Nova Scotia

New crop of cannabis products won't hit NSLC shelves until end of this year

The NSLC has started modifying its stores across the province ahead of the next wave of legalized cannabis products, but the Crown corporation warns not to expect options like edibles and beverages to hit the shelves until late December at the earliest.

Limited products, including cannabis vape concentrates, will be available beginning late December

The cannabis section of NSLC stores is being modified this month to make way for the next wave of cannabis products, but a limited section will only be available by the end of the year. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

The NSLC has started modifying its stores across the province ahead of the next wave of legalized cannabis products, but the Crown corporation warns not to expect options like edibles and beverages to hit the shelves until late December at the earliest.

Spokesperson Beverley Ware said its 12 cannabis locations in Nova Scotia will look a little different on Oct. 17, when the new regulations take effect.

But edibles, beverages, topicals and extracts won't be available to the public until later this year and into next year because of Health Canada's 60-day review period for new products.

Ware said the earliest the NSLC can order the products is Dec. 16, so exactly when the products will be available depends on when licensed producers are able to deliver it.

Nevertheless, the stores are currently being modified to coincide with legalization. Ware said the Portland Street location in Dartmouth, for example, is nearly complete.

"We built our stores with flexible space anticipating that we would need to adapt them for this next phase of new products," said Ware.

Medicated High Chew edibles are shown on display and offered for sale at the cannabis-themed Kushstock Festival at Adelanto, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2018. The edible products that will be sold in Canada will look much different from this, as licensed producers must abide by Health Canada regulations on plain packaging. (Richard Vogel/The Associated Press)

Ware said the high tables equipped with tablets that were in cannabis stores will be removed and replaced with display cases, counters, cabinets and fridges so people will be able to see the products that are available. She said more storage will be added.

Ware said the store will be set up on a separate point-of-sale system, meaning you'll purchase the already-legalized cannabis products from a different counter than the soon-to-be-legalized edibles, topicals and extracts.

But Ware couldn't elaborate on what products will be available later this year, given the products have not yet been approved. But she had a few guesses.

Chocolate, beverages likely first up

"It looks like there might be a limited supply of concentrated vape products first around late December," she said.

"We also may have a small assortment of beverages and a few edible products such as chocolate, but the broader assortment of edibles and topicals, they will likely be a later addition."

Licensed producers will need to abide by Health Canada regulations restricting the use of ingredients that could increase the appeal of edible cannabis, extracts and topicals.

The regulations also include a limit of 10 milligrams of THC per package of edibles, and child-resistant, plain packaging for edibles, extracts and topicals. 

Some of the other regulations include:

  • A 10-milligram limit on the amount of THC in a unit of a cannabis extract, such as a capsule. The total amount of THC in a package of a cannabis extract is capped at 1,000 milligrams.
  • A limit of 1,000 milligrams of THC in each package of a cannabis topical.
  • Prohibiting any claims respecting health benefits on the label of cannabis extracts.
  • Prohibiting any claims respecting health or cosmetic benefits on the label of cannabis topicals.

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