At present, Canada does not permit the manufacturing of concentrates and edibles for retail to the general public. In October 2019 this is changing.
The term “edibles” within our discussion includes all cannabis-infused food products, including beverages, confectionary (i.e. gummies), and baked goods. Proposed regulations around edibles were published in late 2018, with the expectation that final regulations will be published in the summer of 2019 and come into force in the Fall of 2019.
Based on the proposed regulations, the manufacturing of cannabis food products will fall within the Micro Processing and Standard Processing Licenses. To prepare for the introduction of edible cannabis to the market, many companies are applying for a Research and Development (R&D) License under the Cannabis Act. This would permit a company to “play around” with cannabis in creating recipes and product formats ahead of large-scale manufacturing which would begin in late 2019 with the new regulations. Given the expected very high demand around edibles in the years ahead, getting an early start in R&D is highly recommended.
In addition to achieving a Research & Development License, an edibles manufacturer will need to consider implementing a Preventative Control Plan (PCP) within their facility, which is standard practice for food manufacturers and is suggested as a requirement in the proposed regulations. Cannabis Compliance Inc has extensive experience working on Health Canada applications and developing (and auditing) best practices within the food industry, as many of our quality and regulatory experts have a long history of food compliance prior to joining CCI.
With regulations for edibles being introduced later this year, established food manufacturers who do not yet have cannabis experience would be very interested in obtaining a Research & Development License to experiment with infusing cannabis into their current line of products, assessing the shelf life and taste, and testing the consistency and potency of experimental formulations. These existing businesses would also be interested in initiating a Micro or Standard Processing License application, the class of cannabis authorization required to commercially produce edible cannabis products.
CCI can offer the following services to help our clients prepare for the upcoming edibles market:
- Applications for all licenses under the Cannabis Act including R&D and standard/micro processing licenses
- Building a Preventative Control Plan (PCP) and environmental program to be compliant within food safety regulations i.e. CODEX Alimentarius, Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR)
- Gap assessment of existing programs against regulatory requirements or Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked schemes
- Compliance within the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulationsor other food safety regulations relevant to the industry and jurisdiction
- Building Quality Management Systems (QMS) based on GFSI benchmarked schemes such as Safe Quality Food (SQF), The British Retail Consortium (BRC), Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000), or International Featured Standards (IFS), (etc).
- Training in current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), HACCP, Preventative Controls and other relevant regulatory requirements
Cannabis Compliance Inc is the world’s largest professional cannabis consulting firm, with over 80 full time salary employees across Canada. Contact us today to start a conversation around preparing for the upcoming edibles market.