Ontario and BC Pause New Delta-8 THC Products, Wait for Health Canada Response

By | last updated January 27, 2023

Evidence Based 2

The popularity of delta-8 THC has risen substantially. So much so that even the Canadian legal market in Ontario and British Columbia has seen delta-8 THC products appear online and in stores over the past year.

However, the two legal, government-operated cannabis retailers in Ontario and British Columbia — the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) and the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) — have announced that they’re suspending orders of new delta-8 THC products.

They announced that they intend to wait on further guidance from Health Canada on the legality of Delta 8. In the official words of the OCS, “Although we are not aware of any adverse reactions to these products in the legal cannabis market in Canada to date, products containing delta-8 THC fall outside the definition of THC under the federal Cannabis Act.”

Aside from the confusion over whether delta-8 falls under the Cannabis Act, the OCS is also concerned about what’s seen in the United States in terms of the potential harm of delta-8 products and the warnings issued by the FDA.

The existing inventory of delta-8 THC will continue being sold by OCS via their wholesale channels. However, no stock replenishment will take place. Dried cannabis products that have reduced levels of naturally occurring delta 8 THC remain unaffected and will continue to be available. 

Similarly, British Columbia’s Liquor Distribution Branch is concerned that delta-8 falls outside the definition of THC under the Cannabis Act. They went on to state they would no longer be carrying delta-THC once their supply is exhausted.

Their email stated, “Information about delta-8 THC and the potential biological effects and health risks to consumers is new and emerging, and the BCLDB is working with its government counterparts to determine the appropriate next steps.”

Both retailers have distributed many products containing delta-8 such as edibles, oils, topicals, vapes, and beverages over the past year.

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