Here’s what we think.
On one hand, October’s launch of cannabis edibles and topicals is forecasted to be the exciting ‘industry reset’ we’ve been waiting for – and on the other, destined for a ‘shambolic start’. Even worse than the first round of legalization this time last year, perhaps. We can expect ‘missteps, delays and frustration’ while supply shortages persist. Really?
There’s a lot of speculation around how the future of legal weed in Canada is looking, and a lot of it is just that – speculation. While, the facts? Hazy at best.
What we do know for sure is that Health Canada shared its final regulations for new cannabis products earlier this month on June 14th, and they’re as vague as they are tight. 10 mg will be the limit on the amount of THC that can be in a package of edible cannabis, and apart from that, the regs are pretty much the same super-high-level proposal drafted earlier last year. Though, additionally, we can now expect ‘a limited selection of products’ to be available for sale by mid-December 2019 – a couple months later than the initially proposed October date.
Oh, and products can’t be ‘appealing to youth.’
So: No ‘fun treats,’ a slightly later launch date, and a tighter quantity limit than many of us were hoping for, for these new cannabis products. Not exactly promising. But does that mean pot 2.0 is destined for a similar path as the first round of legalization, though – featuring dismal supply situation and a rollercoaster of changing laws?
We only need to wait four months to find out. Cannabis lawyer Tina Fraser put it like this: “everyone has their own idea of what the demand is going to be, and some are going to be right and some are going to be wrong… we have a lot of experimentation in that regard ahead of us before we have what I’d consider a mature, stable market.”
Regardless of how pot 2.0 rolls out, it’s (still) a time to embrace experimentation in this industry. Like it’s our new normal.
Of course we could lament the lost opportunity to do this whole legalization thing right the first time (“these delays in the licensing of producers and sellers could have been avoided if politicians had been wise enough to copy regulations that exist for the market for alcoholic beverages,”) and we could throw our hands up and say Canada blew it on its chance to be a world leader in legal pot. We failed, so, screw edibles, I guess.
Or, we could acknowledge that cannabis isn’t alcohol. It has a different path. A unique one. And we are discovering our standards for leadership, just as we are discovering what it means to serve up a good product in this space in 2019. At any rate the experimentation we are, and have been, undergoing, is building pot-plant-like-resilience. That’s what’ll make leaders.
No doubt the future will offer many character-building experiences. Shambolic ones, even. But it’s not over.
The edibles side of Canada’s legal pot market will take over more than half the country’s pot sales by dollar value, entering virtually every food and beverage grouping. And, it obviously won’t be about candy – it’ll be about edible cannabis products for adults – women, men, adults. Again – we’ll have to find out what this means.