Harper Government Moves Forward to Regulate Salvia

Will protect Canadians from its potentially harmful effects

OTTAWA, Aug. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today announced further steps to protect Canadian youth from dangerous drugs. The regulatory amendments are to further restrict Salvia divinorum (also known as salvia), and its preparations and derivatives. The regulations will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II on August 12, 2015.

Salvia divinorum is a plant known to be chewed or smoked to obtain hallucinogenic effects. Salvinorin A, the main psychoactive ingredient, is found primarily in the leaves. Products are typically found in a number of forms, including fresh or dried leaves, liquids or seeds and plant cuttings for growing purposes.

Once published, all activities beyond simple possession will be illegal unless authorized by regulation or via an exemption. The scheduling of salvia as a controlled substance will also enable law enforcement agencies to take action against suspected illegal activities involving these substances.

Launched in 2007, the National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS) is the Government of Canada's comprehensive approach to illicit drugs in Canada. The Health Portfolio invests approximately $130 million a year to address addictions and drug abuse in Canada. These funds contribute to developing tangible and effective solutions to the problems of drug addiction. In 2014, the government committed over $44 million over five years to expand the focus of the National Anti-Drug Strategy from illicit drugs to include measures to address prescription drug abuse.

Quick Facts

  • Adverse drug reactions to salvia include, but are not limited to, disorientation, confusion, hallucination, aggression and/or self-injurious ideation.
  • The amendments will include salvia and its preparations and derivatives as controlled substances under schedule IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). This schedule excludes prohibition of simple possession.
  • Several countries have imposed varying levels and types of controls on Salvia divinorum and/or salvinorin A.
  • The 2012-2013 Youth Smoking Survey indicates that salvia had been used by 2% of young Canadians (grades 7-12) in the past year. The 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS) also indicated that around 1.5% of Canadians aged 15-19 had used salvia in the past 12 months.


"Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, especially our youth, from the harmful effects of substance abuse. That is why we are moving forward with making Salvia illegal which is part of our National Anti-Drug Strategy that helps make our communities safer and healthier."
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health

Associated Links

National Anti-Drug Strategy


SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Contacts: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709; Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media

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