It’s no secret that the sale of edible marijuana products has been the subject of intense debate over recent years. Bill C-45, which is set to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, famously didn’t originally contain information about the sale of edible products. The federal government had stated that it needed “an appropriate amount of time to develop and implement regulations” for edibles. But then, in October, the bill itself was amended to include edibles, which is scheduled to come into effect one year after the legalization of recreational marijuana.
However, what are the current regulations governing the sale of medical marijuana products, and are edible products allowed? Here’s what students of quality assurance for medical marijuana need to know.
The History of the Legislation Regarding Medical Marijuana Products
In 2001, when the first legislation on medical marijuana was passed, patients were only allowed to access this product under very specific conditions. They could either obtain a license to grow it themselves, purchase their medication from an authorized producer, or obtain it through Health Canada directly. While this was an important step forward, these tight restrictions posed several problems. For one, patients who grew their own medical marijuana faced practical challenges of heating and caring for their plants. In addition, Health Canada also found the cost of supplying patients with medical marijuana to be substantial.
To help alleviate some of these problems, authorized producers became key. In the following years, new legislation was passed, helping authorized producers take on a substantial role in the supply of medical marijuana. While patients are again able to grow their own medical marijuana, many now turn to the dedicated expertise of authorized producers.
The Legislation Surrounding Cannabis Oil
While patients were able to obtain medical marijuana from licensed producers, they were only originally allowed to purchase dried marijuana. This meant that patients could only administer their medication by heating and then inhaling its smoke or vapour.
Consuming medical marijuana in edible form simply wasn’t an option. However, some patients began producing and selling edible products anyway, since they felt smoking marijuana could cause harmful side effects. One such producer was arrested as a result, with their case making its way all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court ultimately decided that patients should be allowed to consume their medical marijuana in the format they prefer. This ruling allowed licensed producers concerned with quality assurance for medical marijuana to supply patients with a wider variety of products, such as edible cannabis oil.
However, it’s important to note that while cannabis oil allows patients to consume medical marijuana in edible form, the sale of pre-made products such as infused brownies, teas, and cookies is still not permitted by law in Canada.
Quality Assurance for Medical Marijuana Is an Important Consideration for Edible Products
Students completing a medical marijuana certification program are well aware that quality assurance and quality control are essential. Medical marijuana products need to be able to offer doses that are accurate, so that patients don’t run the risk of consuming substantially more or less of their medication than is recommended.
Part of the reason why edible products have been slower to be included in legislation comes down to how THC and other cannabinoids are dispersed in edible products. It can be very difficult for each portion of an edible product to contain a precise amount of active ingredient, meaning that ensuring accurate dosage is a challenge. It’s because of this important concern that changes to legislation have been slow, and why many are hopeful about future improvements.
Do you want to build a career in an industry set for important change?
Contact AAPS to learn how easy it is to enroll in medical marijuana courses in Canada.