Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
On March 19th, the Canadian government released its updated guidelines for legal cannabis, which features strict guidelines for packaging, labeling, and health warnings- but how effective will they be?
According to Health Canada’s press release, the government is taking an “an evidence-informed, public health approach”, after receiving comments from over 3,200 Canadians during its 60-day public consultation period.
Packaging and Labels
The government said that a “clear majority” of respondents supported its packaging and labeling proposals, which include:
- tamper-proof and child-resistant packaging
- strict limits on the use of colours and graphics
- labels that contain health warnings and specific product information (such as potency)
- a standardized cannabis symbol.
Those that called the packaging requirements too strict felt that branding was necessary to distinguish products from competitors and the black market, and because of this, the government said it would allow one more brand element in addition to the brand name, such as a logo or slogan, but certain restrictions apply- if it’s a slogan, the text can’t be larger than the health warning, and if it’s a logo, it can’t be larger than the standardized cannabis symbol.
The labels and packages are also required to be one uniform colour (both inside and out) and metallic or fluorescent colours are banned, along with any inserts producers might have wanted to include in the packages.
The proposed packaging guidelines for recreational cannabis are considerably more strict than the current guidelines regarding medical cannabis, and medical cannabis producers are getting a 6-month grace period to bring their labels and packaging in line with the new regulations.
All packages will be required to have one of six proposed health warnings, included below:
- Cannabis smoke is harmful.
- Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Do not drive or operate machinery after using cannabis.
- Cannabis can be addictive.
- Regular use of cannabis can increase the risk of psychosis and schizophrenia.
- Adolescents are at greater risk of harms from cannabis.