In June 2016, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Minister of Health created a nine-member task force to undertake consultation on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation. Late last year, the Task Force released their final report following 5 months of consultations with Canadians, various levels of government, Indigenous governments and representative organizations, youth, patients and experts in relevant fields. The report documents various arguments that were brought up by the parties involved in the consultation around issues such as harms of use, supply chain, public safety and protection, medical access, and implementation. The report also contains the Task Force’s recommendations to the Canadian Government based on these consultations, should the legalization of cannabis proceed.
This blog series is a summary of the Task Force’s recommendations on the regulation of cannabis to the Canadian Government. The full report from the Government of Canada can be found here.
Part 2: Recommendations for Establishing a Safe and Responsible Cannabis Supply Chain
These recommendations include the areas of production, distribution, and retail. The Task Force considered appropriate roles for various levels of Government, and took into consideration the participation of small producers, as well as the environmental effects of production.
- Production of cannabis and its derivatives (e.g., edibles, concentrates) should be regulated at the federal level, drawing on the GMPs of the current medicinal cannabis system
- Include small producers through licensing and production controls to encourage a diverse, competitive market
- Develop a seed-to-sale tracking system to prevent diversion and enable product recalls
- Implement measures such as permitting outdoor production, with appropriate security measures to promote environmental stewardship
- Establish a fee structure to recover administrative costs (e.g., licensing)
- Regulate CBD and other compounds derived from hemp or from other sources
- Prohibit co-location of alcohol or tobacco and cannabis sales, wherever possible
- Limit the density and location of storefronts, including appropriate distance from schools and public areas
- Dedicated storefronts with well-trained, knowledgeable staff
- Access via a direct-to-consumer mail-order system
- Allow personal cultivation of cannabis for non-medical purposes with the following conditions:
- A limit of four plants per residence
- A maximum plant height of 100 cm
- A prohibition on dangerous manufacturing processes
- Reasonable security measures to prevent theft and youth access
- Oversight and approval by local authorities
It was recommended that wholesale cannabis distribution be regulated at the provincial level. Retail sales are also recommended to be regulated at the provincial level, but with close communication with the municipal government.