Ottawa says it's willing to introduce stricter controls over ingredients used to make methamphetamine, commonly known as meth or crystal meth.

In a news release issued on Friday, federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said Ottawa also wants to strengthen the regulation of chemicals used in clandestine laboratories to produce drugs such as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which is used as a "date rape" drug.

Officials from the western provinces and northwestern states are meeting in Regina to discuss better ways of controlling crystal meth.

Ottawa's proposal would put six chemicals used in the production of those drugs – gamma butyrolactone; 1,4-butanediol; red phosphorus; white phosphorus; hypophosphorous acid and hydriodic acid – under the licencing requirements of the Precursor Control Regulations.

The federal government says most of the chemicals controlled under the regulations have legitimate uses in products such as cough medicines, perfumes and paints. The regulations aim to stop the flow of the chemicals to clandestine labs without blocking their lawful uses, the government said.

The federal government said it's also looking at changing the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so that the penalties for trafficking crystal meth could be increased.

Police are lobbying for penalties equal to trafficking heroin or cocaine, which can carry life sentences.

Currently, the maximum penalty for trafficking crystal meth is 10 years.