Original article can be found here: https://mjbizdaily.com/when-will-canada-allow-cbd-to-be-sold-in-mainstream-retail-stores/
A watershed CBD recommendation expected this summer from Canadian health authorities could resolve one of the oddest differences between the cannabis industries in Canada and the U.S. – their starkly different approaches to hemp extracts.
In the United States, hemp is legal and broadly available, while higher-THC cannabis remains an illicit drug on the federal level – despite broad disregard for marijuana prohibition by state governments.
The Canadian government, by contrast, legalized high-THC cannabis in 2018.
But CBD remains a controlled substance in Canada, regulated in a similar manner to high-THC marijuana.
Canada’s CBD sellers commonly operate in the illicit market because of federal rules requiring CBD sales to occur in provincially licensed stores, which tend to specialize in high-THC products and aren’t able to import U.S.-made CBD for commercial purposes.
But Canada’s stifled CBD market could soon be opening up.
That’s because Health Canada, which oversees both pharmaceutical drug sales and the nation’s high-THC cannabis industry, is expecting final recommendations this summer on CBD and what it calls “health products containing cannabis that would not require practitioner oversight.”
A three-year review by a Health Canada advisory committee is expected to conclude this summer with “appropriate safety, efficacy and quality standards” for those products, agency spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau told MJBizDaily.
Jarbeau could not say how long it might take the agency to make a decision on CBD sales after the release of the recommendation.
If it all leads to market opportunities outside the nation’s marijuana retailer sector, Canada could see a huge new market open to cannabis as well as mainstream businesses.
“The opportunity is significant” for a vibrant CBD market outside traditional cannabis retailers, said Bethany Gomez, managing director of the Brightfield Group, a cannabis-focused consumer-research firm in Chicago.
“Canadian regulations have been a huge barrier to the CBD category gaining traction. If the regulations change, there’s a real opportunity for significant growth for CBD.”
According to Sean Karl, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based supply-chain consultant who specializes in cannabis logistics, many mainstream Canadian retailers are eager to start selling CBD.
He used a hockey term to describe the way retailers there want to carefully maneuver to maximize profit without violating any restrictions set by health authorities.
“Everyone’s trying to stickhandle through the regulations,” he said.