Health Canada announces science advisory committee for cannabis health products

| David Brown

Health Canada has announced their ten-person science advisory committee on the potential market for cannabis health products that would not require practitioner oversight. The committee’s first meeting was November 2-3.

The committee includes nine core members and one ad hoc member from an array of relevant experts in natural health products, Health and Social Services, pediatrics, patient advocates, and Veterinary Medicine.

The core members are Boivin, Jean-François M.D., Sc.D Brown, Paula PhD (Co-Chair) Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann MB ChB FRCP Huntsman, Richard M.D. FRCP (Co-Chair) Kelly, Lauren E PhD, MSc, CCRP Le Foll, Bernard PhD, MD Bryant, Patti Caulkett, Nigel DVM, MVetSc, Diplomate ACVA Hurnik, and Daniel DVM, MSc. The ad-hoc member is Mathews, Karol Ann DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVECC.

When cannabis was legalized, Health Canada committed to looking at the possibility of creating a category for non-prescription cannabis health products. As part of this commitment,  a consultation was held from June 19, 2019 to September 3, 2019 seeking input on the selection of a committee to look at the issue. 

Health Canada told Marijuana Business Daily it received 1,104 submissions through the online questionnaire and roughly 60 submissions via email.

The purpose of this consultation was to seek feedback from industry, public health experts, and the public on the kinds of products they would be interested in manufacturing, selling or purchasing, should a legal pathway to market for these products be established. 

These types of products could potentially include, for example, CBD products sold through pharmacies or provided by veterinarians. 

Although many seeking to sell these types of products are eager to find more rapid and profitable paths to market than under the current Cannabis Act and regulations, a decision is not expected any time soon. This timeline is also likely exacerbated by the global pandemic.