Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for the Government of Canada. That’s why the Government of Canada introduced the Cannabis Act—a new legal framework that puts in place a comprehensive public health approach to cannabis. On June 21, 2018, the Cannabis Act received Royal Assent, an important step toward legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis in Canada.
Today, Health Canada announced the regulations supporting the Cannabis Act. The Cannabis Regulations and the new Industrial Hemp Regulations are based on best practices from the previous regulations for producers of cannabis for medical purposes and industrial hemp as well as extensive consultations held over the past several years.
In 2016, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation undertook broad consultations with communities and stakeholders across Canada. The Task Force heard from Canadians, who participated in an online public consultation that generated nearly 30,000 submissions from individuals and organizations.
Then, in the fall of 2017, the Government undertook consultations on its proposed approach to regulating cannabis, including licensing, products, packaging and labelling. More than 3,200 Canadians and 450 stakeholders, including existing licensed producers and prospective producers, provinces and territories, and Indigenous organizations, provided input.
The Cannabis Regulations will help protect the health and safety of Canadians—particularly youth—and enable a diverse, competitive and legal industry that is capable of displacing the illegal market. They outline the rules for the legal production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis. They also set standards for cannabis products that will be available for legal sale once the law comes into force.
The regulations include strict specifications for the plain packaging and labelling and analytical testing of all cannabis products as well as stringent physical and personnel security requirements for all federally licensed production sites. They outline details on the licences for cultivation and processing of cannabis, including micro-size licences, industrial hemp, research and analytical testing. The regulations also maintain a distinct system for access to cannabis for medical purposes.
During the transition between Royal Assent and the coming into force of the Cannabis Act on October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada will continue to work with the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and regulated parties to promote understanding of, and compliance with, the regulations and help ensure an orderly transition to the new legal framework.
The regulations announced today will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 11, 2018, and are available upon request from Health Canada.
“We’ve taken a public health approach to the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis to ensure that proper precautions are in place to protect Canadians, especially youth. The Cannabis Act and its regulations provide strict national standards and oversight for the production, distribution and sale of legal, quality-controlled cannabis, which will help protect public health and safety.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
- Until the Cannabis Act and its regulationscome into force on October 17, 2018, cannabis remains illegal across Canada unless authorized for medical purposes.
- The Cannabis Regulations are based on feedback from Canadians and stakeholders received during Health Canada’s consultation on the proposed regulatory approach to cannabis.
- Before they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, a copy of the regulations can be requested by email, phone or mail:
- Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch
Address locator 0602E, Health Canada