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Canada tables final Report of the Legislative Review of the Cannabis Act

Media Partners, Stratcann

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The Government of Canada released its final report on its review of the Cannabis Act, identifying 54 recommendations and 11 observations on how to strengthen and improve the administration of the Act.

The legislative review was designed to look at the impacts the legalization of cannabis had on different aspects of Canadian society, with a focus on use rates among young people, impacts on First Nations Communities, and the impact of people growing cannabis at home. 

The review concludes that there has been “significant progress” made on several of the key objectives of the Cannabis Act, such as the establishment of a regulated framework for cannabis production, the ongoing adoption of legal supply chains by consumers, and a reduction in Canadians facing legal consequences for cannabis possession. 

Although there has not been a notable increase in young people in Canada reporting cannabis use, the expert panel still expressed concern about Canada’s historically high youth use rate of cannabis. It also calls for creating and following specific targets to lower youth use rates. 

The panel also expressed concern at the increasing popularity of high-potency THC products, and a need for greater consultation with First Nations and Indigenous communities to address concerns with public health and safety issues, as well as economic opportunities.  

Recognizing the economic challenges facing the legal cannabis industry, the panel also calls on Health Canada to reduce the financial and administrative burden it places on those operating in the legal industry. Recognizing calls for excise tax reform, the panel calls on changes to excise taxes with higher-potency products being subject to more tax than lower-potency products.

Although the panel acknowledges industry calls for a greater THC potency limit for edibles, the panel says that, on balance, the increased risk to public health outweighs those concerns. Because of this, it recommends maintaining the current 10mg THC limit for edibles. 

The panel also calls on changes to federal regulations to allow an in-person access model for medical cannabis through pharmacies, and suggests that home cultivation of cannabis has not raised any issues.

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