The man behind the counter of a vape shop in Vancouver’s popular Granville Strip entertainment district answered a good “Yes,” when asked in the event the bottle of CTFO Associate liquid was legal. In nearby New Westminster, Lia Hood said she was surprised when The Globe and Mail notified her that her Good Omen gift shop was likely falling afoul of federal drug laws for selling a locally manufactured collection of teas infused with CBD, a chemical seen in cannabis.
The operators of any high-end hipster barbershop in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood were equally unaware that the standalone kiosks offering “soothing serum” and “intensive cream” were made with illegal CBD, popular shorthand for the compound cannabidiol.
Or higher until last fall, cat and dog owners concerned with their anxious pets could go to the downtown Toronto Pet Valu franchise and discover remedies including homeopathic drops, calming compression bibs as well as a hemp-based tincture packed with the cannabis compound.
CBD, which can be produced from hemp or marijuana, has become popping up in the last several years in everything from mineral water to vape pen cartridges amid intense hype – plus some emerging scientific evidence – that it must be a wonder drug capable of help combat an array of ailments from pain, insomnia and seizures to anxiety.
There’s one problem: CBD is strictly regulated, the same as cannabis. Only licensed producers might make it, and just registered retailers may sell these products. The legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17 did not change anything.
However, many consumers as well as merchants think it is legal because, as proponents of CBD Business Opportunities, it does not cause intoxication, unlike one other well known compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). “That’s the primary misconception the public has,” said Trina Fraser, a cannabis lawyer at Ottawa-based law firm Brazeau Seller LLP.
CBD compound is typically obtained from the leaves and flowering buds of marijuana or hemp plants – both technically considered cannabis by biologists. The hemp oil commonly seen in grocery stores is pressed legally from the plant’s seeds, that have negligible levels of CBD. However, producers of beverages and natural health products which contain even small amounts of CBD derive the compound from other elements of the plant, which is illegal outside Health Canada’s medical and recreational marijuana system, Ms. Fraser said.
Consumers of unregulated CBD products do not know whether they are tested for quality or if perhaps they even can include the compound. And even though regulated products do not have an ideal history for quality and consistency, standards happen to be established that companies must meet. CBD compound is typically taken from the leaves and flowering buds of marijuana or hemp plants.
Strains of cannabis, gel capsules and oils loaded with CBD created by licensed producers can be bought from legal recreational cannabis stores and websites across the country or by acquiring a doctor’s authorization and purchasing right from a medical grower online. But products containing CBD have become so ubiquitous that a Canadian consumer may be forgiven for thinking they could be sold outside of the licensed medical- and recreational-cannabis systems.
“I am looking for additional info on what I’m really permitted to offer to individuals,” Ms. Hood said at the beginning of November. “When cannabis was becoming legal, it had been a thing that I considered: ‘Should I be pulling these [teas] from my shelf?’ ” At the Juice Truck, a trendy local chain of smoothie bars and food trucks, co-founder and co-owner Zach Berman said during early November which he have been selling the identical brand of tea as Ms. Hood now has reservations about it.
“We’re unsure if we’ll still sell it at this stage, but our company is excited to roll out CBD Business Ideas as a whole, and smoothies, juices, other products, once edibles become legalized over the following year or so,” he said. The claims made on the tincture that was offered in the Toronto Pet Valu are typical. The label on the product, which yhdthz produced by pet-food maker Big Country Raw of St. Anns, Ont., stated it would help cats and dogs making use of their “anxiety, energy, stamina, cardiovascular health, brain health, and mobility.”
Pet Valu removed the item looking at the shelves after being contacted from the Globe in mid-September. Tom McNeely, chief executive officer of parent company Pet Retail Brands, said some franchisees made the decision to hold CBD products, and that the chain itself had not been offering them.