The purpose of this bulletin is to inform all stakeholders involved in the sale of cannabis products of the Weights and Measures Act requirements for scales used for the sale of these products.
The Act defines trade as follows:
Trademeans the selling, purchasing, exchanging, consigning, leasing or providing of any commodity, right, facility or service on the basis of measure and includes the business of providing facilities for measuring.
Anyone involved in one of the above activities and who uses a scale or other measuring device for that activity must ensure that it has been approved, examined (inspected) and certified for use in trade. All trade of cannabis, whether it is medical or recreational cannabis, is subject to this requirement.
The Weights and Measures Regulations provide some exemptions from the requirement listed above. However, the onus is on the device owner or user to clearly demonstrate that a measuring device does not require approval, examination or certification. Furthermore, the exempted device must be marked as prescribed.
Given that cannabis has a high market value and it is typically sold in small quantities, it is important to select a scale of an appropriate class and with a very small verification interval. Class II scales (see the Specifications Relating to Non-automatic Weighing Devices) are the most appropriate for weighing cannabis products, as they are high accuracy scales. Measurement Canada strongly recommends the use of a Class II scale with a verification scale interval of 10 mg if the cannabis weighs between 100 mg and 1 kg. If it weighs more than 1 kg, please contact Measurement Canada for assistance in selecting the appropriate scale.
All scales used for trade purposes must be certified according to the requirements of the Act, Regulations and Specifications Relating to Non-automatic Weighing Devices. A scale can be certified following an examination conducted by a Measurement Canada authorized service provider or inspector. This examination is carried out in strict adherence to all of the applicable standard test procedures. A device examination certificate is issued when a scale meets all the requirements.
The scales used to weigh cannabis are not part of a category of trade subject to mandatory periodic examinations. This means that once the initial examination of scales is completed, owners are under no legal obligation to have them recertified at prescribed intervals. However, they must ensure that they continue to accurately measure. It is important to have a good maintenance program and to have the scales recalibrated on a regular basis. Measurement Canada carries out random re-examinations of these scales throughout the year.
Readjustment of scales
Class II scales are highly subject to differences in acceleration due to gravity (force of gravity) and require readjustment upon any relocation (change of address).
For more information about this bulletin, contact Measurement Canada.