Health & Functionality

Québec wants to ban the sale of cannabis candies and cookies

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

Cannabis candy often looks identical to regular candy, and cases of accidental consumption abound as states and nations relax marijuana laws. Pic: Getty Images/AHPhotoswpg
Cannabis candy often looks identical to regular candy, and cases of accidental consumption abound as states and nations relax marijuana laws. Pic: Getty Images/AHPhotoswpg

Related tags Cannabis cannabidiol Cbd edibles Canada marijuana legislation ban Functional food cannabinoids

The health department of the second-largest Canadian province sees the move as essential to mitigating risks of accidental ingestion – especially for children.

The Québécois government said it will not restrict the sale of other edible cannabis products, whether solid or liquid, but it aims to prohibit the sale of ‘sweets, confectionery, desserts – including chocolate – and any other product that is attractive to minors.’

Serving Size

Eric Eslao, the creator of Défoncé, a cannabis chocolate company in California, told ConfectioneryNews earlier this year that 5mg per serving was ideal. He compared it to drinking a glass of wine​.

The state – which also legalized recreational marijuana in 2018 – allows up to 10mg per serving.

It also hopes to limit the amount of cannabis per unit in permissible edibles to 5mg of THC, and 10mg total per package for solid goods. Beverages could contain only 5mg of THC per package and cannot use ‘any other substance intended to modify the smell, flavor or color of the cannabis extract.’

Under Québec’s proposed rules​, non-edible cannabis products must fall under a THC concentration of 30%.

Defining 'attractive' products

The federal Canadian government recently introduced three new categories of cannabis products – edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and topical cannabis – but Québécois leaders said these measures fall short of meeting the province’s public health and safety missions.

Legalization in Canada

Last October, Canada became the first major economy worldwide to legalize marijuana. The law allows provinces and territories to regulate the drug​ as they see fit, including the number and location of stores as well as how it is sold.

Most provinces opted for a minimum age of 19 years old, but Québec and Alberta allow 18-year-olds to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis (or the equivalent).

In addition to the proposed restrictions on edibles and beverages made with cannabis, Québec also wants to adjust its local law to regulate the potential psychological effects of any cannabis-derived component, such as CBD.

"With this proposed regulation, our government is proposing to put in place additional measures to better protect the public from the dangers of cannabis-based food products,” ​said Lionel Carmant, minister delegate for health and social services in Québec.

“To reduce the risk of involuntary intoxication in children, we propose to prohibit the sale of attractive products for them such as chocolate or jujubes.”

The ‘responsible executive’ decision will also “reduce the initiation and consumption of cannabis products in general…[and] limit the attractiveness of this substance in young people,”​ he added.

Kids see candy, not cannabis

As US states and other nations legalize the popular drug – Luxembourg just announced it will follow suit over the next two years – children have indeed accidentally ingested infused candies. Canadian doctors have noticed a spike in ‘cannabis poisoning’ cases, even before October’s legalization.

The legislation could face legal tests: Québéc already tried to ban consumers with medical licenses from growing their own plants at home, but the Supreme Court struck down the law. (Canada’s federal law allows citizens with a medical marijuana license to grow up to two plants.)

Citizens could argue that they prefer edibles to smoking or vaping, especially because of the potentially harmful effects of inhalation. Edibles also allow for easy dosage control.

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