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Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis

By Drug Policy, Government


qualified cannabis worker


Summary of Comments Received During the Public Consultation
Published by Health Canada on March 19, 2018

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis
1.2 Public Consultation
1.3 Purpose of this Document
2 Licences, Permits and Authorizations
2.1 Overview of Proposal
2.2 What We Heard
2.3 Thresholds for Micro-cultivation and Micro-processing
3 Security Clearances
3.1 Overview of Proposal
3.2 What We Heard
4 Cannabis Tracking System
4.1 Overview of Proposal
4.2 What We Heard
5 Cannabis Products
5.1 Overview of Proposal
5.2 What We Heard
6 Packaging and Labelling
6.1 Overview of Proposal
6.2 What We Heard
6.3 Detailed Packaging and Labelling Requirements
7 Cannabis for Medical Purposes
7.1 Overview of Proposal
7.2 What We Heard
8 Health Products and Cosmetics with Cannabis
8.1 Overview of Proposal
8.2 What We Heard
8.3 Existing approval pathways
8.4 Non-Prescription Drugs and Natural Health Products
9 Other Issues

Annex A: Details of Proposed Label Content Requirements for Cannabi
Annex B: Details of Proposed Label Display Requirements for Cannabis
Annex C: Proposed Health Warning Messages

CPAC video – Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and parliamentary secretary Bill Blair speak



Debunking reefer madness with some of the science, evidence and real world experiences.

By Drug Policy, Government, News Media

Cannabis and driving studies
June 22, 2017
American Journal of Public Health (ajph)
Crash Fatality Rates After Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado. Evaluate motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the first 2 states and compare them with motor vehicle crash fatality rates in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.
Automobile crash fatality rates in Washington and Colorado were no different from comparable states without legal recreational cannabis.


The U.S. Department of Transportation report suggests that while cannabis could potentially impair driving skills, its findings in other research suggest drivers under the influence of cannabis are actually more cautious. “Subjects in most of the simulator and instrumented-vehicle studies on marijuana are driving typically drive slower, follow other cars at greater distances and take fewer risks than when sober,” the report said.

2003 and 2007
Canada Safety Council
Drivers under the influence of cannabis are acutely aware of their impairment. They consciously try to drive more cautiously, by slowing down, focusing their attention and avoiding risks.

Cannabis and impaired driving studies
Sept. 2002 – June 2017
or PDF document

Cannabis addiction
Business Insider – We took a scientific look at whether weed or alcohol is worse for you, deaths and addiction
: “More than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes in 2014
There have been zero documented deaths from marijuana use alone.
Marijuana appears to be significantly less addictive than alcohol.”

Philippe Lucas, VP at Tilray, a research scholar with the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC, said cannabis dependency isn’t as severe as some make it out to be. Normally, people are able to give up cannabis on their own, compared to severe drugs,
Lucas, the lead author in a September 2015 study in the “International Journal of Drug Policy”, a peer-reviewed publication found medical cannabis can be a safe and successful substitution for other addictions to alcohol 25% reduction, 32% for opiates, 12% tobacco, and more. The study has been updated and published August 2017, “Rationale for cannabis-based interventions in the opioid overdose crisis” in the Harm Reduction Journal.

Organized crime
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition – Organized crime in the cannabis market:- Evidence and Implications
“2. Unsubstantiated media and police reports portray the cannabis industry as dominated by organized crime.”
“3. Evidence suggests a very low involvement of organized crime in the cannabis industry in Canada; the majority of those in the industry tend to be non-violent and have minimal, if any, involvement with other criminal activities

Click to access CDPC_Submission_Cannabis-and-Organized-Crime_Aug9-2016_Full-Final.pdf

Mental Health
The University of Alberta, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Dr. Elaine Hyshka; Assistant Professor, School of Public Health.
November 2017 Dr. Elaine Hyshka, “There are also people who claim that cannabis is going to basically damage your brain when you use it, especially if you’re young, and that it’s going to contribute to the intellectual downfall of a generation. And that’s also not true,” she said.

A Controlled Family Study of Cannabis Users with and without Psychosis Harvard study published in 2014:
Evidenced that teen cannabis consumption is not lead to the development of schizophrenia later in life. The study compared families with a history of schizophrenia to those without. The study also examined non-psychotic cannabis consumers and non-consuming participant controls.
The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself.

Also see real world experiences:
November 21, 2017
Washington governor John Horgan:
Don’t panic about legalized pot
The governor of is telling British Columbians to ignore most of the fear-mongering about the pending decriminalization of recreational pot in Canada.

April 2, 2017
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper:
“We had a lot of fears that we would see a real spike in teenage use, we would see real issues around edibles, a large increase in overall consumption,” the governor told Vassy Kapelos on this weekend’s edition of The West Block.
“And we haven’t seen any of that … We certainly look at (legalization) differently now than we did back then.”

