Select Page

Health Canada still says cannabis intended to be consumed as food is not an extract

Media Partners, Stratcann

This post is presented by our media partner Stratcann
View the original article here.

Health Canada says it is currently in the “redetermination process” regarding its initial ruling on Edison Jolts from Organigram, following the recent announcement by the New Brunswick producer that it was re-releasing the products into several provincial markets. 

In early January 2023, following the release of several “ingestible/edible extracts” by a handful of cannabis producers, Health Canada sent a notice to producers highlighting their concerns with these products. Companies had until May 31, 2023, to cease sales and distribution

Organigram challenged this ruling in March, filing for a judicial review of Health Canada’s decision to require an end to sales of ingestible extracts that exceed the federal 10mg THC packaging limit. 

The filing, posted March 31, 2023, as Organigram Inc. v. Minister of Health et al., falls under Section 18.1 Application for Judicial Review. Judicial review is a process by which the courts can ensure that the decisions of administrative bodies like Health Canada are fair, reasonable, and lawful. 

In August, that application for judicial review of the ruling was approved. Organigram had also hoped to see Health Canada’s order quashed or set aside, but the court required Health Canada to determine that Edison Jolts lozenges are a cannabis extract and do not constitute edible cannabis under the Regulations.

While cannabis edibles are limited to 10mg THC per package, extracts are limited to 1000 mg THC per package.

In an email to StratCann, Health Canada maintains that it considers any product intended to be consumed as food cannot be considered an extract. 

“Edible cannabis is cannabis that is intended to be consumed in the same way as food and is excluded from the definition of a cannabis extract,” wrote a media representative of the federal health authority. 

“Health Canada is continuing to assess edibles and extracts in accordance with the promotion statement that we issued to federal licence holders in March of this year. The factors for determining whether a cannabis product is correctly classified remain the same.

“The department has identified a number of edible cannabis products marketed as cannabis extract products and is working with licence holders to resolve these issues. We continue to communicate with licence holders to make sure they understand the federal rules relating to edible cannabis and cannabis extracts.”

In late October, Organigram announced they were re-releasing their Edison Jolts into a handful of provincial markets, pending Health Canada’s new determination. 

“Health Canada has acknowledged that it accepts the decision of the court, and that it considers its initial classification decision on JOLTS to be void. As such, pending the final redetermination by Health Canada, Organigram has reinstated the commercialization of JOLTS,” a representative with Organigram told StratCann via email.

“Organigram remains of the view that Edison JOLTS are properly classified as a cannabis extract.”

The products, the spokesperson says, are being sold in New Brunswick now, and Organigram expects Jolts to be in retail stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario soon.

This post was originally published by our media partner here.