Canadian experts criticize the new rules regarding the regulation of the hemp food market
Early last week, Canadian activists came out against the government’s proposed rules to regulate the production and distribution of food with cannabis extracts, arguing that organizing the market for this option would only limit the range and coverage of the market, while forcing all types of cannabinoid-containing foods distributed in special, impersonal “safe” packages. Recall that at the end of last year, the authorities adopted a law on the full legalization of recreational cannabis, however, the adopted legislation contained provisions only on regulating the production and distribution of inflorescences and smoking extracts of plant oils. Now, the government has begun to develop amendments that legalize the production and sale of hemp extracts for external use.
The first sketches of the proposed amendments on the legalization of hemp food were presented to the public in late December, shortly after the start of legalization. In general, officials hope to provide the public with a ready-made version of the draft amendments by October 17, the anniversary of the onset of national legalization.
In particular, most activists and consumers are dissatisfied with the fact that the proposed practices contain a strict ban on the production and advertising of food with sweet and dessert flavors, as well as strict rules regarding the safe packaging of products that are supposed to protect children from possible hazards posed by marijuana. Although at the beginning of the week, in response to a public reaction, the Canadian Health Ministry reported that the use of cannabis and sugar would be allowed in the production of hemp food, officials still can’t try to prohibit commercial companies to produce sweets that can attract to their appearance attention minors.
Naturally, many activists like Jessica Villano, who also owns the Buddha Barn hemp shop in Vancouver, believe that in this way, the authorities will try to completely limit any form of production of sweets and desserts containing cannabinoid extracts. “So far, it seems that the government wants to reduce the entire hemp food market to selling fresh biscuits packed in three layers of white plastic,” she said in an interview . “It’s as if our officials think that only children can use sugar and desserts, judging by the precautions taken, they just have to begin to besiege cannabis shops when chocolate bars with THC extract are sold in them.”
The environmental costs of the proposed amendment:
In addition, hemp activists and consumers are also extremely dissatisfied with the fact that according to the proposed amendments, each product containing THC must have a cannabinoid concentration not exceeding a dosage of 10 milligrams, while being packed in an individual “safe” plastic package without brand marking. Since many consumers of medical cannabis usually use THC in concentrations of 500-1,000 milligrams daily, many of them fear that in order to get a standard dosage of the drug, they will have to pay several times the inflated price for a lot of plastic bags.
“In addition to the previously standardly available product in normal concentrations, it will now be divided into a bunch of small portions, each of which must be packaged in its own package, the authorities could not answer what they intend to do with the already used packages, which will be represent dozens of tons of non-degradable and potentially toxic debris, ”says Ms Villano.
At the moment, some companies, like Zenabis Global Inc., headed by Andrew Grieve, have announced their individual plans to solve this problem, in particular, offering to use “multi-packs” on the market, breaking up into separate, individually packaged portions of hemp food.
“We and other companies wishing to enter the hemp food market have long been concerned with the issue of product packaging. In particular, we hope to minimize the waste of plastic on the packaging of hemp, while making the packages themselves convenient for the end users and safe for minors,”
– Mr. Grieve told reporters
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health, Tammi Jarbo, told the public that the rules on cannabis packaging, in the first place, are designed to protect the youngest children from the risk of accidentally using products containing cannabis extracts. “Actually, for this reason, the ministry does not oppose the production of certain specific types of hemp food, as well as the use of innovative packaging techniques in the industry,” she said. “Our task is only to comply with the norms and standards of safety, prescribed in the provisions of the original law on the legalization of recreational marijuana.”
Other critics of the amendments, such as the entrepreneur, Yannick Cranewell, whose Treatsandtreats store, sells products to medical consumers, whose minimum allowable THC content is 220 milligrams, suggest that such strict restrictions may have a detrimental effect on legal hemp food producers, while stimulating the work of underground culinary specialists.
“Some people are already actively making money from selling“ gray ”hemp food to medical and recreational consumers,” he notes. “The fact is that a profitable niche in the market will never be empty for a long time. If there is a demand for a certain type of product, in this case, for food with hemp extracts, then always, despite any restrictions, there will be several people who will try to capitalize on such needs. Most likely, people would prefer to pay for a quality, but underground product with the necessary concentration of cannabinoids, rather than for a legal biscuit containing a large mass of plastic packaging, rather than a THC. ”
In turn, some influential representatives of the market expressed their approval of the proposal of the authorities, in particular, praising the government’s initiative in terms of adopting reforms. Among such persons, Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp, one of the largest producers of legal cannabis in Canada, can be considered. “In the context of how the authorities of other countries of the world, including the United States, approach the issue of carrying out hemp reforms, the authorities of Canada are certainly world leaders,” he asserts. “At the moment, the administration of Justin Trudeau was not only able to conduct national legalization of cannabis in record time, but also continues to maintain the pace of reforms, actively working on the expansion and editing of legislation related to the plant.
Although critics of the proposed reform, quite loudly voiced the main reasons for their dissatisfaction with the amendments, many of them, including Vilano, believe that the authorities will safely ignore recommendations from the industry and the public.
“It seems to me that, as before, in the process of drawing up the legalization bill itself, we were listened to but not heard,” she believes. “Maybe the most obvious recommendations will be taken into account and included in the final version of the project, but otherwise, without a doubt, the authorities will do everything again in their own way, spitting on the preferences of the producers and consumers of cannabis.”