Canada Regulations on Cannabis Beverages Have Math Mistakes


Marijuana has been legal for two years. But marijuana drinks are only now beginning to break through the mainstream market. Most Canadian consumers don’t have deep experience with cannabis beverages — which offer many advantages as a means of consuming cannabis — and are looking for answers.

Will cannabis beverages be slow-acting, like edibles? Will they be fast-acting, similar to alcohol? What amount is safe for use?

Government regulators realized this. But for some reason, Ottawa bureaucrats are still offering Canadians the equivalent of the vodka-beer “take your pick” option.

The federal government set cannabis beverage purchase limits based on volume of liquid, rather than THC content. That’s like saying a pint of vodka equals a pint of beer.

Consumers can buy a maximum five containers of 355 mL of a cannabis beverage with 2 mg THC per container — similar in strength to drinking a 355 mL can of beer. That’s a total of 10 mgs of THC.

But Government of Canada regulations also allow that same Canadian consumer to purchase a maximum of 14 (smaller cans) of 150 mL cannabis beverage with a five-times stronger 10 mg THC content per container. That’s 140 mgs of THC.

The math doesn’t make any sense. We know that 10 mgs THC does not equal 140 mgs THC.

It doesn’t make sense to us as retailers. It also doesn’t make sense to cannabis producers, provincial retailers, and beverage alcohol companies involved in new cannabis beverage partnerships — that have invested millions of dollars to create new jobs in this sector.

But most importantly, it doesn’t make sense to Canadian consumers. We try to explain it to them. But it just doesn’t make any sense to them, either.

This is an easy one for the government to fix. It makes good common sense. We could all use a small victory to celebrate in 2020, so let’s work together to get this math mistake on cannabis beverages fixed.



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