Canada Increases Cannabis Drink Purchase Limit

Canada Increases Cannabis Drink Purchase Limit

The Joint CannabisJan 27, '23

On December 2nd, 2022, Health Canada increased the cannabis drink purchase limit by a remarkable 860%. Here’s the breakdown of the changes:

  • Before, consumers were limited to purchasing a maximum of 2.1 litres of cannabis-containing beverages. This meant they could purchase no more than five 355 ml beverages or nine 222 ml beverages.
  • Now, consumers may purchase up to 17.1 litres at once. This means consumers could purchase up to 48 beverages of 355 ml or 77 beverages of 222 ml.

The cannabis industry has long sought these changes—Canadians are used to buying alcoholic beverages in 6-packs or purchasing larger packs to share with their friends. These changes may bring cannabis beverage packaging in line with what consumers expect from the market.

Cannabis legislation is, sadly, not quite as straightforward as you might expect. To understand the changes in Canada’s cannabis market, you need to understand equivalency:

Understanding cannabis equivalencies

Canadians can have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in their possession in public. This effectively limits the amount of cannabis a person can purchase at one time to 30 grams (assuming that person has no other cannabis on them at the time of purchase).

Formerly, the Government of Canada equated 1 gram of dried cannabis to 70 grams of “non-solids containing cannabis”—this included cannabis beverages and oils. This equivalency did not, however, properly factor in the potency of the “non-solids” being sold. While Canadians could only buy five 355 ml drinks with 2 mg of THC at once, they could purchase nine 222 ml drinks with 10 mg of THC. 

The new laws correct this oversight by creating a new class of THC product: The cannabis beverage. A cannabis beverages is:

“edible cannabis that is intended to be consumed by drinking and has a concentration of 3% w/w or less of THC, taking into account the potential to convert THCA into THC.” (taken from the Canadian Gazette).

Cannabis beverages have a new equivalency: 570 grams of a cannabis beverage is equal to 1 gram of dried cannabis. That’s where the maximum purchase of 17.1 litres—or 48 cans of 355 ml—comes from.

You can read Health Canada’s press release on the increase of cannabis beverage limits if you’re curious about how the changes were framed.

How these changes will affect consumers

These changes are all quite new—as such, it’s somewhat difficult to predict how they’ll affect the market. We expect to see more THC beverages sold each year and to see more beverages sold in bulk.

It’s important to keep equivalency in mind. When you visit The Joint, we’ll automatically calculate equivalency for you. That means you’ll be able to mix and match when purchasing cannabis beverages, dried cannabis, edibles, and other products, without ever needing to worry about whether or not you’ve gone over the purchase limit. 

We have a wide selection of cannabis beverages available; stop by one of our many locations to see what we have in stock!