Those in the business are calling it “Weed 2.0.”
Starting next week marijuana edibles (to eat or drink), topicals (to apply to skin, hair or nails) and extracts (to be ingested or inhaled) will start hitting store shelves. One Regina-area pot shop owner is predicting they’ll be a game-changer for the industry.
“Ever since we opened on Day 1 people have been asking for them,” said Vatic Vo. owner Allen Kilback. “I think our sales are going to double. There’s a whole new round of consumers.”
“We will see brand new consumers come in, people who want to experiment with cannabis but don’t want to smoke.”
For comparison, the state of California legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, already appears to be seeing large non-flower cannabis product sales. According to the American research firm BDS Analytics, “concentrates” and “ingestibles” made up 45 per cent of all cannabis sales in 2018.
Kilback said edibles will typically be manufactured by licensed producers to contain THC in increments of 2.5 mg up to a Health Canada-mandated maximum of 10 mg THC per package.
He said the small increments will help users find their ideal dosage, something more difficult to do when smoking.
“Everybody reacts differently to Cannabis,” Kilback “With edibles you’ll know exactly what you’re taking.”
He also thinks edibles will help retailers compete with a still-thriving black market.
“The edible market is gonna grow tremendously because it’s regulatory, because Health Canada is involved,” he predicted.
Edibles, topicals and extracts come fully online exactly 14 months after dried flower was first legalized. While they were federally legalized Oct. 17 of this year, all products are subject to a 60-day Health Canada approval period meaning the earliest they can appear on store shelves is Dec. 17.
Kilback says that’s also the first day licensed producers can legally ship products so, depending on where they’re located, consumers shouldn’t expect to see a full lineup of edibles and other items until at least a few days later.
“We have some arriving on the 17th,” he explained. “Towards the 18th, 19th, 20th we’ll be more stocked.”
While some parts of Canada experienced supply shortages when dried flower first went on sale, Kilback doesn’t anticipate similar problems with edibles.
“Right now we’re getting product from all of our suppliers. Everybody’s up to speed on this,” he said.
As for safety when using, the consensus remains on the age-old adage “start low, go slow.”
“Just like any adult product you start low, go slow and learn your tolerance,” Canopy Growth director of innovation Paul Weaver told Global News.