Proposed cannabis rules would call for tobacco style warnings for pot

This would include references to risks such as the dangers of impaired driving

Health Canada has released a series of proposed cannabis regulations in a consultation paper, including a call for mandatory warnings similar to those found on tobacco products.

The regulations revealed on Tuesday are now up for public consultation for 60 days.

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They include a proposal for the development of health warning messages covering the risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy, the dangers of impaired driving and dangers of combining cannabis with other substances, including alcohol.

The paper also suggested the use of colours, graphics and font size on the products should be “strictly regulated” to ensure key information, including the health warning messages, be the most prominently displayed elements.

“Further to this, text and graphics used in brand elements could not be appealing to youth and would be subject to the packaging and labelling restrictions in the proposed Cannabis Act,” the paper said.

“Health Canada is also considering establishing standards (such as limiting use of colour and size) of these brand elements.”

The department says the purpose of the consultation paper is to solicit feedback, adding they will facilitate the federal cannabis law, which is to come into force by next July.

The paper also outlined proposed requirements for a cannabis tracking system for the supply chain, said Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. She said this will help prevent the diversion of cannabis into and out of the legal market.

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Earlier Tuesday, Statistics Canada said it plans to start measuring the economic and social impacts of recreational pot – even before it becomes legal.

The agency said it wants to gradually develop the capabilities to capture and report information on non-medical cannabis.

It says collecting data both before and after marijuana becomes legal will allow Canadians, governments and businesses to form a clearer picture of the economic and social consequences of lawful pot.

The Liberals also faced criticism from the opposition Tuesday for limiting debate on their cannabis legislation, which is currently before the House of Commons.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould defended the move, saying the government has long been up front with the House and with Canadians about the plan to legalize pot.

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