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Canada’s Competition Bureau Supports Changes To Cannabis Packaging

Canada's Competition Bureau says it supports easing restrictions on cannabis packaging and adjusting the limits on how much of the drug’s psychoactive ingredient can be added to edible products.

In a submission to Health Canada, the Competition Bureau said it supports changing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limits in edible cannabis products and giving companies more freedom over how they package and market their products to Canadians.

The federal competition watchdog said it views the proposed changes as a way to make Canada’s cannabis industry more competitive.

A 2022 survey from Health Canada found that less than half of 10,048 respondents who used cannabis in the past year purchased the substance from legal vendors.

Most Canadians continue to purchase cannabis on the black market where the drug is not subject to taxation and is generally cheaper to buy.

Canada’s cannabis industry has struggled with layoffs, facility closers, financial losses and share price depreciation since the recreational drug was legalized nationwide in 2018.

Several cannabis companies have failed or been taken over in recent years.

Canada’s Cannabis Act currently prevents products from being packaged in a way that is enticing to youths and limits the THC content in edibles to 10 milligrams.

Stakeholders have told the federal government that increasing the limit to 100 milligrams could make edible cannabis products more appealing to consumers.

Also, to comply with current federal regulations, most cannabis companies package their products in simple black or white containers that contain no branding.

The Competition Bureau has said that easing restrictions on cannabis promotion, packaging and labelling could help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions.