Cannabis edibles, extracts, topicals now legal, but unavailable in Sask. for at least 60 days
Timelines outlined in cannabis regulations mean products won't be available for two months: province
One full year after recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada, more products are becoming available on the market, but it will take about two months for them to arrive in Saskatchewan, according to the provincial government.
"Today the federal government legalized the sale of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals," a statement from the province said.
"As a result of timelines outlined in the Cannabis Regulations, edibles, extracts and topicals are not expected to become available for at least 60 days."
Gene Makowsky, minister for liquor and gaming, said one of the most important ways to consume products safely is to ensure they're being purchased from licensed retailers.
"We want to ensure people who choose to consume these products are aware of the risks," Makowsky said.
Cannabis products, including edibles that look like candy, baked goods or other food items, should be stored in a place that can't be accessed by minors or pets, the release said. Minors are not allowed to possess any amount of non-medicinal cannabis.
Where the government in Quebec has explored bans on products like cannabis chocolate or candy, Makowsky said Saskatchewan will not follow suit. He said the government wants to keep a "reasonable amount of products available" to compete with the black market.
Makowsky said the federal government indicated there won't be a lot of room for changes in the legislation, but the province can determine things like the legal consumption age or the retail experience.
"There may be some minor housekeeping changes, but not massive changes," Makowsky said.
Drinks containing cannabis will be allowed in Saskatchewan, according to Makowsky.
Edibles 'will present challenges': RPS Chief
Evan Bray, chief of the Regina Police Service, said he thinks the legalization of edibles will present a challenge for police.
"It's a nuance to the legalization aspect and to the legislation," Bray said.
He said the rules for where someone can consume edibles is similar to rules around where other forms of cannabis can be consumed, meaning a person cannot eat an edible in a public place.
Bray said cannabis users should understand that eating edibles affects everyone differently.
"Sometimes it takes longer to absorb into your body," Bray said.
"We really are cautioning people to take a measured approach to it. Understand it very likely will impair your ability to drive a vehicle and if you haven't tried it you don't know what it really looks like."
In terms of schools, Bray said School Resource Officers are "plugged in" to the daily happenings, but addressing edibles in educational buildings could be another challenge.
"Everybody opens up their lunch kit and has cookies in their lunch, some people have three or four," Bray said.
"Mine aren't cannabis infused, but the reality is it's going to be a very tough thing to detect and so I think we're going to have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis, at least right off the start."
Saskatoon Police Service chief Troy Cooper said the expansion of the cannabis legislation to include edibles is "a little bit of a concern."
He cited examples from the United States, where people have taken too much because they didn't know how to consume an edible product.
Cooper, like Bray, urged people to educate themselves and be cautious when consuming edibles.
With files from Adam Hunter, Morgan Modjeski