Can You Sell Cannabis Products In Restaurants?

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One of the fastest-growing trends is cannabis and CBD-infused food and drinks. These days, the hot new thing is anything infused with cannabis and CBD, ranging from cocktails to coffee. As of October 17, 2019, as per the Cannabis Act issued by the federal government, all restaurants and commercial kitchens in Canada will be able to produce edible cannabis products. Not only that, but they will also be able to serve them to their customers just like any other traditional dish. Cool right?

Even though it sounds very intriguing and exciting, it comes with many intricacies that the restaurant owner should be aware of and then decide to include cannabis-infused dishes on their menu. Let’s learn more about it.

The rules and acts of using cannabis and CBD in restaurants are confusing and keep changing from time to time. But the thumb rule states that it is legal to serve cannabis-infused food in a restaurant. Ten states in the United States of America have legalized the use and sale of cannabis. You can also Get a Kush weed dispensary.

From sampling 1,087 participants, a survey in Canada in 2017 revealed that almost 40% of Canadians would purchase edible cannabis goods in a restaurant setting. These statistics show that people are genuinely interested in exploring new goods, products, and dishes infused with cannabis, their by-products.

A report by Deloitte was also released, which stated that “the next-generation cannabis products market (“cannabis 2.0″) is forecast to be approximately $2.7 billion annually, with 50 percent of individuals reporting that they plan to consume brownies, cookies, or chocolate at least once every three months.”

Opportunities For Restaurants Before The Regulation Announcement

Before announcing the new regulations, there were many opportunities for restaurants and food-service businesses. These were:

  • Sales that are happening because of the cannabis-infused beverages and foods sold and developed inside the establishment.
  • Sales that are happening because of pre-packaged cannabis-infused products produced by any manufacturer.
  • Opportunities to establish clubs or lounges for cannabis consumption with snack options or dining.

Rules and Regulations on Using Cannabis in Restaurants

The government of Canada has stated a few regulations that the restaurant industry must follow to use cannabis and its by-products in their dishes. These are:

  • Products must not require refrigeration and freezing;
  • They must provide the best-before date, an ingredient list, and nutritional information on the label;
  • They cannot contain sugar, sweeteners, added vitamins, minerals, or flavors and colors that may be appealing to children;
  • Products cannot have candy or dessert-like flavors;
  • There must be a limit to Marijuana-infused foods and drinks having 10 mg of THC per single dose;
  • Restaurants must not produce regular food and cannabis-infused products in the same facilities.
  • Restaurants or any dining or sitting place will not be allowed to serve any dishes that may contain any product of cannabis.
  • The manufacture of all cannabis products living under the same roof as food products are prohibited.
  • Restaurants must produce edible cannabis products that can come under sanitary conditions in the establishment, meeting specific physical security requirements of the people.
  • Only those who have an appropriate license from Health Canada under the Cannabis Act will be authorized to sell or manufacture any edible cannabis product.
  • Any person with a Federal license is not authorized to sell cannabis products for non-medical purposes to the public directly.
  • Retailers/restaurants / commercial kitchens who wish to sell edible cannabis products for non-medical purposes must acquire the appropriate provincial or territorial authorization.

Products That Are Prohibited

The government prohibits certain products as they can cause food-borne illness and contamination. These are:

  • Cannabis-infused beverages that may contain alcohol
  • Cannabis products that may contain nicotine or tobacco
  • Cannabis products that may contain caffeine
  • Cannabis products that could lure the children or youth (e.g., those that resemble popular food items or that are in the form of packages and look like candy or chocolate)
  • Vaping products with any perfume or scents that could appeal to children
  • Any edible cannabis products and the ingredients used to produce them

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Which Business Needs The License?

The following businesses need food safety licenses:

  • Retail
  • Food processing
  • Storage warehouse
  • Bakery
  • Dairy
  • Meat

Packaging And Labeling Of Cannabis Products

Health Canada issued some strict rules that must follow while packaging and labeling cannabis products to avoid being confused with other products. These are:

  • Products must have a very clear label that has a symbol of cannabis
  • There must be a health warning listing the product’s THC and CBD content on the product
  • Minimal use of any logos and colors is permitted
  • Products must be in child-resistant packaging
  • Peel-back labels will be allowed.

Special Circumstances For Marijuana

There are exceptional circumstances under which one can use marijuana in restaurants:

  • One should not have a domestic kitchen
  • Edibles may not be sold or promoted in the same facility where conventional foods are served
  • Dairy or meat may present an issue due to federal law
  • Standards of identity exist for certain foods, such as ice cream

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Conclusion

According to one of the statistics, the cannabis sector in Canada contributed around $8.26 billion to Canada’s GDP. As per the second wave of legalization of cannabis in Canada, there were approx $4.3 million in sales, as mentioned in the Financial Post Deloitte. Consumers have been buying these in edible products like cookies, chocolate bars, gummies, vapes, cannabis-infused tea, water, etc.

But buying edibles in-store didn’t allow the consumers to consume the cannabis in the smoke lounges or the compassionate clubs. According to the Cannabis Act by Health Canada, there was a mention that the act of cannabis will maintain control over any edible products that are made out of cannabis mixed with food ingredients, which means restaurant meals would be excluded from legal sale.