Ottawa

Ottawa's top doctor calls for strict rules on edibles

The city's top doctor is calling for stricter rules to keep cannabis edibles, extracts and topical products out of the hands of young people.

Cannabis edibles, extracts, topical products to become legal Oct. 17

Ottawa's medical officer of health wants Health Canada to prevent cannabis edibles from being packaged in a way that appeals to young people. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

The city's top doctor is calling for stricter rules to keep cannabis edibles, extracts and topical products out of the hands of young people.

In a report going to the Ottawa Board of Health on March 4, Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health, calls on Health Canada to enforce stringent labelling and health standards for the products, which are set to become legal Oct. 17.

Etches wants manufacturers prevented from packaging their products in a way that mimics foods that children find appealing, such as gummy candies, lollipops, chocolate bars and cookies.

Etches also calls for limits on dosage, with a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC in a single edible or extract unit, such as a capsule, and a limit of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package of edibles, extract or topical product.

Cannabis edibles, extracts and topical products are set to become legal on Oct. 17, 2019. (Radio Canada)

The report recommends that all products be identified by a standardized THC symbol, and that extracts not use flavouring agents that could make them appealing to a younger audience.

Packaging should include a health warning the delayed effects of cannabis-infused products, as well as low-risk cannabis use guidelines.

The report also recommends preventing tobacco companies from using their logos or branding to promote cannabis products, much like the current regulations pertaining to alcohol manufacturers.

The report urges Health Canada to set up a toll-free number for people who have consumed cannabis to contact a local poison control centre. 

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