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Winter LLP Update: Transition Period Q&A

Greetings everyone!

Please read the following Q&A prepared exclusively for WINTER LLP clients and friends:

  1. Starting on January 1, 2018, can Retailers sell edible cannabis products with THC levels in excess of 100mg and non-edible cannabis products (flower, tinctures, extracts) with THC levels in excess of 2000mg? Section 5029, BCC Regulations.

Yes, between Jan 1, 2018, and July 1, 2018, M-Licensee Retailers can sell

  • Edible cannabis products with THC levels in excess of 100mg (no maximum limit), so long as they are labeled 10mg THC/serving; and
  • Non-edible cannabis products (flower, tinctures, extracts) with THC levels in excess of 2000mg (no maximum limit), no serving size label required.
  1. Starting on January 1, 2018, Can Retailers sell cannabis goods that do not meet the State Labeling Requirements?

Yes, between Jan 1, 2018, and July 1, 2018, Retailers can sell goods that do not meet State Labeling Requirements as long as the following warnings are affixed prior to sale:

  • For cannabis flower: “GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. CANNABIS MAY ONLY BE POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER UNLESS THE PERSON IS A QUALIFIED PATIENT. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.”
  • For cannabis products: “GOVERNMENT WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS CANNABIS, A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY ONLY BE POSSESSED OR CONSUMED BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER UNLESS THE PERSON IS A QUALIFIED PATIENT. THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS MAY BE DELAYED UP TO TWO HOURS. CANNABIS USE WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MAY BE HARMFUL. CONSUMPTION OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS IMPAIRS YOUR ABILITY TO DRIVE AND OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.”
  • For Untested cannabis products: “This product has not been tested as required by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.”
  1. Starting on January 1, 2018, can Manufacturers sell cannabis products to Distributors/Retailers that do not meet the State Packaging and Labeling Requirements?

Yes, Manufacturers may sell cannabis products that do not meet State Packaging and Labeling Requirements provided:

  • The cannabis product was manufactured prior to January 1, 2018.
  • The cannabis product is packaged in child-resistant packaging. A secondary package shall be sufficient.
  • The cannabis product contains the applicable government warning (above).
  • The cannabis product meets the applicable THC limits (100mg for edibles, 1000-2000mg for concentrates.)
    • Please note, this is inconsistent with the BCC regulations which explicitly allow the transport and sale of medical cannabis products prior to July 1, 2018, regardless of the amount of THC. We have submitted comments to the MCSB discussing this inconsistency.
  • The cannabis products contains a sticker with the amount of THC/CBD content per serving and per package.
  1. Starting on January 1, 2018, can Manufacturers manufacture cannabis products that do not meet State Labeling and Packaging Requirements?

No, all cannabis products manufactured from January 1, 2018 onwards must meet State Labeling and Packaging Requirements.

  1. Starting on January 1, 2018, will all cannabis products need to undergo the full panel of testing prior to sale?

Not exactly. There is a “Phase-In” of Required Testing, so that the full panel of testing will not be required until December 31, 2018. Until then, required testing is as follows.

    1. For untested cannabis products manufactured prior to Jan 1, 2018, the following warning needs to be affixed:

i. “This product has not been tested as required by the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.”

    1. All cannabis harvested on or after Jan 1, 2018, and all cannabis products manufactured on or after Jan 1, 2018 shall be tested for the following:

i. Cannabinoids

ii. Moisture content

iii. Category II Residual solvents

iv. Category I Residual pesticides

v. Microbial impurities

vi. Homogeneity

    1. All cannabis harvested on or after July 1, 2018 and products manufactured on or after July 1, 2018 shall be tested for all of the above, plus:

i. Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals

ii. Category II Residual Pesticides

iii. Foreign Material

    1. All cannabis harvested on or after December 31, 2018 and products manufactured on or after December 1, 2018 shall be tested for all of the above, plus:

i. Terpenoids

ii. Mycotoxins

iii. Heavy metals

iv. Water Activity

  1. Which licensee is responsible for arranging for Testing?

Distributors (full distribution licensees) are responsible for contacting a testing laboratory and arranging for a testing lab employee to come to the distributor’s licensed premises and select a representative sample for laboratory testing. Therefore if you are a manufacturer or cultivator and would like to arrange for lab testing, you must obtain a full Distribution license (cannot be Distributor-Transport Only in order to do so.

  1. Will Temporary Licensees be required to record commercial cannabis activity in the Track and Trace system?

No, temporary licensees will not be required to record commercial cannabis activity in the Track and Trace system. Temporary licensees shall track and record activity on paper receipts, invoices, or manifests.

To avoid confusion, please consider only contacting our office for answers to your questions. Otherwise, strongly consider your source (and their source, and that person’s source) before acting.

Thank you, stay safe, and good luck out there! Todd Winter, WINTER LLP.

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