AGLC says CBN’s policy is based on federal guidelines, while Health Canada, the province says otherwise

AGLC says CBN's policy is based on federal guidelines, while Health Canada, the province says otherwise

Although the AGLC in Alberta stated that they had considered CBN in their THC limits on cannabis products such as food, concentrate, or topical, based on guidance from Health Canada, the other four provincial cannabis institutes said they had not received such guidance.

A Health Canada representative confirmed that they are currently considering developing a guidance document for licensees on what are considered intoxicating cannabinoids other than delta-9-THC. They have not made any changes to the current federal regulations.

This information comes after the provincial distributor of Alberta, AGLC, reportedly informed several cannabis producers that they were including CBN in the federal limit of 10mg THC for edibles. The AGLC says this is based on guidance from Health Canada, but points to a Health Canada guidance document published earlier this year that does not refer to CBN, only delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC.

Although AGLC notified StratCann that the change to regulations went into effect in February this year, representatives from four other provincial cannabis institutes—Cannabis NB in ​​New Brunswick, LDB in BC, OCS in Ontario, and SQDC in Quebec—told StratCann they had not received any any guide. or advice from Health Canada regarding minor cannabinoids in general, or CBN specifically.

Cannabis Notes:

“No, Health Canada has not provided Cannabis NB with respect to minor cannabinoids. Cannabis NB will continue to sell products that meet Health Canada guidelines and regulations,” wrote Angela Bosse, communications specialist at Cannabis NB.


“BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) has not received the latest directives from Health Canada regarding minor cannabinoids and THC limits for edibles,” said Kate Bliney, LDB communications officer, who also noted that in December 2022, LDB notified manufacturers licensed that they will not register or restock any product containing delta-8-THC.

“At this time, the LDB has not issued any directives regarding other minor cannabinoids,” he added.


“SQDC has not received any regulatory changes or directives regarding the implementation of regulations regarding minor cannabinoids,” Fabrice Giguère, communications advisor and spokesperson for SQDC, wrote in an email to StratCann.

“Currently we do not have a policy regarding this matter. We have no reason to believe that our suppliers’ food products do not comply with federal and provincial regulations regarding THC limits. Therefore, we do not plan to remove or remove edible products.”

“In Québec, the maximum THC content allowed for ready-to-eat products is set at 10mg per package and 5mg per distinguishable unit contained in the package. Meanwhile, for ready-to-drink beverage products, the maximum THC content allowed is set at 5 mg per different unit.”


“OCS is not aware of any formal guidance provided by Health Canada to Licensed Manufacturers (LPs) of cannabis with regard to recommended limits on intoxicating cannabinoids,” Daffyd Roderick, Senior Director, Communications and Social Responsibility at OCS. “Should Health Canada issue formal guidance, OCS will work with its LPs to understand their impact and support their compliance, if needed.”

Although AGLC notified StratCann via email last week that the Ontario Cannabis Store is also implementing the same requirements with respect to CBN under Health Canada’s recommendations earlier this year, OCS notes that the only change they have made is to refer to delta8-THC instead of CBN or cannabinoids. other small.

“In December 2022, OCS made the proactive decision to begin limiting the sale of products containing delta-8 THC in response to emerging health and safety concerns in the United States. At the time, OCS was communicating with licensed cannabis LPs and retailers to notify them of these changes, which was made out of an abundance of caution while the industry awaits formal guidance and direction from Health Canada as to whether amendments to the regulations are needed. cannabis law and its Regulations to address intoxicating cannabinoids and other synthetic derivatives not explicitly covered by the framework.

“OCS remains committed to creating a dynamic cannabis market that offers adult consumers access to innovative legal cannabis products, diverts consumers from unregulated sources and promotes social responsibility with respect to cannabis. Clear and specific regulatory guidance from Health Canada regarding intoxicating cannabis is critical to achieving this goal.”

Although AGLC claims the changes go into effect in February 2023, several manufacturers told StratCann that AGLC continues to take orders for products that contain CBN and fall outside the province’s interpretation of those products as having more than 10mg THC, with CBN included. that amount.

The AGLC pointed to documents they submitted in February as the notice in question, but the documents only referred to delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC, not CBN or other minor cannabinoids.

The AGLC also said the policy applies to any cannabis product “containing a combination of natural or synthetic intoxicating cannabinoids that exceeds the THC limits set forth for food products and extracts in the Cannabis Regulations (10mg & 1000mg, respectively, per retail pack), including products with CBN.”

The 1,000mg THC limit will apply for concentrates and topicals.

From an AGLC memo sent to manufacturers and retailers on February 15, 2023

The Alberta cannabis agency also stated that this rule regarding CBN was communicated to all LPs by February 15, 2023, when they requested that LPs contact their respective AGLC category management specialists if they have products affected by this policy.

“Recently we came to attention that certain SKUs are still not complying with these requirements so we started notifying the affected LPs,” the AGLC communications staff told StratCann via email.

AGLC said the list of cannabinoids considered intoxicating was still changing and more could be added to the list in the future, which they said was done based on guidance from Health Canada.

“The cannabis plant produces more than 100 types of minor/rare phytocannabinoids and there are also intoxicating synthetic cannabinoids made in laboratories,” the AGLC communications team continued via email to StratCann. “With that said, the new and mildly intoxicating cannabinoid category is still evolving. The AGLC does not specify whether a cannabinoid is intoxicating but follows the guidelines provided by Health Canada.

“Here are some examples of intoxicating cannabinoids:

  • Experience: delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC), delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-10-THC), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) etc.
  • Synthetic cannabinoid derivatives (not currently allowed in Alberta): – tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP), tetrahydrocannabutol (THCB), tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate (THC-O) etc.

“As AGLC receives guidance from Health Canada, it will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure LPs are aware of the potential for change.”

A Zelca representative, who was informed by their category manager that one of their products would be removed from the listing soon, now says AGLC has rescinded their initial claim and will allow the sale of Zelca products in stock but will not do so. will fulfill future orders.

One of the confusion that has arisen is the inclusion of CBN as a “minor intoxicating cannabinoid” (MIC). While internal messages shared with StratCann indicate Health Canada is currently considering cannabinol (CBN) as the MIC, along with delta-8-THC, delta-10-THC, delta-6a-10a-THC, THC-O, HHC, THCV, THCP, and THCB, there is no official information from Health Canada on this matter. However, federal regulators have yet to issue CBN-related changes or official regulatory guidelines to the provinces.

“Health Canada is also considering developing a guidance document that will help licensees understand the application of the Cannabis Act and its regulations on intoxicating cannabinoids other than delta-9-THC,” Anna Maddison, senior media relations adviser at Health Canada, tells StratCann in an email.

“As with other topics and issues, Health Canada holds regular discussions with licensees and industry associations such as the Cannabis Council of Canada, the National Cannabis Working Group of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the C-45 Quality Association. The topic of intoxicating cannabinoids other than delta-9-THC has been raised in this discussion.”

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