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weed 2.0

Candy, drinks and more: pot shops pumped up for ‘Weed 2.0’

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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.

Cannabis edibles, topicals and extracts are set to legally hit store shelves for the first time ever in Canada next week.

Cannabis 2.0 products for sale in Ontario, but hard to find

A worker examines cannabis products at the Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ontario Cannabis Store)

TORONTO — Ontario cannabis store shoppers with a hankering for edibles were out of luck Monday.

Most of the province’s licensed retailers had yet to receive their first shipments of 59 products including soft chews, cookies and chocolates that were slated to start appearing in stores that day.

But the Ontario Cannabis Store, the province’s pot distributor, said products are on their way and likely already in some shoppers’ hands.

“Some stores outside the GTA have received products,” spokesperson Daffyd Roderick said. “Some are selling them tomorrow.”

Roderick said he could not name which stores have received shipments of edibles for security reasons, but said they were all outside the GTA.

Those that have placed orders are guaranteed to get them on the regular delivery dates that their other cannabis products usually arrive on, he said.

The OCS had previously warned that the supply of edibles could be tight and sell out quickly. It vowed to rapidly replenish supplies and roll out more products in the coming months as they receive regulatory approvals.

Alcanna Inc.’s Nova Cannabis store on Queen Street West in Toronto was among the locations without cannabis stock on Monday, but handfuls of shoppers there and at the Hunny Pot store down the street told The Canadian Press they were either uninterested in cannabis edibles or unaware they were scheduled to hit shelves this week.

Dave Crapper, the Alberta company’s senior vice president of communications, wasn’t surprised to hear there was no wave of disappointed customers clamouring for products because he is expecting most of the interest in edibles to come from people who have yet to dabble with cannabis but who want to “begin nibbling.”

“They are not on pins and needles about when the product will be available,” he said. “We are not antsy about any of this. It’s a new industry. It is going to have growing pains.”

Dan McKay, a 23-year-old business student who visited Nova on Monday to pick up dried flower, said he plans to try edibles when they’re available.

He wasn’t aware that they were slated to be sold in the province this week, but said he wasn’t surprised some customers are having to wait a little bit longer for them.

“It took us what seemed like forever to get cannabis in stores in the first place,” he said. “It would be silly to think edibles will be any quicker.”

He didn’t hear anyone asking about edibles at the store, but said he expected people who were interested in the product either anticipated a delay or made their purchases through the black market.

Crapper is “optimistic” that Nova will have some edibles in stock this week, but was unsure what day anything will arrive.

Once the company gets its delivery, all eyes will be on what customers grab and how that can be used to inform future ordering decisions.

“It is going to be a bit of a trial and error process on everyone’s part,” says Crapper.

The company has decided to “err on the side of more availability” and stock a wide variety of items until it can better predict what will satiate shoppers.

Prices for legally sold edibles will range from $7 to $14, beverages are set to cost between $4 and $10, and vapes will be priced anywhere from $25 to $125.

Edibles will be available online in the province starting Jan. 16.

A variety of cannabis edibles are displayed at the Ontario Cannabis Store in Toronto on Friday, January 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The latest generation of cannabis products will be available for legal sale in Ontario starting today.