When Cannabis was first legalized in Canada, it came with the promise of tight over-regulation that was supposed to be loosened up with time. There are still a few items that Canadians are patiently waiting to see changes in the regulatory landscape.
1st: What's with all the plastic and opaque containers in Ontario cannabis stores?
Health Canada and the Government made it clear to producers that Cannabis should not be able to be seen in its packaging.
As per Regulations 108(a), Cannabis must be in opaque or translucent packaging.
This was done to ensure that Health Canada is protecting citizens from the dangerous monster "seeing for your own eyes" before buying. While it is perfectly legal to consume Cannabis anywhere you can have a cigarette, the sheer vision of the product has been deemed too dangerous by regulators.
Consumers have had enough. It is in the consumer's best interest to be able to see the product they are buying before purchase.
2nd: Edibles limit of 10mg/package
In case you weren't aware, legal edibles are limited to 10mgs/THC per package. While 10mg is, by all means, a fantastic and well-researched starting point for those looking to get their feet wet with smoking alternatives, it doesn't address the market need.
The 10mg per packaging was set as a precaution to avoid over-dosing. However, many regular users report needing much more than that limit to get their desired effects. For producers, it means the cost of producing sufficient edibles for their target user is inflated by having to make multiple packages, which is a cost eventually passed to the consumers.
Cannabis users want to see the loosening of these regulations, especially legacy users accustomed to Shatter Bars and Mary's Edibles. It is time to shake the reefer madness-backed 10mg packaging limit.
3rd: Mandatory Expiry Dates
The dried flower has an expiry date. Even CBD oil has an expiry date. As time goes on and dependent on several factors, including moisture, packaging, and curing method; Cannabis can become drier, washed of its terpenes, and less potent for the consumer. From a health and safety perspective, the product someone may get may be inaccurate if the packaged date was more than a year from use.
There are precautions and additional ways of lengthening the shelf life of packaged Cannabis. You can utilize Boveda or Integra Boost packs to help maintain humidity.
From Boveda's Website: Without a terpene shield in bins, bags and packaging, cannabis flower loses 40% of its terpenes—along with desired aromas, flavours and effectiveness. Fewer terpenes mean a low-quality product and poor customer experience with a brand. What company wants its name on Cannabis, whose quality drops nearly in half?
Other brands such as Muskoka Grown, Carmel Cannabis, and Truro have found success with nitrogen packing their containers to prolong the desired freshness.
Health Canada needs to make mandatory expiry dates an industry regulation. Holding this standard will strengthen overall customer satisfaction and trust. Retailers need to be proactive in clearing out older stock in the meantime to ensure a steady and consistent quality across retail menus.
As a cannabis store in Toronto, we want to ensure our customers are happy with the products they choose to purchase. What are some other regulations you would like to see changed in Ontario ?