Is it time for Canada to finally allow CBD sales in mainstream retail? - ROPFO

  • Is it time for Canada to finally allow CBD sales in mainstream retail?

    October 27, 2022 By Lindsey Bellew 0 comments

    In many countries around the world, the use of recreational marijuana is strictly illegal. There are, however, several countries where its use is legal, including Canada and the Netherlands.

    In contrast, many other countries choose to legalize only the medicinal extracts of marijuana and criminalize the high-THC products. For example, companies can sell low THC-CBD like delta 9 hemp derived gummies products in the US state of Alabama. However, it is illegal to deal with recreational marijuana.

    Interestingly, it is illegal to sell CBD products (to some extent) in Canada, but dealing in recreational cannabis is legal. Canadian law strictly controls the importation and distribution of CBD products within its boundaries. There is a good chance that the CBD oils you buy at your local store have come from illegal channels.

    Things might be subject to change in the coming months as Health Canada is in the process of reviewing the existing laws. This includes selling CBD products that would not need the oversight of a practitioner.

    However, the three-year-long review does not mean it will be legal anytime soon. The committee still wants assurance on three main issues:

    1. Efficacy
    2. Quality standards
    3. And appropriate standards

    It might take a while before it is okay for Canadians to sell and buy CBD products freely.

    Why it has taken so long?

    Why can’t hemp lovers buy CBD products over the counter? Well, that is down to several factors:

    • Legislators and regulators still want more credible information about the over-the-counter sale of CBD products. This has restricted the market from going national since only 3000 retailers legally sell CBD products in the country. Therefore, acquiring CBD oil or cream in a local convenience store is impossible and illegal.
    • Unlike in the USA, Marijuana laws in all 13 provinces and territories of Canada do not contradict the national laws.
    • Only a few hemp cultivars produce commercially viable CBD products. There are 74 hemp cultivars approved, but many do not grow the crop for its fiber or grain because it is too expensive. It costs a lot to extract the product compared to the profit margin.
    • CBD import restrictions by Canadian law have limited traders’ access to cheap supplies from their neighbors. The government only allows CBD imports for research and limited medicinal use.
    • Due to many limitations, many traders focus their efforts on selling high THC products to the ready market. It is still a long shot to market low THC products in the Canadian market.

    It might take a long time before Canada legalizes the sale and use of low-THC CBD products. The regulators might take their time to learn from the mistakes of US regulations.

    In the USA, dealers are taking advantage of loopholes and confusing laws to sell high THC products with the full awareness that it is illegal.

    The Canadian authorities will probably take their time to ensure that they approve a CBD industry that is safer and more efficient than the US industry.

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