Canada’s CHP’s: A New Category of Pot Health Supplements, New Regulatory Issues

Canada’s CHP’s: A New Category of Pot Health Supplements, New Regulatory Issues
Canada’s CHP’s: A New Category of Pot Health Supplements, New Regulatory Issues

  • New proposal still at “public consultations” stage
  • New products wouldn’t hit shelves until 2020, at earliest
  • “Specific health claims” would have to be supported by scientific evidence
  • General health claims would not be allowed 

Globally, the dietary supplements market is projected to grow to $194.63 billion by 2025, according to a 2019 report from Grand View Research. On that basis, Canada’s announcement of a new category of “Cannabis Health Products” (CHP’s) is potentially big news.

MjBizDaily is reporting that:

Health Canada is asking the public to submit feedback on the new category – called Cannabis Health Products – via a consultation paper before eventually advancing draft regulations.

While the proposal is at a very early stage, preliminary language in place is problematic. The first issue is that (as currently drafted) products would not be approved that made any “general health claims”.

The cannabis plant contains approximately 100 known cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the plant. As most cannabis investors already know, the human body also naturally produces its own cannabinoids.

Known as “endocannabinoids”, medical science now understands that these cannabinoids are essential in generally promoting and maintaining human health.
Components of the ECS [endocannabinoid system] are present and vital in nearly every area of the human body. Thus, disruption of the ECS has a serious, negative impact on human health. The ECS is responsible for both basic homeostatic roles:
  • Relaxation
  • Metabolism
  • Sleep
  • Memory

And more complex functions:
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Modulation of embryonic development
  • Neuroprotection
  • Immunity and inflammation
  • Apoptosis
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Pain and emotional memory

Cannabinoids deliver important, general health benefits – in numerous areas. Yet under proposed language, the companies selling CHP’s in Canada would be prohibited from making this scientifically valid connection.

This is yet another example of Canadian politicians and bureaucrats attempting to legislate and regulate the cannabis industry from a position of near-total ignorance.

TSI noted precisely the same problem in the newly announced regulations for Phase 2 of cannabis legalization in Canada.

[Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill] Blair reveals his real intentions elsewhere in the BNN Bloomberg article.

“It's not the government's intention to promote the use of this drug but rather to make it legally available in a well-regulated manner to reduce the social and health harms often associated with cannabis use.” [emphasis mine]

Utter nonsense.

We now see that these new regulations have nothing to do with eliminating the black market for cannabis. These regulations are aimed only at deviously framing cannabis as a dangerous drug – and undermining (not facilitating) the transition to legal cannabis.

“Reduce the social and health harms often associated with cannabis use”?

What social harms? What health harms?

Cannabis is medicine used to alleviate health harms. It is completely safe.

The active ingredients in the cannabis plant are known as cannabinoids. The human body naturally produces its own cannabinoids (“endocannabinoids”) because they are essential to human health.

Mother’s milk naturally contains cannabinoids. They are passed to infants in breast milk to promote infant health.

Not only is Canada’s federal government lacking any comprehension at all that cannabis is a safe, non-toxic substance that promotes health in numerous ways. Cannabis dinosaurs like Bill Blair still view it as a dangerous drug. And Blair was put in charge of drafting these important regulations for the cannabis industry.

This leads back to the proposed legislation on CHP’s.

It is already established that cannabinoids deliver general health benefits. But the government has already stated that such claims of “general health benefits” will not be allowed with respect to (proposed) CHP’s.

Cannabis companies manufacturing/distributing these products will be allowed to make specific health claims – but only if “scientific evidence” is provided. This raises an obvious question.

How high will Health Canada set the bar in what it considers to be “scientific evidence”, given that it has already ignored the scientific evidence of the general health-promoting properties of cannabis?

Once again, we see proposed legislation that should be facilitating the development of the legal cannabis industry. Instead, it is being framed in extremely obstructionist terms. Rather than embracing the emerging science on cannabis, Canada’s government continues to bury its head in the sand.

The cannabinoids in the cannabis plant provide extremely important general health benefits. This should be a huge commercial opportunity for Canadian cannabis companies.

However, if cannabis consumers want to buy cannabis-based products to obtain these general health benefits, they won’t be able to do so in Canada – legally.

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