Canada is the second country in the world to legalize cannabis on the federal level. Despite their seemingly relaxed stance on the psychoactive plant, in some ways they are more strict than the United States. As an example, pure Hemp products are not yet available over-the-counter in pharmacies and grocery stores. However, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is pushing for CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in abundance in hemp plants, to be available to Canadians over-the-counter.
Currently, all cannabis products, regardless of their purpose, are only available at recreational dispensaries or through a medical dispensary with a physician’s recommendation. The CHFA, which represents health food stores across Canada, argues that Hemp products should be treated like they are in most U.S. States, sold in health food stores without a doctor’s recommendation.
The Hemp oils on dispensary shelves are disappearing faster than retailers can keep them in stock. Industry leaders concentrated on THC and underestimated the popularity of the compound that doesn’t produce a “high.” According to some producers, the reason for the increase in fame is the result of marketing regulations in the U.S. that don’t prevent celebrity endorsements of products derived from hemp.
For example, Kim Kardashian West, had a “Hemp baby shower” earlier in the year and pro athlete Rob Gronkowski, a former NFL player for the New England Patriots recently endorsed the compound. While celebrity endorsements seem to be pushing the popularity of CBD, it may be an insufficient boost for the cannabis industry as a whole.
Product shortages are a significant problem the legal Canadian cannabis industry is facing. However, as production increases, there will still be limitations for people who need access to quality Hemp oil. The number of dispensaries in each area are limited, which further warrants greater access to Hemp edibles and Hemp tinctures online.
Vice President of government relations and regulatory affairs at the CFHA, Dan Demers, explains, “quite frankly in many ways it’s easier to get high and harder to get well. That doesn’t make sense.”
He’s right. Most people can get alcohol, tobacco, and now potent THC products easier than CBD. In fact, while the celebrity endorsements are not legal to prevent the products from appealing to children and teenagers, interestingly, advertisements for tobacco vape brands are plastered everywhere. Some consumers are resorting to the unregulated black market for Hemp oil, or purchasing it online in the U.S. Hemp for sale in the U.S. can have shipping problems between the two countries though.
Canadian health regulators and government officials across the globe continuously emphasize the need for more Hemp research to finalize fair rules and legal barriers for consumer access to CBD. Until then, many are anticipating a more clear framework of the regulation of consuming, selling and distributing cannabis constituents such as CBD, which will require more testing on its efficacy and safety.
Read more at CTVNews.com.