Pubdate: Wed, 22 Nov 2017
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2017 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Kristy Kirkup
Page: A7


OTTAWA - Health Canada offered hints Tuesday about the government's
plans for legal pot, including plain packaging and stern health
warnings like those found on tobacco products.

The department released a set of proposed regulations that, among
other things, would limit colours and graphics on cannabis packs and
establish a system to trace pot through the distribution system.

It said the warnings should highlight risks, including the dangers
associated with cannabis use during pregnancy, drug-impaired driving
and what can happen when alcohol is mixed with marijuana.

The department's socalled consultation paper is now open to public
feedback for the next two months.

Speaking outside t he House of Commons, Health Minister Ginette
Petitpas Taylor said the government is also studying other proposals
including a tracking system to monitor the cannabis supply chain and
help prevent pot being diverted into and out of the legal market.

Health Canada also said Tuesday the proposals seek to elaborate on
elements including what can be displayed on a package and what can't,
including anything that might entice youngsters.

"Text and graphics used in brand elements could not be appealing to
youth and would be subject to the packaging and labelling restrictions
in the proposed Cannabis Act," the department said.

Government officials said late Tuesday the proposals attempt to
elaborate on what can be displayed on a package to ensure the legal
industry can keep itself distinct from the black market, while
competing with it.

Producers would be allowed to display brand elements, the officials
confirmed, saying they are talking to legal producers about packaging.

The officials also said Health Canada sees its plans as consistent
with what the federally appointed task force on pot legalization
recommended: plain and standard packaging.

The proposed regulations would also require that cannabis workers
obtain valid security clearances issued by the minister of health.
Individuals with connections to organized crime, or criminal records
or shady associates could be denied clearances.

Earlier Tuesday, Statistics Canada said it plans to start measuring
the economic and social impacts of recreational pot - even before it
becomes legal.

The agency said it wants to gradually develop the capabilities to
capture and report information on nonmedical cannabis.

It says collecting data both before and after marijuana becomes legal
will allow Canadians, governments and businesses to form a clearer
picture of the economic and social consequences of lawful pot.

- - with files from Andy Blatchford
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