NHPs and VHPs may only contain parts of the cannabis and hemp plants that are not considered cannabis under the Cannabis Act or that are excluded from the application of the Act. This includes things such as:
Before the Cannabis Act came into force, CBD was:
Health Canada oversees the production of cannabis products. Health Canada is also responsible for overseeing the distribution and sale of:
CBD in natural health products, veterinary health products and cosmetics
Hemp producers may not extract the CBD themselves, unless they also have a cannabis processing or research licence.
For hemp-seed oil to be exempted from the Cannabis Act, no phytocannabinoid including THC and CBD may be added or concentrated by processing.
You must have a processing licence to manufacture products containing CBD for sale, no matter what the source of the CBD is.
These same restrictions also apply to cosmetics, which may only contain hemp derivatives.
This limitation of retail outlets is particularly troubling to cultivation and production facilities, who continue to expand their operations but are finding that there aren’t enough stores to sell their inventory. Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis, two of Canada’s biggest cannabis companies, reported unexpectedly large losses in the latest quarter, citing this very reason.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada had been on the horizon for years as public sentiment towards marijuana increasingly migrated towards acceptance. Although the nation has had a medical marijuana program in place since 2001, it wasn’t until the liberal party took over the majority of government in 2015 that cannabis reform was put on the fast track.
Although it establishes cannabis as a legal substance, the Cannabis Act is not without a few caveats. Up until October 17, 2019 (one year after C-45 went into effect), the only permitted legal cannabis products in Canada were dried or fresh flowers, seeds, and oils – not extracts, topicals or edibles. Because full spectrum CBD oil requires an extraction method via a solvent (such as CO2), it is technically considered an extract and not an oil.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Canada?
The legalization of cannabis in Canada has not been without rigorous oversight. The Cannabis Act establishes strict regulations in the sale, possession, production, and distribution of cannabis. This includes a series of required licenses and permits for every establishment looking to market, grow or sell cannabis. It also limits the promotion of cannabis and cannabis-related products, particularly when it comes to marketing towards youth.
These regulations, although undeniably necessary for a controlled substance, are not without inconvenience to many producers. The Cannabis Act leaves many stipulations up to the individual provinces of Canada, so regulations differ across localities. This has led to a surge in retail outlets in certain provinces (i.e. Alberta) while other areas, such as Ontario and Quebec, struggle to provide enough retail stores to meet demand.
This has led to some confusion and ambiguity regarding the legality of CBD in Canada. While medical CBD has been available Canadian citizens since 2001, patients were previously required to obtain approval from Health Canada (akin to the FDA in America) and a prescription to be able to purchase CBD products legally. When C-45 hit the one-year mark, it effectively permitted the marketing and sale of both recreational CBD and THC edibles and extracts, but many of these products are not expected to be widely available in the country until mid-December.
It should be noted that many establishments, from health stores to dispensaries, are providing illicit CBD products in Canada. The government stresses that these products are illegal and unregulated, and purchased by consumers at their own risk.
Europe is also problematic for transporting CBD products. While I’ve heard many stories of people doing this without any issues — some countries strictly ban any cannabis products which could land you in some serious trouble if caught.
The Canadian CBD market is very different from pretty much everywhere else simply because the whole plant is legal and regulated. The same restrictions apply whether a company is selling CBD oil or psychoactive THC oil.
In Canada, delta 8 THC is entirely legal for both recreational and medical purposes. All marijuana-derived products are considered legal here, including the delta 8 isomer.
Canadian Law: What is The Cannabis Act?
Today, you can purchase hemp-derived CBD products and marijuana flowers across Canadian dispensaries without a doctor’s prescription.
Therefore, farmers who want to extract derivatives from industrial hemp (including CBD), must obtain a cannabis processing license.
Marijuana became popular in Canada in the 60s with the rise of the counterculture. Ten years later, advocates made efforts to legalize marijuana.
In order for CBD brands to operate here, they need to spend a ton of money on legal fees and applications and endure a rigorous application process that can take over a year to complete.