There’s a lot of buzz and excitement about the budding business of recreational cannabis as Canadians continued to line up at retail stores throughout the country to check out products.
Items from seed to sale have been heavily regulated – including strict packaging.
A “dull, bland brown box” is what first-year marketing student Aiden Haichert described it as after purchasing legal pot at Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop in Martensville, Sask.
“I got seven grams of Renew which seems to be like a heavy indica which is usually what I’m after. I use it for a sleep aid and kind of a creative aid,” Haichert explained.
On opening day, staff at Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop served over 600 customers. Dozens upon dozens more lined up to light up on day two with nothing but smiles on people’s faces as they received a paper receipt for the first time ever after purchasing weed.
“We’d like to have more supply on hand,” Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop CEO John Thomas said.
Since buying legal marijuana is so new, the experience has been eye-opening for customers but again, what isn’t very flashy is the packaging and it’s on purpose.
Products have a single, uniform colour with standardized font and each container or box sealed with a Government of Canada sticker to indicate its authenticity.
“There’s also going to be a cannabis health warning on it but then also information on the strain and the strengths of CBD and THC as well,” Thomas explained.
That way, consumers know exactly what they’re getting.“I haven’t tried weed in a long time for the simple fact that there was too much THC in it,” said Roger Oliver, who had just purchased a strain with a higher percentage of CBD.
Experts said the exact breakdown of each strain is a critical component to public safety. Although the products are Health Canada approved, it’s always wise to have as much information as possible about what people are taking just in case they have an adverse reaction.
“How much THC does this product have? Are there any other chemicals that have been added?” said Jerome Konecsni, with the Johnson Shoyma Graduate School of Public Policy.
“I mean, we do it for our food we’re consuming. So, to me, it should apply.”
In some parts of the United States where pot is already legal, labels include the date the product was harvested.
In Canada, the packaging includes a “universal stop sign symbol” denoting that it is a cannabis product and containers have to be childproof.
“The first time I saw it, I thought of it as an old smoke tin, but it does the job,” Oliver said.
Health Canada said the main purpose behind this approach to packaging is to ensure people, particularly young people, aren’t enticed to use cannabis.
“It’s the Canadian government,” laughed Haichert, when asked if he thought the packaging would be more intriguing.
“I know they couldn’t be cooler, they’re trying to make tobacco plain.”