Cannabis beverages have become a new trend, but you might have noticed some annoyances when buying them. For example, have you ever tried buying CBD-infused beer? These drinks usually come in single cans and rarely as six-packs. The reason for this stems from current regulations around cannabis drinks. When it comes to drinks, manufacturers cannot sell any product with more than 10 mg of cannabis. So even if a singular can of beer has less than 10 mg, if the entire six-pack goes over that limit, then it’s game over.
Furthermore, an entire transaction cannot contain more than 2.1 litres of cannabis. So it is perfectly legal to buy a dozen bottles of vodka and gin, but retailers will not allow you to go over that 2.1-litre limit for cannabis drinks. These restrictions make things pretty difficult for buyers, retailers and producers. Buyers have to work with arbitrary buying limits while retailers have to awkwardly explain why they are limiting purchases. As for producers, they have to deal with regulations that can make their products less attractive. More specifically, since buying cannabis drinks can be a hassle, buyers could opt for other options, which can result in losses for the producer.
So are Regulations Going to Change?
Numerous companies and cannabis advocates have reached out to Health Canada for change. Groups like the Cannabis Council of Canada have highlighted the aforementioned issues that current regulations create. This comes off a consultation done back in December 2020 where Health Canada asked questions regarding restrictions around cannabis beverages. In particular, they asked industry experts if the 2.1-litre limit should be raised and the reasons for their answer. So overall, it does seem that Health Canada is receptive to regulation changes. It is then a question of when this regulation rework will come into effect.
These changes should also help the budding industry quite a bit. We first saw cannabis drinks hit the shelves in 2020, but initial sales have been rocky. If regulations ease up, buying cannabis beverages should become less of a hassle. And as a result, more people will feel comfortable making a purchase, especially those who do not usually buy anything cannabis-related.