Understanding How to Read Product Labels If You Want to Become a Cannabis Distributor

cannabis retail licence

Canadian cannabis labels are extensive and contain a lot of information. This is a good thing, as they contain a lot of important information about the product. In addition to standard warnings regarding THC and keeping products away from youth and children, labels state THC and CBD levels, strain type, and more.

Read on to orient yourself with cannabis labels.

How to Read THC and CBD Levels when You Become a Cannabis Distributor

Just as bottles of alcoholic beverages inform consumers of their alcohol percentage, cannabis consumers need to be able to see the THC and CBD content in their products. Health Canada’s regulations require the content to be written out as percentages in two different ways:

  1. Active Levels: These represent the levels of CBD and THC in the product at the time it is purchased.
  2. Total Levels: These represent the levels of CBD and THC in the product at the time it is consumed.

The reason these two numbers are required is because cannabinoids are activated after they’ve been heated past 150 degrees Celsius. This means that:

  • Oils or other processed products will have the same number for both, since they’ve already been heated to a temperature above 150 degrees Celsius during processing.
  • Dried cannabis will have a higher number for total levels, because the active THC and CBD are still low until it is heated for consumption.

When you become a cannabis distributor, these numbers let customers understand where the levels will be when they physically consume the product, which is important for self-monitoring and personal consumption choices.

THC and CBD levels are represented by percentages on labels in two different ways

THC and CBD levels are represented by percentages on labels in two different ways

What the Dates Mean on Cannabis Labels

Not all cannabis labels in Canada must have expiry dates. Some producers will include them, as they can indicate optimal timelines for potency. However, Health Canada has not mandated this and you will sometimes not see it on packages. Another date you will see is when the product was packaged. This is the date when the product was put into the final package and sealed. It does not mean that the plant was harvested on that date.

With a cannabis store licence you will also want to keep an eye on dates, which can be useful for managing your stock. This helps you follow a first in, first out principle where the freshest products are sold last.

Expiry dates aren’t always on cannabis labels, but they can be helpful

Expiry dates aren’t always on cannabis labels, but they can be helpful

Customer Service Using Labels once You Have Your Cannabis Store Licence

Strain type might matter a lot to your customers, as different strains can produce quite different products. They may request that a product be indica, sativa, or hybrid, depending on their personal preferences or opinions.

You will also notice that cannabis products with THC levels that exceed 10 micrograms per gram of product will have a red stop sign-shaped icon on the label. This is to alert customers that there is a significant amount of THC in the product. Products below this amount will not have the same warning.

Labelling features like these help you serve customers better by:

  • Letting them make choices according to personal preferences
  • Making sure they are aware of what they are buying and how much active ingredient is present
  • Providing a point of conversation where you can build rapport
The more knowledge you possess, the more happy customers you will be able to have

The more knowledge you possess, the more happy customers you will be able to have

Are you interested in applying for a cannabis retail licence?

Contact AAPS for more information!