Greenhouse Canada

Health Canada to test randomly purchased products to compare to illicit cannabis

July 19, 2023  By Greenhouse Canada

July 19, 2023 – The Cannabis Act and Regulations create a strict legal framework for the production, distribution, sale, import, export, and possession of cannabis in Canada. The purpose of the act is, among other things, to protect public health and public safety, and provide access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis.

Beginning in 2023, as part of the Cannabis Data Gathering Program, the Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch Cannabis Laboratory will randomly purchase cannabis products from authorized retailers in Canada. This will support Health Canada’s data collection efforts with respect to the composition of cannabis products available on the Canadian market. The laboratory will also work with Canadian law enforcement agencies to receive illicit cannabis products for comparative analysis. Parameters that the laboratory could assess include THC/CBD levels, specific analytes of interest, and chemical or microbiological contaminants.

The program will allow Health Canada to proactively collect information on the legal and illicit cannabis markets in Canada. This will strengthen its ability to inform the public about the health and safety risks associated with cannabis consumption.


Summary reports published from the data generated by the program will be shared with the public, other government organizations, and Canadian law enforcement agencies. These reports will make no reference to product, brand, or license holder names.

The program will also support Health Canada’s efforts to ensure that legal cannabis products available on the Canadian market meet the requirements set out in the act and the regulations. If the program identifies deficiencies with legal products they analyze, we’ll take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions to mitigate health and safety risks if necessary.

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