Pot producers find a creative way around THC limits for gummies — and Health Canada is not amused
When is an edible not an edible? When it’s a “chewable extract.”
Aurora Cannabis and other cannabis producers appear to be finding some creative ways around doseage limits for legal THC gummies — and Health Canada apparently isn’t amused.
Some of the products, which hit legal pot stores and the Ontario Cannabis Store website late last year, even have a cheeky name: “Glitches.” And they’re a natural result, say industry officials, of competition from the grey market, where vastly stronger edibles are readily available.
Industry sources say several licensed producers, including Aurora, have received letters from Health Canada recently about edibles which the regulator said didn’t conform to the rules. It wasn’t immediately clear if any of the products used the same approach as Aurora’s Glitches.
The Drift brand, Glitches, produced by Aurora, each contain 10 mg of THC per unit, the maximum for edibles and extract products. But they come in packages of 5 or 10, meaning there are either 50 or 100 mg of THC per package. Edibles can have a maximum of 10 mg per package, while “extract” products can contain up to 1000 mg of THC per package.
That caught the attention of Health Canada.
“Health Canada has identified edible cannabis products erroneously being classified and marketed as cannabis extract products,” said spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau. “These non-compliant products do not meet the controls in the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations which serve to mitigate against public health and public safety risks associated with edible cannabis.”
Extract products, whether they’re in gel form or liquid, are also supposed to contain no added sugar or sweeteners. The Glitches ingredient list includes oligofructose, which is listed by Health Canada as a dietary fibre, but is sometimes used as an alternative, low-calorie sweetener.
Correction — Feb. 1, 2023: The Drift brand, Glitches, produced by Aurora Cannabis, each contain 10 mg of THC per unit, the maximum for edibles and extract products. Per government guidelines, edibles can have a maximum of 10 mg per package, while “extract” products can contain up to 1000 mg of THC per package. A previous version of this article erroneously stated how much THC is in the Glitches product and what government guidelines allow.
Industry insiders say defining gummies as ‘chewable extracts’ to get around Health Canada’s THC limits is a natural result of competing with the grey market, where stronger edibles are easily bought