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John Baxter, the general supervisor at Evergreen Cannabis Society Store in Kitsilano, shows off some of his existing product

Legalisation of edibles set to ensure transparency and safety for consumers

The legalization of edibles with strict regulations has health officials hoping to minimize harm and educate consumers.

By Shreya Shah , in City , on November 24, 2019

Cannabis cookies, brownies, and lollipops will soon be re-appearing on the shelves of local stores, but with detailed labels about doses as a result of restrictions placed on legal edibles in B.C. 

Edible products containing THC higher than 10 milligrams will not be sold to customers at a time. Products are not available for people under the age of 19.

“Regulated products will be tested for the presence of solvent residues and contaminants such as pesticides, mould, bacteria, and heavy metals, and also tested to confirm THC and CBD levels,” said public affairs officer Hope Latham, at the Ministry of Public Safety in B.C.

The slow roll in of tested and precisely labelled edible products have sellers waiting patiently, since its legalization.   

“The process is taking some time to reach our stores because edible products like gummy bears and cookies are being tested to keep the dosage accurate and make sure that it’s all safe,” said John Baxter, a supervisor at the Evergreen Cannabis Society. Evergreen Cannabis Society is in the process of obtaining edible products to sell this December.

Cannabis-infused oils on display at Evergreen Cannabis Society in Kitsilano

The regulations will be strict in order to prevent over-consumption, something Lauren Hill, 24, knows all about. She ate too much of an edible cookie because of mislabelling.

“The package stated 25 milligrams, but it felt like a lot more in reality. Maybe around 35 to 40 milligrams. Buying edible products from stores, now that they’re legal, is going to be a far safer option.” 

Researches are looking at the positive effects that legalisation might have on the public.

“People buying from unregulated markets don’t have checks and balances in order about correct dosages, so I think harm will be reduced and litigated better under legalization. It will have a better outcome on public health,” said Stephanie Lake, a research associate at B.C. Centre on Substance Use. 

In recent years, edibles were sold widely but illegally in stores throughout B.C. After the federal government legalised cannabis in 2017, cities started pushing vendors to abide by the new law, which originally didn’t allow edibles..

According to Sabrina Souza, a former cannabis store employee, “since there were no restrictions, the quality of the products weren’t as great. They sold large quantities with wrong labels, and got away with it.”

Edibles, topicals and extracts are expected to be available for sale in B.C by late December.

Different types of cannabis available at the Evergreen Cannabis Society