Canada’s cannabis regulator is launching two public comment periods on amending regulations that would ban flavoured weed vape products and remove barriers to bolster research.
On Feb. 1, Health Canada said that proposed amendments to federal Cannabis Regulations “would align with proposed restrictions on flavors in vaping products under the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act.”
“The purpose of the proposed amendments would be to protect public health and safety, in particular by preventing young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis,” the update reads.
The proposed rule changes would have an impact on licensed processors, retailers and medical sellers as they would set restrictions on flavours in cannabis extracts for inhalation, including vaping products.
Canadians will be given 30 days to offer feedback on the regulatory proposal during a public comment period that’s expected to take place this spring.
While the proposed rule changes for vapes could create new hurdles for the industry, Health Canada is also looking at easing or rolling back other burdensome regulations.
In January, Health Canada launched a 30-day public consultation on amending a wide range of strict cannabis regulations, including for non-therapeutic research.
The agency said last week that it’s continuing to look at removing requirements under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations to reduce barriers to cannabis research.
Under current regulations, researchers have to comply with rigorous clinical trial requirements that slow non-therapeutic studies. The science community says the strict rules slow important research on topics such as time-to-onset or duration of effects of a weed product, or the impact of use on driving.
Canadians will also be given 30 days to provide comment on amending research rules in a separate public comment period this spring.
The federal agency also updated proposed rule changes for cannabis health products to be sold over the counter without practitioner oversight.
In 2019, Health Canada gathered public comments from citizens and industry on the kinds of non-prescription weed products companies would be interested in purchasing, manufacturing or selling, if it was legal to do so.
The department set up a scientific committee last year to gather external advice on regulating cannabis health products.
“Any decision regarding access to non-prescription health products containing cannabis will be based on evidence,” Health Canada writes.
Any new draft regulations on cannabis health products, vapes or research are expected to be published online in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
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