NSF Canada Expands R & D Capabilities With Cannabis Research License

Newly issued Health Canada research license allows NSF Canada to legally develop and test cannabis (marijuana or marijuana-derived) edible products in Canada


GUELPH, Ontario – NSF Canada, an NSF International company, recently received a cannabis research license under the Canadian Cannabis Act (the “Cannabis Act”). NSF Canada’s research license will permit the Canadian entity to offer innovation, process development and shelf-life testing services to makers of cannabis products manufactured and sold in Canada. The definition of “cannabis” under the Cannabis Act includes, among other things, the substance commonly referred to in the United States as “marijuana” or “marihuana,” as well as all other phytocannabinoids regardless of source, such as hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).

“Applying our scientific expertise and decades of experience in testing and consultation, NSF Canada is uniquely positioned to assist food and beverage manufacturers and cannabis producers entering the edible cannabis market,” said Carol Zweep, Senior Manager of Packaging, Product Innovation and Compliance. 

Through its product development lab and pilot processing facility, NSF Canada can assist with feasibility testing, new product concept evaluation and marketing sample generation using technologies such as thermal processing, separation and homogenization. Given its extensive experience developing food and beverage products, NSF can also assist with: 

  • Lab-scale trials to obtain optimal formulas and processes 
  • Regulatory reviews to help ensure products comply with food labelling regulations 
  • Shelf-life evaluation and extension by formulation, processing and/or packaging changes

As the industry is discovering, manufacturing edible cannabis poses a variety of challenges, including solubility, pH stability and thermal robustness. “Cannabis can present stability issues if not properly developed,” Zweep adds. “Utilizing NSF Canada’s product and process development services, manufacturers can better understand and control the quality of their new-to-market cannabis products.” 

NSF Canada’s cannabis-related offerings will focus on consulting services only. Neither NSF Canada nor any other NSF International company offer certification of marijuana or marijuana-derived products at this time. In addition, products containing phytocannabinoids (whether derived from marijuana or hemp) are not eligible for certification or other services under NSF International’s Certified for Sport® program at this time.

For more information on NSF Canada’s cannabis services and for media inquiries, please contact Lise Smedmor at lsmedmor@nsf.org or +1-519-821-1246 ext. 6436.