The Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Regulations lay out a set of guidelines that regulate the packaging requirements for Cannabis distribution in the country. Among the more basic and expected requirements of branding and warning labels, it states that all Cannabis products be sold in child-proof containers.

In the case of edibles, this makes perfect sense. A child could come across a number of edibles, and quickly consume extremely high levels of THC. However, this child-proof packaging rule also applies to raw flower being sold.

In the case of Tobacco, a single cigarette if eaten could deliver a dangerous amount of Nicotine to a child. There is also no barrier to prevent a child from smoking a cigarette either, as they are sold in an already smokable form.

With alcohol, a child could also easily consume dangerous levels of alcohol from a sweet beverage.

However in the case of raw cannabis flower, consuming it directly has no psychoactive effect, as no heat has been provided to decarboxylate the cannabinoids. Furthermore, raw flower is not directly in a smokable form, implying that a child-proof container would stop a child, but the act of grinding and rolling the flower into a smokable form would not.

Has any valid reason ever been given for why the child-proof packaging requirements still apply in cases like this?

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    Agree. The amount of single-use plastic being used is staggering if one really follows these guidelines. Many places sell just small bags of flower though and one wonders if they are breaking the law in doing so. Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 20:28
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    I doubt you'll find an official answer to this so it's gonna be down to the obvious opinion/speculation that's simply because those other industries have more clout and prior acceptance. I'm not sure what the regs are with e-cig liquids. Those can also be an issue pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31286797 Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 22:47
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    N.B. In the EU the medicinal alcohol bottles need have child-proof caps... but the irony is that that kind of alcohol also has a bitter substance added, so it's very unlikely anyone can drink a large quantity of that. OTOH, the e-cig liquid is so concentrated that child death have occurred from a single dose/sip. But at least in some US states those e-cig refills need have child-proof containers abcnews.go.com/Health/… Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 23:08
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    Isn't this just the standard disparity in treating those three specific substances that has always existed? Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 16:49
  • https://www.childhealthbc.ca/sites/default/files/17%2011%2001%20Cannabis%20and%20Youth%20Jurisdictional%20Review.pdf shows a bit of the reasoning that went into it: different province's authorities were asked their input on measures to take and the US experience in early-legal states was reviewed. Didn't see anything about child proofing however. Btw, you can certainly feel effects upon eating raw leaves or flowers, tho at lesser intensity. Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


There is a disparity in the treatment of cannabis compared with tobacco and liquor.

All three are potentially dangerous, contain drugs that can do harm if abused. But there is a tradition of use of liquor and tobacco, and traditional expectations of packaging. Due to the long illegality of cannabis, there is no tradition of legal packaging of cannabis.

Alcohol and tobacco industries also have large and rich lobbies that would fight any attempt to change the law to require child-proof containers.

So you claim to be surprised that liquor and tobacco are not treated the same as cannabis, but you should not be. They haven't been treated the same for a long time, and it is unlikely that the regulations will be coordinated any time soon. They are not based entirely on a rational analysis of "harm".

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