B.C. LDB opens calls for cannabis edible suppliers as legalization looms

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WATCH: (June 14) Ottawa is rolling out the next generation of cannabis products, but they come with some strict rules. Global's Tomasia DaSilva reports – Jun 14, 2019

The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is getting into the cannabis edibles game.

The LDB opened a product call Thursday for producers of “edibles, beverages, topicals and extracts, and other products” to be sold in BC Cannabis stores and online ahead of their legalization in October.

The products will also be made available through private retailers, which are required to hold provincial licenses through the LDB.

READ MORE: Plethora of pot? Canada could hit cannabis oversupply as early as 2019, depending on edibles

“This product call marks an exciting time for the LDB as we work towards introducing new product categories into B.C.’s legal cannabis market,” general manager and CEO Blain Lawson said in a release Wednesday.

“We are currently working with over 30 licensed producers and look forward to engaging with new suppliers to expand our wholesale product assortment.”

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Edibles and other cannabis products are set to become legal across Canada on Oct. 17, a year to the day after loose-leaf cannabis was legalized.

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Because licensed processors must notify Health Canada of their intent to sell edibles 60 days ahead of time, however, the products won’t be hitting stores and online retailers until late December at the earliest.

The LDB warned a limited selection will be available at that time, with more products appearing “gradually” in stores.

A recent report by Deloitte estimated the Canadian market for these pot products is worth about $2.7 billion annually, with edibles contributing more than half of that amount.

READ MORE: Cannabis edibles expected to hit Canadian shelves mid-December

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The final rules dictate that edible cannabis, whether food or beverage, will have a cap of 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol — the compound known as THC which produces a high — per package, consistent with the proposed regulations.

Cannabis extracts for inhalation or topicals, such as pot-infused lotions, will have a cap of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package, also in line with the draft rules.

READ MORE: Canada’s cannabis edibles, topicals market could be worth $2.7B a year after legalization: study

All packaging must be plain and child resistant, and must not be appealing to young people.

Producers have until Sept. 11 to apply to the LDB’s product call.

— With files from the Canadian Press