Dr. Susan C. Boyd, a B.C. researcher’s books “Killer Weed: Marijuana Grow Ops, Media and Justice”. about how law enforcement and media are not telling the facts and “Reefer madness is governmental” Note: Dr. Susan C. Boyd is a member of Liberal government “Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation”

Safe Cannabis Gardens

Consultation on the Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis

By Drug Policy, Government

November 21, 2017
Government of Canada Cannabis Regulation Questionaire open until January 20, 2018 here
or email

The Government of Canada has committed to legalizing, strictly regulating, and restricting access to cannabis.  In April 2017, the government introduced Bill C-45, the proposed Cannabis Act. Subject to the approval of Parliament, the Government of Canada intends to bring the proposed Cannabis Act into force no later than July 2018.

We are now seeking feedback on how to regulate cannabis.
How to participate

After reviewing the Consultation Paper you can provide your feedback in the following ways:
1.Complete the online questionnaire
2.Send a written submission by email to If you wish, you may attach an electronic file in one of the following formats:Microsoft Word
Adobe Acrobat

3.Send a written submission in hard-copy format by mail to:

Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat
Address locator 0602E
Health Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Taxing Marijuana: Plans From Ottawa and the Provinces

By Drug Policy, Government

Taxing Marijuana: Plans From Ottawa and the Provinces


November 21, 2017

The federal government has confirmed its plan for an excise tax on legalized cannabis:
$1 per gram up to $10, with a 10% rate on prices above $10.
That’s in addition to existing sales tax.

Ottawa is proposing a 50/50 revenue split with the provinces, who argue they will bear more responsibility in implementing the legalization of cannabis — from health care to policing — beginning next year when Bill C-45 is expected to take effect.

See more at

Government of Canada to invest in cannabis education and awareness

By Drug Policy, Government

News Release
From Health Canada

New funds to bring total investment in public education, awareness and surveillance to $46M

October 31, 2017 Ottawa, ON Government of Canada

The Government of Canada introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of Canadian youth and the profits from criminals and organized crime. With this in mind, the Government intends to make significant investments in public education to inform Canadians, particularly youth and young adults, about the health and safety risks of cannabis.

Today the Government announced a new investment of $36.4M over the next five years for a cannabis education and awareness campaign. The funding will be used to inform Canadians, including youth and other priority populations such as Indigenous peoples, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and Canadians with a history of mental illness, of the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving.

This new investment is in addition to the initial $9.6M over five years for a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign and surveillance activities announced in Budget 2017.

Public education and awareness efforts will include factual and evidence-based information on the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving. The campaign will build on ongoing social media efforts, advertising and interactive events to engage youth on the facts. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government will expand its public education campaign to include information on the new laws, so Canadians will know what to expect in July 2018.


“We are tackling the issue of cannabis use with long-term investments in our education and awareness efforts. We want to make sure all Canadians, particularly our young adults and youth, understand the health and safety risks of cannabis. These efforts also aim to equip parents and teachers with tools to have meaningful discussions with young Canadians about the risks of cannabis use.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada, and drug-impaired driving has been increasing every year since 2009. Public education and awareness will help Canadians, especially youth and their parents, understand the potentially deadly risks of driving while impaired by cannabis or other drugs.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“In order to make informed choices, Canadians need the real facts about the health and safety risks of cannabis use. Like other substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, there are real potential harms to using them. We need to invest in public education and awareness about the potential consequences for the health and safety of Canadians who choose to use cannabis.”
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Our Government wants Canadians to have clear, factual information so that they understand how using cannabis could affect them. Our investment today is another step in informing Canadians, especially youth and young adults, about the real effects of cannabis.”
Bill Blair
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

“Cannabis use carries health risks, especially for youth. A public health approach will ensure that Canadians have access to the facts, to help them understand the health impacts around cannabis use and to encourage them to make the most informed decisions possible. This evidence-based public education campaign will help to reduce the negative health and social outcomes related to cannabis use.”
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Quick Facts

•Today’s announcement includes $22.5M over the first two years and $13.9M for the subsequent three years to inform Canadians of the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving. These funds will support an ongoing campaign to continue raising awareness about the health and safety risks of cannabis use, particularly for youth and other priority populations such as Indigenous peoples, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and Canadians with a history of mental illness.

•Public Safety Canada will launch a public education and awareness campaign on the dangers of drug-impaired driving in the fall.

•In March 2017, Health Canada began an ongoing digital campaign targeting parents and encouraging them to talk to their children about cannabis. The next phase of the public education campaign focusing on health risks will target youth 13-17 years old, and young adults 18-24 years old, and will start in January 2018. Subject to Parliamentary approval of the proposed Cannabis Act, the campaign would expand to include information about the changing laws and will target the broader Canadian public.

