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New Alcohol & Cannabis Advocacy Group

Beverage and cannabis companies have come together to form the Canadian Beverage Producers Alliance: a 10-member Alliance that wants the government to change proposed rules on edibles, particularly for cannabis-infused beverages.

The Alliance’s Executive Director, Hon. Darrell Dexter says, “The Cannabis Beverage Producers Alliance was borne out of common concerns pertaining to the future direction of cannabis-infused beverages. These apprehensions were echoed across different organizations within the traditional beverage, beverage alcohol, and cannabis sectors that now make up the Alliance’s membership.”

The federal government will legalize edibles by October 17, 2019. The new Alliance says regulations around cannabis-infused drinks, including packaging, marketing, and dosage, are too restrictive.

“The Alliance wishes to work with Health Canada to prioritize consumer safety and eliminate the illicit market while also ensuring common-sense regulations governing the new product form,” says Dexter. “In addition, the Alliance will act as the voice of consumers; lobbying for the right to allow for responsible consumption choices within a framework of wide legal access.”

They are also arguing for the ability to produce cannabis-infused beverages in the same facilities as non-cannabis beverages, given the significant cost of separating facilities and subsequent barrier to entry for new producers.

Health Canada released proposed regulations for edibles in December. Under these regulations, cannabis-infused beverages must not contain any alcohol, limit caffeine, list ingredients, and include a health warning on the label, avoid health or dietary claims, and have no elements that would associate it with alcoholic beverages or brands.

Photo courtesy of Varshesh Joshi