CANADA – The government of Canada has completed regulations for the production and sale of cannabis and related products as it anticipates a surge in sales of cannabis beverages in the near future.

The new regulations set a strict legal framework on commercialization of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals, with an aim to protect it from the youth or organised criminals.

The amended regulations seek to reduce the health risks of cannabis in line with the federal government’s public health approach to the legalization and strict regulation of such products.

According to Health Canada, the new laws provide appropriate safeguards that provide a broad diversity of cannabis products, which will help displace the illegal market.

The amended Cannabis Act is expected to come into force on October 17, opening up a market for edible cannabis.

A limited selection of products is expected to appear gradually in physical or online stores in Mid-December this year, with a greater variety emerging in 2020s.

Federal licence holders will need to provide 60-days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do.

Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailers will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale.

Health Canada notes that education and awareness efforts are critical to informing adult consumers about the unique health and safety risks posed by these cannabis products.

“The amended regulations under the Cannabis Act will support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting Canadians by helping to mitigate the health risks posed by these new cannabis products,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.

“I encourage adult Canadians who choose to consume cannabis to remember to store it safely out of the reach of children and youth, and to consult the new evidence-based resources on Health Canada’s website that can support you in making informed decisions.”

According to the new regulations which also cover ingredients and branding, cannabis beverages will have a THC limit of 10mg per package.

Adults consuming cannabis in any form are advised not to do so with nicotine, alcohol, other drugs or health products, keep it out of reach of children or pet and not drive while high.

Canada legalized recreational use of cannabis last year and the new regulations on edibles allows companies like Molson Coors to venture into the space after making such intentions in the past.