Cannabis two-fours could be coming to Canada

| Morton Robertson

New proposed changes to Canada’s cannabis regulations could include an increase to beverage public possession limits from just five standard cans or bottles, to as many as 48. 

The changes, posted Friday by the federal government as part of a stakeholder feedback process, propose to increase the cannabis “equivalency” for cannabis beverages from one gram of dried cannabis being equal to 70 grams of cannabis beverage to 570 grams.

This increases the volume of beverages one can buy and/or possess in public from just over two litres to just over 70, taking into account the 30-gram public possession limit. There are no federal limits on possession in private, although some provinces have imposed them.

Cannabis beverage makers in the industry have been lobbying for these changes since the rules were first announced several years ago, noting that only allowing consumers to buy five cans at a time was not practical. 

In addition to these changes, the proposed regulatory adjustments will also make cannabis product testing easier and will make some changes to how labs can engage in cannabis testing practices. The changes to cannabis product testing (so-called “human trials”) should also assist the industry in more easily allowing the sampling of products still in the R&D phase. 

Currently, the regulations require additional product testing authorizations that some licence holders find too limiting. This is true not only for sampling dried flower, but also for products like edibles, beverages, and vape pens that producers otherwise have a limited ability to test for taste or effect until after they are released into the consumer market.

The consultation period will be open on April 25, 2022.