In what is being called “legalization 2.0” by some, the launch of edibles across the province hit Lethbridge on Thursday, and retailers expect to sell out quickly.
“The demand is going to far outweigh the availability of the products,” said Spiritleaf store manager Evan Liberty.
Liberty said the hype surrounding edibles has been building for weeks, as Alberta consumers had to wait about a month longer than those in some other provinces.
“People have been incredibly excited,” said Liberty. “It’s every day now — especially in the last few months — we get 10, 15 calls a day. We get calls before we open, calls after we close.”
Liberty said Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) is “dipping its toes in the water” with a small variety of products available to start.
As of Thursday, consumers will find chocolate, mints, gummy candies, cookies, and even tea bags available on Lethbridge shelves, but Chris Sirias, the owner of Green City Market, believes the variety of products will soon explode.
“It’s unlimited what they can do with it,” said Sirias.
“They are coming out with drinks — carbonated and uncarbonated drinks — and one sales rep was telling me that they’re eventually going to try and push those drinks into bars. So there’s a lot of potential.”
With the roll-out of edible cannabis products also comes an expanded group of interested consumers.
“I think a lot more people are willing to try edibles, especially if they’re older and have grown up in a cannabis-prohibition environment,” said Liberty.
“There is a stigma to smoking,” said Sirias. “So there is a lot of people that… they want to try it, they’re interested in the product, but they just don’t want to smoke it.”
New products are required to meet a cap on potency, with no more than 10 milligrams of THC per package; edibles are known to take much longer to kick in, with some taking several hours to reach full effect.
“Start low and go slow,” urged Liberty.
“We’ll be getting packages that are no more than 10 milligrams per pack, [and] that’s perfect because that’s kind of a standard dose for somebody who has not been familiar with cannabis products.”
With relatively low potency in products currently available, Sirias said it’s good that prices have started off reasonably, as the more experienced cannabis consumer might want to buy more than one package.