Health Canada Releasing New CBD Recommendations
Health Canada is considering issuing recommendations that could eventually make the sale of CBD legal in retail stores without health practitioner oversight. In Canada, high-THC products are legally sold through stores licensed by provinces and territories, but CBD remains a controlled substance. In addition, CBD cannot be imported from the U.S. into Canada for commercial purposes. This has severely stifled the Canadian CBD market.
In the U.S., THC is a controlled substance, while CBD obtained from the hemp plant is legal. CBD products are sold in various stores and locations in the U.S., from convenience stores to cannabis stores to yoga studios. The issue in the U.S. is not CBD product availability. It is the lack of government oversight over CBD products that means consumers are on their own to determine which companies and products are properly labeled and meet quality standards.
Health Canada has spent three years reviewing CBD to determine appropriate recommendations. The review has focused on establishing quality standards and determining CBD efficacy and safety. Even after the recommendations are issued, Health Canada will still have to approve the sale of CBD products. If sales are approved, CBD products could likely be sold in a way similar to the way they are sold in U.S. – over-the-counter at any venue. Right now, CBD products are only legally sold in Canada at cannabis retailers.
Another difference between the U.S. and Canada is U.S. states each passed their hemp laws, while in Canada, all the provinces and territories follow national laws. Currently, Canadian companies extracting CBD from hemp plants say it is not a profitable business. This is due to the limited availability and the Canadian consumers’ lack of knowledge about CBD. They have easy access to THC products, so are not showing a lot of interest in CBD.
All this can change should Health Canada allow the sales of CBD products and the import of U.S. CBD. Canadians will need to be educated on CBD and the many benefits it can convey. It will be good news for Canada’s consumers if Health Canada approves the sale of high-quality CBD through various retail businesses. Right now, they are mostly limited to buying THC products, and not everyone likes the psychoactive properties of THC. Consumers would get options, plus U.S. CBD product makers would have a whole new market to pursue.