•In partnership with Drug Free Kids Canada, Health Canada supported the creation of the Cannabis Talk Kit to give parents a tool to help them talk to their teens about cannabis. To date, more than 114,000 copies of this valuable resource have been distributed. The Talk Kit is available for download or can be ordered in hard copy online.

•Beginning in 2018, Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) is dedicating $3M annually for cannabis public education and awareness initiatives. This funding would be open to organizations that meet the criteria for SUAP funding.

•The Canadian Institutes of Health Research have issued a Catalyst Grant focusing on the health and social impacts of cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada. This grant of $1M will, in part, support research to understand how specific groups like youth, Indigenous peoples or persons living with mental health issues or problematic substance use, may be affected by cannabis legalization and regulation and how to maximize benefits and minimize harm to those groups through public education and other strategies.

•In addition to today’s announcement, the Government also announced that it will be hosting a Partnership Symposium on Cannabis Public Health Education and Awareness on November 10, 2017, to bring together national stakeholders and partners to identify priority actions and opportunities for partnership in raising awareness and educating the public about the risks of cannabis use.

Associated Links
• Cannabis Talk Kit from Drug Free Kids Canada
• Health Effects of Cannabis
• Driving While Impaired by a Drug
• Infographic: Marijuana – We’d Like You to Know
• Infographic: Status of Cannabis Laws in Canada
• Substance Use and Addictions Program
• CIHR Catalyst Grant


Yves-Alexandre Comeau
Office of the Minister of Health

Scott Barsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Media Relations
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries:

1-866 225-0709

Government of Canada / Health Canada to invest in cannabis education and awareness

Health committee considers BILL C-45 (legalize cannabis)

By Drug Policy, News Media

Created: September 11, 2017
Last update: September 18, 2017

Canadian Cannabis Flag

House of Commons Health Committee
considers BILL C-45
(cannabis, marijuana)

September 11, 2017 to September 15, 2017 recorded testimony on the government’s BILL C-45 (cannabis, marijuana).

Watch the hearings live on

In Committee from the House of Commons Marijuana

Health committee – September 11, 2017 – Part 1
The committee reconvenes a week ahead of Parliament’s return to begin its hearings on C-45, the government’s bill to legalize marijuana. The proposed Cannabis Act would create a legal framework to control the production, distribution, sale and possession of recreational marijuana in Canada. Sales will be restricted to people age

Health committee – September 11, 2017 – Part 2
Former justice minister Anne McLellan, who chaired the federal task force on marijuana legalization, testifies as the committee continues its hearings on Bill C-45

Health committee – September 11, 2017 – Part 3
MPs continue their hearings on the government’s cannabis legislation (C-45), with a panel on provincial responsibilities and perspectives from the cannabis industry. The committee hears from Philippe Lucas (executive director, Canadian Medical Cannabis Council), Keith Jones (chair, government relations) and Robert Rae (director), both with the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance

Health committee – September 11, 2017 – Part 4
Canadian Medical Association president Laurent Marcoux and his colleague Jeff Blackmer (vice-president of medical professionalism) are among the witnesses to testify as the committee continues its review of C-45, the federal government’s marijuana legalization bill. MPs also hear from Trevor Bhupsingh (director general, Law Enforcement and Border Strategies Directorate

Health committee – September 12, 2017 – Part 1
The following witnesses testify on Bill C-45: Thomas Carrique (deputy chief) and Mike Serr (deputy chief constable, drug advisory committee), who are all representing the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police; Rick Barnum (deputy commissioner, investigation and organized crime) from the Ontario Provincial Police; and Mark Chatterbok (deputy chief of operations) with the Saskatoon Police Service

Health committee – September 12, 2017 – Part 2
The committee discusses justice and public safety issues as it continues its hearings on the government’s marijuana legislation (C-45). MPs hear from Neil Boyd (criminology professor, Simon Fraser University); Christian Leuprecht (political science professor, Royal Military College of Canada); Barreau du Québec representatives Paul-Matthieu Grondin (president), Luc Hervé Thibaudeau

Health committee – September 12, 2017 – Part 3
The committee hears about the experiences of other jurisdictions as it continues its review of the government’s marijuana legislation (C-45). The witnesses are Sam Kamin (professor of marijuana law and policy, University of Denver); Michael Hartman (executive director, Colorado Department of Revenue); Marc-Boris St-Maurice (NORML Canada) and Abigail Sampson (NORML Canada)

Health committee – September 12, 2017 – Part 4
MPs continue their review of Bill C-45, the federal government’s proposal to legalize marijuana. Committee members hear from Marco Vasquez (retired Colorado police chief), Andrew Freedman (Colorado’s former director of marijuana coordination) Kevin Sabet (president, Smart Approaches to Marijuana), and Kristi Weeks (government relations director, Washington State Department of Health)

Health committee – September 13, 2017 – Part 1
The committee holds its third day of hearings on C-45, the federal government’s Cannabis Act.
Jonathan Page (chief executive officer, Anandia Labs), John Conroy (criminal defence lawyer) (president NORML Canada) and John Dickie (president, Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations) take part in a panel on the household cultivation of cannabis plants. Under the proposed bill, adults would legally be able to grow up to four plants per household.

