It will not be until 2019 that derivative products will be widely available for legal retail, so the vast majority of value-added businesses face at least a year of uncertainty.
There are a variety of businesses that will feel these effect, none more so than current extractors and edible manufacturers.
Canada will not legalize extracts at the outset, but instead, will propose a framework within a year of legalization. While this category includes a wide variety of final products, regulation will likely differentiate based on production method - solvent-based and solvent-less.
The second concern for policy maker when it comes to these products is potency. Groundwork fights against THC limits of any kind. We emphasize that potency limits lead to negative health outcomes by forcing people to smoke as opposed to vape.
Groundwork advocates for the immediate legalization of solvent-less production methods. In the opinion of our directors, there is no inherent hazard in their production, and no concerns about residual solvent, leaving no other objection other than the potency.
For solvent-based extraction, we point to legal jurisdictions in the US, along with practices used in the food and perfume industries, to show that it is done safely and regulated reasonably.
Since outset, Groundwork has presented a case for safe extraction methods and facilities that use ethanol and/or light hydrocarbons, with similar restrictions to the C1D1 fire code in the US.
Similar to the timetable for legalized extracts, edibles will be available within one year of legalization. Edibles will face a complex route to legalization. Groundwork aims to develop a concise set of recommendations for the regulations, focusing on QA and best practices. We will fight for licensing and survival of small edible manufacturers, in the face of a future that will include massive corporate interests from the food and beverage industry.
Groundwork will lobby against THC limits. We actively encourage all levels of government to allow small producers to distribute directly at the production site, with an eye towards a future where craft cannabis bakeries and beverage makers can have on-site lounges.
Topicals face a special set of challenges and are often overlooked. Groundwork Consulting lobbies against caps on THC in topical products, as topical applications are not psychoactive; a fact missed by many regulators. We are also working with Health Canada to make sure the NHP/DIN regulations include cannabis topicals.
Another issue facing topical makers is that of fair-access to shelf space in otherwise non-cannabis retail locations. While we can’t all pry open the tightly-locked doors in the supermarket industry, we work with our topical makers to raise awareness of the marketability and consumer preference for high-quality, locally-sourced, topicals, and offer our guidance to those who wish to better serve, or expand the base of customers, that they currently have.