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Should Health Canada ease cannabis packaging rules? US CDC warns of child safety risks | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


23 Jun 2023 — Canada’s competition watchdog identified prohibitions on cannabis promotion, packaging and labeling as one of the barriers affecting competition in Canada’s cannabis industry and recommends the government review and consider easing restrictions. 

“Since legalization, some cannabis producers have developed new and unique products and processes. However, current restrictions make it difficult for cannabis producers to promote their innovations, which in turn can have a chilling effect on competition,” the Competition Bureau writes.

The Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations stipulate general packaging and labeling requirements – from logos, colors and branding as well as specific display formats about how product information must appear on the label (e.g., type style, size and spacing). 

The rules are expected to be updated by early next year and the competition body was tasked with providing a perspective on how to improve the industry.

Health Canada asserts that the plain packaging measures are designed to reduce the attractiveness and appeal of cannabis products, particularly to young persons.gummy bear edibles with cannabis infusionEdibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana, have some different risks than smoked marijuana.

But the Competition Bureau says that by easing restrictions on cannabis promotion, packaging and labeling, cannabis producers can build and raise brand awareness and better differentiate their businesses and products from those of their competitors. 

“This will facilitate non-price aspects of competition by enabling cannabis producers to compete on a range of business characteristics and product attributes, not simply THC content and price. This will also enable cannabis producers to better inform and educate consumers, who will be empowered to make informed purchasing decisions.”

Packaging to blame? 
A US study evaluating pediatric cannabis edible ingestions in children younger than six years concerning toxicity, medical outcome and health care utilization for 2017–2021 found an increase of 1,375%. 

The study published in Pediatrics earlier this year details that 70% of cases followed to a known outcome were reported to have central nervous system depression. Of all reported cases, 22.7% of patients were admitted to the hospital.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), edible cannabis has a greater risk of poisoning than smoked marijuana. “Children, adults and pets can mistake marijuana products, particularly edibles, for regular food or candy. Consuming marijuana can make children very sick,” CDC warns. a pack of smokable marijuanaCanada Cannabis Act rules are expected to be updated by early next year.

Children may have problems walking or sitting up or may have a hard time breathing. “Since marijuana use has been legalized in some states, accidental marijuana poisonings in children have increased, sometimes requiring visits to the emergency room or hospitalization.”

Recent media accounts from child hospitalizations have reported that some attractive packaging of cannabis edibles, such as gummies, chocolates, and brownies, make it enticing for an average child and have led to accidental poisoning. 

Packaging Insights took this concern to the Competition Bureau, but it declined to comment, saying: “We must respectfully decline at this time. The Bureau’s recommendations were made from the perspective of increasing competition in the cannabis industry.” 

“The Bureau recognizes that the recommendations made in its submission must be carefully balanced with other important public policy goals, including public health and safety. The Bureau relies on Health Canada and other subject-matter experts to determine how to strike the right balance between these goals and competition policy considerations.”

By Radhika Sikaria


This feature is provided by NutritionInsight’s sister website, PackagingInsights.


To contact our editorial team please email us at
editorial@cnsmedia.com


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