Edibles are slated to hit the retail market mid-January and cannabis stores in Lethbridge are preparing for their long-awaited debut.
As edibles and beverages made from cannabis make what the AGLC and one cannabis company are referring to a “slow” transition into the retail market, local stores are making sure their employees are ready to take on the second wave of cannabis legalization in Canada.
According to the final rules from Health Canada, edible cannabis, whether food or beverage, will have a cap of 10 milligrams of THC.
Spiritleaf, which has cannabis stores across Canada, including one in Lethbridge, says ultimately licensed producers are responsible for the packaging of these new products.
“The packaging will be really representative, you know have the red stop signs on it so kids will be able to identify it,” said Darren Bondar, the CEO of Inner Spirit Holdings, which owns Spiritleaf.
Health Canada says that all packaging must be plain, child-resistant, and must not be appealing to young people.
Draft guidelines say that no elements on these products would associate them with alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or vaping products either.
“Our training is actually made up of a few different things, number one we have an online training portal. Then we have the licensed producers that come through the stores and various cities that do events and provide education on brand awareness,” said Bondar.
He says employees are required to pass various courses on what the company calls ‘cannabis 2.0″ education, Bondar says their staff receives additional training from their in-store managers about branding and packaging requirements as well.
One cannabis storefront employee at Spiritleaf says edibles have certainly been on the minds of many of their customers.
“We have a lot of excitement about the edibles, we get several phone calls a day and get asked by several customers when we’ll be getting edibles in,” said Meagan Charleton, a cannabis concierge at Spiritleaf. “So, hopefully, they’ll be here by the end of January so that we can meet all of that hype.”
Excitement aside, both Spiritleaf and the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis, (AGLC) say edibles will “gradually” be introduced into the retail market with “limited selections” at first in order to ensure safety for all.
— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News, and The Canadian Press