December 20, 2019 by The Canadian Press
VICTORIA – British Columbia’s government says the first batch of legal marijuana edibles, extracts and topical will soon be available for purchase, two months after they were legalized in Canada.
The province says it received its first shipments of the products Wednesday and has made them available to private and public retailers via its wholesale customer portal.
The Ministry of Attorney General says consumers can expect to see them on store shelves by the end of the month, based on shipping schedules.
The province’s liquor control branch is the only wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C.
Although it has registered more than 260 different products under the newly legal categories, the ministry says only a small number are expected to be available for retail sale within the first few months of 2020.
It says a number of factors influence product availability, including the ability of manufacturers to meet demand from other markets across Canada.
While edibles, oils, topicals, hash and other cannabis goods became legal in October, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has previously said they would not be available in retail outlets until January.
The delay is based on 60 days’ notice that producers must provide to Health Canada of their intention to sell the products.
Beverages, tea bags, chocolates, cookies, vaporizers and cartridges are among the new products to be released.
Consumers can also now buy other extracts, such as shatter and hashish, as well as cannabis-infused topicals that can be applied to the skin, hair or nails, the province says.
Oils and capsules legalized in 2018 have been reclassified as extracts.
The province requires the new products to have the same plain, child proof packaging approved by Health Canada that are in place for existing cannabis products. They must include information about the product’s THC and CBD content, health warnings, and bear the cannabis symbol.
The new products are supplied by 24 producers and the liquor distribution branch says it’s working with more than 40 licensed producers to form its entire wholesale product assortment.
Beginning Jan. 1, the provincial sales tax on vapour products will increase to 20 per cent from seven per cent.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2019.