Health committee – September 13, 2017 – Part 2
MPs hear from Scott Bernstein (senior policy analyst, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition); Ian Culbert (executive director, Canadian Public Health Association); Dr. Christina Grant (member of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s adolescent health committee); Judith Renaud and Paul Renaud (respectively executive director and communications director, Educators for Sensible Drug Policy); and Peter A. Howlett (president)and Peter Vamos (executive director), both representing the organization Portage, which operates drug rehabilitation programs.

Health committee – September 13, 2017 – Part 3
MPs hear from the following witnesses on Bill C-45: Amy Porath (director of research and policy, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction); Drug Free Kids Canada representatives Marc Paris (executive director) and William J. Barakett (member of advisory council); and Maude Chapados and François Gagnon (scientific advisors, Institut national de santé publique du Québec).

Health committee – September 13, 2017 – Part 4
The following witnesses offer their viewpoints: Dr. Gabor Maté (addiction expert); Centre for Addiction and Mental Health representatives Benedikt Fischer (senior scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research) and Bernard Le Foll (medical head, Addiction Medicine Service, Acute Care Program); Dr. Eileen de Villa (Toronto’s medical officer of health); Dr. Sharon Levy (director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital); as well as Michelle Suarly and Elena Hasheminejad (members of Ontario Public Health Association’s Cannabis Task Group).

Health committee – September 14, 2017 – Part 1
The following witnesses discuss prevention, treatment, and low-risk use: Michael DeVillaer (assistant professor, department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences, McMaster University); Mark Kleiman (professor of public policy, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University; Lynda G. Balneaves, (medical and non-medical cannabis researcher) and Karey Shuhendler (policy advisor, policy, advocacy and strategy), both from with the Canadian Nurses Association; Dr. Serge Melanson (New Brunswick Medical Society); and Dr. Robert Strang (Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health).

Health committee – September 14, 2017 – Part 2
Trina Fraser (lawyer and cannabis law expert) and Norm Keith (lawyer specializing in occupational health and safety) testify. Brenda Baxter, an official with the Department of Employment and Social Development’s workplace directorate, is the other witness.

Health committee – September 14, 2017 – Part 4 (3)
Witnesses discuss labelling and packaging as the committee holds another hearing on the government’s cannabis legislation (C-45). The panellists are David Hammond (professor, University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems), Mike Hammoud (president Atlantic Convenience Stores Association), and Non-Smokers’ Rights Association representatives Melodie Tilson (director of policy) and Pippa Beck (senior policy analyst).

Health committee – September 14, 2017 – Part 5 (4)
The witnesses for this panel are Steven Hoffman (professor, York University’s Faculty of Health), Beau Kilmer (co-director, RAND Drug Policy Research Centre), Kirk Tousaw, (criminal defence lawyer) (NORML Canada) and advocate for repealing cannabis prohibition), and Stephen Rolles (senior policy analyst, Transform Drug Policy Foundation).

Health committee – September 15, 2017 – Part 1
Ryan Vandrey (associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University), Daniel Vigil (manager of marijuana health monitoring and research, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) and Dana Larsen (director, Sensible BC) are the witnesses for this panel.

Health committee – September 15, 2017 – Part 2
The witnesses for this session are BC Compassion Club Society representatives Hilary Black (founder) and Marcel Vandebeek (administrator), Jonathan Zaid (executive director) and Daphnée Elisma (Quebec representative), who are both with the group Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, and the Department of Health’s Jacqueline Bogden (assistant deputy minister, Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Branch).

Health committee – September 15, 2017 – Part 3
Marijuana activists Marc and Jodie Emery take part in the committee’s hearings on Bill C-45, the federal government’s proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.
Lisa Holmes (mayor of Morinville, Alberta and president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association), Brock Carlton (CEO, Federation of Canadian Municipalities) and Bill Karsten (second vice-president, FCM) are the other witnesses for this panel on municipalities.

Live: ‘Naive’ to think criminal element will end with pot legalization, senior Mountie tells MPs

By Drug Policy, News Media

September 11, 2017
CBC News
Health committee hears from senior government officials, RCMP on pot legislation

LIVE Commons health committee hearing on pot legislation

A senior RCMP officer says it would be “naive” to think organized crime in the cannabis market will be eliminated with the legalization of recreational marijuana.