Health Canada has finalized amendments to the Cannabis Act that increase possession limits for cannabis beverages, as well as ease research and testing requirements.

The amendments took effect Dec. 2, according to Health Canada’s Dec. 9 announcement.

A copy of the final regulations, as well as the Regulatory Impact and Analysis Statement, will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on Dec. 21.

The amendments incorporate feedback from cannabis industry stakeholders, universities, researchers, health authorities, trade associations, licensees, provinces, territories and the public, according to the announcement.

The new regulations increase the public possession limit for cannabis beverages to align with other cannabis products, allowing adults to possess up to 17.1 liters (equal to 48 355-millileter cans) for non-medical purposes.

Canada’s previous rules allowed adults to possess roughly 2.1 liters of cannabis beverages, or roughly five 355-millileter cans.

The amendments also aim to streamline cannabis research by changing the requirements for non-therapeutic research with human participants.

In addition, the new regulations allow analytical testing licensees, as well as federal and provincial government laboratories, to produce, distribute and sell reference standards and test kits in an effort to boost access to cannabis testing materials.

The amendments also expand the educational qualifications for the Head of Laboratory, a mandatory position at analytical testing labs that is responsible for all cannabis testing activities at the facility.

These latest amendments are part of Canadian officials’ continued efforts to improve upon the Cannabis Act, which took effect in October 2018 to legalize the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

The Canadian government announced in September that it launched a required review of the Cannabis Act to assess the law and its impact on the illicit market, indigenous communities, the economy and more.

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Last month, government officials named members to the five-person Expert Panel charged with conducting the review.

The panel will ultimately advise Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett on the progress made toward achieving the objectives of the Cannabis Act—which include protecting the health and safety of Canadians and establishing a diverse and competitive legal industry to displace the illicit market—as well as identify areas of improvement in the law.