Reading Your Legal Cannabis Label
There are many important components to the labels of cannabis products sold within legal cannabis stores. These labels are mandated by Health Canada and are designed by the Licensed Producer through which the cannabis is purchased.
Here are a few important aspects of your cannabis label that you should know:
According to federal regulations, the colour of the cannabis packaging must be one uniform colour, with the inside being a different colour.
Excise Tax Stamp
This stamp indicates that the manufacturer has paid the federal cannabis excise tax to Canada Revenue Agency. This tax revenue is split between the federal and provincial governments, with the Province of British Columbia getting 75%. Each stamp has a unique identifying number and is colour-coded according to the jurisdiction under which the cannabis is to be sold.
Health Canada’s warning symbol must appear on any cannabis product that contains more than a “negligible” amount of THC (enough THC to produce a psychoactive effect, or a “high”).
Strain names are not regulated by Health Canada and do not pertain to what is inside, but they have been applied to different varieties of cannabis to help distinguish between them. The most helpful information is found in the THC and CBD content label as well as the terpene content found on the strain description and terpene description.
Brand Name and Logo
Health Canada has significantly restricted promotions of cannabis. The brand name and logo is the only opportunity for cannabis brands to develop brand recognition with their customers. The brand logo is located in the upper right-hand side of the warning label.
THC and CBD Content
THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are two of the key compounds found in cannabis.
Regulated cannabis must display THC and CBD content as two separate and distinct figures. For THC, there are two figures displayed. The THC content of dried cannabis is displayed first, while the second figure is the THC and CBD content when the cannabinoids are activated by heat (smoking, vaping, cooking, etc).
Potency is usually determined by the percentage of THC found in a cannabis strain. Usually, a strain with 0 to 10% would be considered “weak”, while anything from 10 to 20% would be considered moderately strong. Anything approaching 30% would be considered extremely potent.
A black and yellow warning label contains messages from Health Canada. Warning label statements include a primary sentence (i.e. “Cannabis smoke is harmful.”) and a secondary sentence (i.e. “Harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke are also found in cannabis smoke.”). The Warning Label differs by product and Licensed Producer.
Strain and Terpene Description
This is optional information for the Licensed Producer to include. Strain descriptions may include details about its strain type (i.e. indica-dominant hybrid), and dominant terpenes.
This displays the net weight of cannabis in a package in grams.
Packaging Date and Expiry Date
If a Licensed Producer does not have specific data about the stability of their product, it is acceptable to print the phrase “No expiry date has been determined”, while if they have specific data about stability, they must include an expiry date for their products.
Recommended Storage Conditions
This includes tips on where you should store your cannabis.
This information details the name of the company that produced the cannabis as well as a phone number and email address for the producer.
Child Safety Warning
All cannabis packages must contain the statement: “KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN/TENIR HORS DE LA PORTEE DES ENFANTS”
This information may not mean much to the consumer, but it is helpful if there is ever an instance of a product recall.
These must be in black and white so to not appear attractive to children, meeting the government’s child-proofing standard.