Health Canada sticks to plain packaging after issuing rules to cannabis bill

Health Canada is emphasizing plain packaging restriction after issuing on Wednesday a new set of regulations to further bolster the Cannabis Act on Oct. 17, the date of when recreational marijuana is legalized nationwide.

Health Canada’s regulations “include strict specifications for the plain packaging and labelling and analytical testing of all cannabis products,” it said.


The new regulations outline the rules for the legal production, distribution, sale, importation, and exportation of cannabis. They also set standards for cannabis products that will be available for legal sale once the law comes into force.

Stemming from previous regulations, Health Canada said: “The Cannabis Regulations and the new Industrial Hemp Regulations are based on best practices.”

It was also based on consultations Health Canada “held over the past several years.”

“In 2016, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation undertook broad consultations with communities and stakeholders across Canada,” it said. “ The Task Force heard from Canadians, who participated in an online public consultation that generated nearly 30,000 submissions from individuals and organizations.”

The consultations also include efforts in the fall of 2017 by the government  on its proposed approach to regulating cannabis, including licensing, products, packaging and labelling by asking the “input” of “more than 3,200 Canadians and 450 stakeholders, including existing licensed producers and prospective producers, provinces and territories, and Indigenous organizations.”

The new regulations will also outline details on the licences for cultivation and processing of cannabis, including micro-size licences, industrial hemp, research and analytical testing. The regulations also maintain a distinct system for access to cannabis for medical purposes.

Many people in the cannabis industry have criticized Health Canada when it proposed plain packaging for marijuana products.