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Ottawa to form advisory committee after Canadians voice interest in ‘cannabis health products’

Ottawa to form advisory committee after Canadians voice interest in ‘cannabis health products’

This story originally appeared on The Growth Op.

The results are in from more than two months of public consultations by Health Canada regarding cannabis health products, with more than 60 per cent of respondents indicating that they would be interested in such items.

Health Canada reports it will now create a scientific advisory committee before drafting any regulations around therapeutic cannabis products that don’t require prescriptions.

Respondents were broken down into three categories: consumers, industry representatives and “other” interested parties. The majority indicated they were interested in cannabis health products for both human and animal use.

Under the Cannabis Act, products cannot be marketed in a manner that purports health claims or contains information about potential therapeutic use. Despite those regulations, consumer participants felt that cannabis “is safer or healthier to use than pharmaceuticals, and reported personal experiences of therapeutic benefits, particularly with CBD products.”

Respondents indicated they would prefer to access therapeutic cannabis products without the need for practitioner oversight, and the majority of respondents noted they would seek out cannabis health products to treat pain and inflammation. Trouble sleeping was also a common interest, as were cannabis health products for treating mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and stress.

Respondents were particularly interested in products that could be taken orally — extracts, tinctures, oils, capsules — and topicals that could be applied directly for joint pain and sore muscles. About 10 per cent of participants in the survey preferred to continue smoking or vaping cannabis.

Participants also reported that CBD should be regulated differently than THC. That said, the majority of respondents expressed confusion regarding the current regulatory framework around medical and non-medical cannabis products.

Health Canada notes it will now move forward by creating a scientific advisory committee in 2020 that will “seek external scientific advice that will support consideration of appropriate safety, efficacy and quality standards for health products containing cannabis that would be safe for use without practitioner oversight.”

The information gathered during that process will inform a potential path forward, Health Canada adds.

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