The Rotation: Vol. 5
Welcome Change for Processing Licence Holders, Inaccurate Potency Claims for Illicit Edibles and Detroit Passes Ordinance for Legacy Applicants
Health Canada No Longer Requiring Processors to Obtain Sales Amendment for Dried and Fresh Flower
Health Canada announced that they will begin granting the authorization to sell dried and fresh cannabis products to all micro and standard processing licence holders during the initial licensing process, without the need to submit a sales amendment application.
- As of April 19th, micro and standard processors will automatically be authorized to sell dried and fresh cannabis, and no sales amendment will be required.
- According to the memo, the change will help reduce regulatory burden on licence holders and give new licence holders the ability to bring products to market quicker.
- This program change does not apply to extracts, topical and edible cannabis products and a sales amendment is still required for processing licence holders looking to sell these classes of cannabis products.
This is another important step in the right direction that will allow licence holders to bring products to market more easily as well as free up resources for producers and licensing team at Health Canada. With that said, the biggest hurdle for smaller producers entering the market continues to be the provincial distribution system that favor larger processors that can meet the additional requirements related to packaging, marketing and insurance.
Ontario Study Shows False Advertising on Illegal Edibles Potency and High Levels of Pesticides
The National Research Council Canada (NRC) on behalf of the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) published results comparing legal and illegal edible cannabis products. According to the study, the results demonstrate that illegal cannabis products had significantly less THC than advertised and contained pesticides not authorized for use on cannabis. A backgrounder with more information can be found here.
- The study sampled 44 edible cannabis products, with 22 legal products purchased from OCS, and 22 illegal products seized by the OPP.
- Illicit edibles contained on average 20% less of the advertised THC levels.
- Results also showed that 86% (19 out of 22) of the illegal samples tested contained multiple pesticides, such as piperonyl butoxide, myclobutanil, and permethrins, some of which were several hundred times above the established Health Canada limit.
It’s not a big surprise that unregulated cannabis products label potency claims are largely inaccurate. However, it would have also been interesting to see a microbial analysis as well as accompanying laboratory results and a more comprehensive breakdown of the study design. Nevertheless, this does help demonstrate the importance of purchasing safe products that have been properly tested, which is only possible in a legal, regulated market.
Detroit One Step Closer to Issuing Cannabis Licences
Detroit’s City Council approved a new ordinance to award licenses for recreational-use dispensaries. The development follows disagreement over how much opportunity should specifically be given to longtime Detroiters and goes into effect on April 20.
- The new ordinance provides options for provisional licences, adding social equity and non-equity tracks and creating rounds of distributing 110 total licenses. The licences include designated consumption and microbusinesses and will be awarded over three phases.
- Longtime Detroit residents, who own at least a 51% stake in a business, can be certified by the city as a “Detroit legacy” applicant giving them access to city assistance with business plans, reduced costs and fees, networking, and discounted zoned city properties.
- Detroit will be joining the other 23 municipalities in Michigan that have allowed adult-use cannabis licensing within its borders.
- The ordinance does not limit the number of licences that may be issued for growers, processors, secured transporters, or safety compliance.
This ordinance passed two years after the city opted to allow recreational cannabis. Although it did not pass unanimously, and some are concerned that it doesn’t do enough to protect community members and prevent exploitation from out-of-state big business interests. Regardless, the report acknowledges that the ordinance is not perfect and can be improved over time and it is exciting that cannabis licences will start to be awarded in Michigan’s largest city.