Alberta holding off on cannabis vape cartridge sales pending review
CALGARY -- Alberta is holding off on sales of cannabis vape cartridges as the province awaits results of a review of the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act.
The provincial government cited health concerns for postponing the products, which fall under the second phase of Canada’s cannabis legalization, involving the sale of edibles and other derivatives.
“Some things being considered include public health impacts and reducing the illicit market,” said Heather Holmen communications manager with Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.
“As a result, vape products will not be available in the initial launch of EETs (edibles, extracts and topicals) in Alberta."
Holmen added there is no indication of when a decision would be made.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health confirmed Thursday the province’s first case of severe vaping-associated lung illness, though it was not released whether the patient vaped cannabis.
Cannabis vaping cartridges have now entered the market in other parts of the country, while sales have been banned in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
About the size of a pen, cannabis vape cartridges can be single-use or have interchangeable cartridges.
Some Calgary cannabis store owners believe the vape products will be in high demand since they offer a different experience and produce less odour.
“I expect it to be a huge part of our business in the future, we just expect it to be done properly,” said Queen of Bud founder and CEO, Ashley Newman, adding she understands the province’s cautious approach and but hopes a safe solution can be found soon.
“People will probably travel to other provinces to access these vapes."
Edibles, drinks and topicals, which are also part of the second phase of legalization, are expected to hit Alberta shelves in mid-January.
“I am excited we are getting some cannabis 2.0 products in our province,” said Newman.