STEWART: Cannabis Acceptance Will Increase With Rollout of New Products

Article by Will Stewart, Toronto Sun via Canada.com

CANNABIS BUSINESS STEWART: Cannabis acceptance will increase with rollout of new products By Special to Toronto Sun Brad Churchill, President of Choklat, poses in his northeast Calgary office on Friday, June 14, 2019. When cannabis edibles become legalized, his company plans on producing cannabis edibles as well as his popular non-cannabis related products. (Jim Wells, Postmedia) WILL STEWART

Health Canada recently released new regulations which set the stage for the next wave of cannabis legalization.

Starting late this year, regulations will permit various new forms for the consumption of cannabis such as edibles, drinkables, topicals, and vape pens, moving the industry towards more consumer-packaged goods and away from our current limited legal offerings.

I firmly believe that this is key to reducing the stigma around cannabis and encouraging a broader acceptance of the drug.

Canadians will be forced to check their pre-conceived notions of a cannabis consumer when their loved ones choose a skin cream with cannabinoids in it for pain relief rather than a similar brand without them. Opinions change when a person can consume cannabis in a format that they already know how to use (creams, pills, drinks, food), from brands they already know and trust, which result in a consistent, desired effect.

For the most part, everyone agrees that the idea of moving to these new formats and away from smoking is a good move.

Health Canada has long advocated smoking cessation for tobacco products, and both medical and adult-use cannabis consumers have advocated for different and better cannabis products.

But that is where the agreements end.

Advocates in the cannabis space are clear that the limits on cannabinoid content amounts allowed per package are woefully leading to increased costs to consumers as well as a larger environmental footprint due to increased packaging.

Health Canada believes it is taking a prudent approach while adopting the cannabis mantra of start low and go slow.

This division between the cannabis industry and Health Canada is not a surprise to any person or company observing the government’s approach to the product.

It is clear that Health Canada is taking what they believe to be a public health approach while the cannabis industry is taking more or a medical patient and/or adult-use consumer approach.

While both positions are valid, it is important to remember the legalization promise has its roots in Liberal campaign documents where the promise was geared at ridding Canada of black-market products which are still readily available in Canada. In other words, consumer choices still rule the day and that choice is not necessarily the legal path.

Read the full article here.

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