You’ve probably heard about the numerous benefits of CBD oil, but you are wondering, “Is CBD oil legal in Canada?” CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound present in Cannabis sativa plants, commonly known as marijuana or hemp plant, and has many benefits.
Scientific studies reveal that CBD oil helps ease the symptoms of several common health issues, such as acne, anxiety, depression, and heart disease. For people with cancer, CBD oil may offer a natural alternative way to alleviate pain and symptoms.
However, the biggest question that revolves around Cannabidiol products is, “Is CBD legal in Canada?” In this guide, we explore the legal status of CBD oil in Canada. You’ll also learn a brief history of the Canadian Cannabis laws.
That said, let’s get started!
The Brief History of Cannabis Laws in Canada
In the early 1900s, hemp cultivation was a significant source of wealth to settlers. So the government used to supply hemp seeds to farmers to grow the economy. Towards the end of the 19th century, cotton replaced cannabis production due to low labour costs.
In 1923, the government added cannabis to the Confidential Restricted List through the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill. That’s because cannabis became more associated with marijuana, which has many psychoactive effects. This affected hemp’s legal status.
Notably, the Canadian government allowed the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp (a non-THC relative of cannabis) in 1998, but under restrictive rules. In 2001, the government legalized the usage of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
By 2015, it became clear that cannabis was less harmful than alcohol and had several medical benefits. So, Justin Trudeau’s election paved the way for the full legalization of cannabis. The Canadian government approved the Cannabis Act in 2017.
In October 2018, the possession and purchase of CBD and recreational cannabis were fully legal. Since then, both hemp and marijuana have been legal for both recreational and medical use. You can now purchase the products without a doctor’s prescription.
It is the legalization of cannabis that introduced the benefits of CBD oil to the public. Although cannabis is legal, some provincial and federal cannabis laws have made the sale, production, and consumption of CBD products more challenging in some contexts.
Is CBD Legal in Canada?
Now that you know a brief history of cannabis, it’s now evident that both industrial hemp and marijuana are legal in Canada. However, only cannabis-licensed retailers and processors can produce, extract, and sell CBD products.
If you’re a consumer living in Canada, you can quickly order CBD oils from government stores and online dispensaries. However, the trickiest part is for the companies selling CBD oil. The government has strict regulations for people selling cannabis products.
Despite cannabis being legal, the Canadian government controls everything, right from the storage, labelling, pricing, and advertising. Any company that wants to sell CBD oils must follow a complicated application process. Unfortunately, it can take many months.
The whole process of starting up a CBD company costs a fortune, leaving many startup investors pulling their hair out. However, Canada’s new federal laws on CBD production are very complex and dependent on each province’s or territory’s mandates.
The Cannabis Act: Regulation of Cannabis Production and Consumption
So how is CBD production and sale regulated in Canada? Both Cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids from cannabis plants get regulated under the Cannabis Act. These laws got formalized on October 17, 2018, and follow conventions set by the U.N.
Before the Canadian government passed the Canadian Act, CBD was regulated under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The laws prohibited the extraction, production, sales, and distribution of CBD products without government authorization.
The Cannabis Act has several reservations that stipulate specific terms and conditions for CBD production and consumption. For example, an individual must be at least 19 (or 18 in Alberta and Quebec provinces) years old to buy Cannabis products, like CBD oils.
However, one can only take a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis when in public at a time. This amount is pretty satisfying for many cannabis users. Failure to abide by the rules will attract strict penalties, like five-year imprisonment for having over 30 grams.
Regulation of Industrial Hemp by the Cannabis Act
The Cannabis Act has a specific regulation, the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR), that controls the usage of the hemp plant. The IHR program refers to hemp as a cannabis plant or plant parts with a THC content of 0.3 percent or less in the leaves and flowers.
The IHR program allows Canadian farmers to grow low-THC cannabis (industrial hemp) under government-controlled conditions. To cultivate, process, and sell industrial hemp, they must get a federal license. Here is the industrial hemp licensing application guide.
Note that the Canadian Industrial Hemp Regulations allow the production and sales of hemp derivatives, such as hemp flour, hemp seed oil, and hemp seeds. However, the IHR program doesn’t include products from the flowering parts of the hemp leaves.
Once a farmer has obtained the cannabis processing license, they can cultivate hemp for parts rich in CBD and process the compound for CBD products. If the farmers don’t have a license, they can still grow hemp and sell them to licensed cannabis processors.
CBD Laws in Canada’s Provinces and Territories
Canada’s cannabis and CBD laws vary based on the regulations stipulated by every territory or province. However, some laws are the same in all provinces and territories, such as the federal possession limit of 30 grams of dried CBD flowers or equivalents.
Another example is the minimum age limit of consumers. The legal age for consuming CBD oil is 19 in all provinces, except in Alberta and Quebec, which is 18. However, the provinces and territories differ when it comes to the purchase and consumption laws.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Canada
If you plan to purchase CBD oil in Canada, you can head to our store. Here at Zen Bliss Canada, we are ready to serve you with high-quality CBD oil products. We test our CBD products to ensure they fulfil our quality standards and those of the federal government.
Contact us now for more information about our CBD oil products.