Updated: Cannabis edibles raise concerns in Richmond

Keeping cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals clearly labelled and away from youth – those are a couple messages the City of Richmond wants to convey to Health Canada in anticipation of them being available for sale in October.

In response to a survey from the federal government on edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and topicals, city staff have compiled a series of responses that council looked at Monday’s general purposes meeting.

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The responses to Health Canada were passed unanimously by council with Coun. Chak Au commenting that he was “very happy” with it. 

“There’s no safe dosage for young people in terms of the edibles so I think this is a very good approach that we’re taking,” he said.

In the responses, staff focus on the need to label products clearly, but also point out that additives, for example, sugar, can raise the risk of youth eating these products.

“Cannabis edibles present a serious risk in terms of encouraging youth consumption of cannabis,” the report states, pointing out that some products could be baked goods and treats like chocolate, jelly beans and soft candy, which can be “highly desirable and attractive to youth.”

The responses also raise concerns about edible cannabis looking like other food products.

Warning labels should be similar to those on cigarette packages to discuss the harmful effects of the products, according to the report, and there’s a concern the packaging would appeal to youth, and the packaging should be plain.

The fact that no more police resources are being added even though municipalities are responsible for enforcing the Cannabis Act was made to Health Canada in the report – municipalities will have to bear the “societal, health and criminological costs” of this new legislation without the necessary resources.

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