When a Health Canada representative told a media call last week the agency had “committed to conducting further consultations on the precise question of CBD as a Natural Health Product (NHP),” some expressed pessimism such consultations would arrive quickly. There were no timelines in last week’s new regulations on a move for which CBD producers have been calling for months.
Instead of giving CBD products NHP designation, what Health Canada proposes is a new designation, that of Cannabis Health Products (CHP). This system of classification would not go into effect earlier than 2020, but would create a class of less-regulated, non-intoxicating cannabis products that could be sold over the counter in such retail locations as pharmacies, pet stores, and health-food stores.
Producers may not make general health claims, but provided they can connect specific evidence to a particular cannabinoid, they can make claims supported by research. Cannabis must also be listed as the active ingredient. However, because CHPs will designate only non-intoxicating cannabinoids, youths will be allowed to purchase them so long as they are overseen “by a responsible adult intermediary.”
With this switch, oversight of CHP would shift from federal to provincial, allowing provinces to restrict or allow retail sales of products at their discretion.