Three years ago, the government appointed the Science Advisory Committee to recommend guidelines to assist Health Canada in the development of regulations to permit the sales of CBD based Cannabis Health Products (CHPs) in an over the counter (OTC) setting. After much anticipation, the committee announced their recommendation last Thursday.

We highlight some key points from Scientific Advisory Committee’s recommendations to Health Canada (link to report provided below):

  • CBD is safe and tolerable for short-term use within dose limitations for healthy adults without prescription and is not habit forming
  • A consultation with a pharmacist should be encouraged if taking other medications, CBD health products should only be available in pharmacies
  • CBD health products should be packaged in boxes, so an insert with key details on the product, dosing, potential side effects can be included
  • Safety, efficacy, and quality requirements developed for potential OTC CBD health products could be modelled on Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Regulations

These recommendations are inline with Pathway’s CHP investment thesis, our market leading position with pharmacies, and strategic direction on CHP products.

Although, to date, there have been no indications from Health Canada when the mandatory review process of the cannabis regulations may begin, according to rules they have approximately 8 months for a report to be produced and a government decision to be made. Additionally, with the recent creation of the Industry Sector of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), and the short timeline proposed for feedback from stakeholders on the above noted recommendations for CBD CHPs, we continue to be encouraged that long over-due changes that are needed to address affordability and greater access for patients who use cannabis for medical purposes will be made.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to keeping you informed in the coming months on any further regulatory movements.

Review of cannabidiol:  Report of the Science Advisory Committee on Health Products Containing Cannabis: