Q: What products are licensed cannabis retailers permitted to sell, and how is this impacted by the introduction of “Cannabis 2.0” products?
Most provinces and territories allow licensed cannabis retailers to only sell cannabis (as defined in the Cannabis Act provided it is produced by a federally licensed producer and sourced through an authorized distributor) and cannabis accessories (as defined in the Cannabis Act) as well as shopping bags, gift cards, and other ancillary items related to cannabis. Alberta is an outlier in that it does not allow retailers to sell ancillary items related to cannabis, and the AGLC has issued its own views on what it considers to be an “approved” accessory.
The Cannabis Act defines “cannabis” as a cannabis plant, any part of a cannabis plant, any substance or mixture that contains or has on any it any part of a cannabis plant, or any substance that is identical to any phytocannabinoid produced by or found in a cannabis plant.
The Cannabis Act defines a “cannabis accessory” as “a thing… that is represented to be used in the consumption of cannabis” and includes illustrative, but non-exhaustive, examples of rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, and bongs. Although provinces generally rely on the Cannabis Act definition in their own legislation, provincial and territorial regulators have interpreted this definition in differing manners.
The introduction of Cannabis 2.0 products has expanded the scope of cannabis products that may be produced by a federally licensed producer to include edibles, vaporizers, concentrates, and topicals. In turn, the scope of products that are considered “cannabis accessories” rather than ancillary items has expanded, as a variety of additional things may be represented to be used in the consumption of such products.
Matthew Anderson is VP Legal & Business Affairs and Corporate Secretary of Fire & Flower.