necessary to create products that can effectively compete with the illicit market, reducing its influence and associated health risks.

FAQ 3: What are the potential risks of high-THC edibles?

High-THC edibles pose health risks, especially when obtained from the illicit market, as they often contain unregulated levels of THC and may be targeted at youth and children.

FAQ 4: How can the cannabis industry reduce its environmental footprint?

The cannabis industry can reduce its environmental footprint by improving the recyclability of packaging, permitting recycling instructions or symbols, and promoting the use of renewable materials through financial incentives.

FAQ 5: What other recommendations does the Ontario Cannabis Store have?

The Ontario Cannabis Store recommends expanding brand-preference promotions, clarifying online product review permissibility, adjusting product labeling

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