The man behind the counter of a vape shop in Vancouver’s popular Granville Strip entertainment district answered a good “Yes,” when asked if the bottle of CBD Home Based Business 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 type 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 the standalone kiosks offering “soothing serum” and “intensive cream” were made with illegal CBD, popular shorthand for your compound cannabidiol.
Or higher until last fall, cat and people who own dogs worried about their anxious pets could go to the downtown Toronto Pet Valu franchise and discover remedies like homeopathic drops, calming compression bibs along with a hemp-based tincture loaded with the cannabis compound.
CBD, which may be produced from hemp or marijuana, has become appearing within the last couple of years in everything from mineral water to vape pen cartridges amid intense hype – and some emerging scientific evidence – that it is a wonder drug in a position to help combat an array of ailments from joint pain, insomnia and seizures to anxiety.
There’s one problem: CBD is strictly regulated, much like cannabis. Only licensed producers may make it, and merely registered retailers may sell these products. The legalization of marijuana on Oct. 17 failed to change anything.
However, many consumers as well as merchants believe it is legal because, as proponents of CBD Business Opportunity, it will not cause intoxication, unlike one other well known compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). “That’s the key misconception that this public has,” said Trina Fraser, a cannabis lawyer at Ottawa-based law practice Brazeau Seller LLP.
CBD compound is typically taken from the leaves and flowering buds of marijuana or hemp plants – both technically classified as cannabis by biologists. The hemp oil commonly seen in supermarkets is pressed legally from the plant’s seeds, which contain negligible amounts of CBD. However, producers of beverages and natural health products that contain even small amounts of CBD derive the compound using their company areas of the plant, which is illegal outside of Health Canada’s medical and recreational marijuana system, Ms. Fraser said.
Consumers of unregulated CBD products do not know if they are tested for quality or maybe they even contain the compound. And while regulated products do not have the perfect reputation for quality and consistency, standards have already been 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 obtained from legal recreational cannabis stores and websites across the country or by receiving a doctor’s authorization and acquiring directly from a medical grower online. But products containing CBD are becoming so ubiquitous which a Canadian consumer could be forgiven for thinking they may be sold away from the licensed medical- and recreational-cannabis systems.
“I am looking to learn more about what I’m really permitted to offer to people,” Ms. Hood said early in November. “When cannabis was becoming legal, it absolutely was something that I considered: ‘Should I be pulling these [teas] from my shelf?’ ” In the Juice Truck, a classy local chain of smoothie bars and food trucks, co-founder and co-owner Zach Berman said during early November that he was selling the same brand of tea as Ms. Hood and now has reservations about it.
“We’re unsure if we’ll still market it at this stage, but our company is excited to roll out CBD Business Opportunities in general, and smoothies, juices, other products, once edibles become legalized within the next year or so,” he stated. The claims made on the tincture which was being sold at the Toronto Pet Valu are typical. The label on the product, which yhdthz made by pet-food maker Big Country Raw of St. Anns, Ont., stated it would help cats and dogs with their “anxiety, energy, stamina, cardiovascular health, brain health, and mobility.”
Pet Valu removed the product looking at the shelves after being contacted by The Globe in mid-September. Tom McNeely, chief executive officer of parent company Pet Retail Brands, said some franchisees made the decision to transport CBD products, which the chain itself had not been offering them.