Stoned: the cannabis market in Canada

Stoned: the cannabis market in Canada

Cannabis edibles go on sale digitally this week via Ontario’s online store, even though the market is far from flying.

Cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals have been available for sale through the Ontario Cannabis Store’s website since Monday.

A province’s pot distributor says 70 new items tested by Health Canada can be purchased online. Among the new products are cannabis-infused chocolates, cookies, soft chews, mints, tea and vapes.

These products were made available in physical Ontario cannabis stores earlier this month.

Cannabis topicals, concentrates and beverages are expected to arrive in stores in future months as licensed producers ramp up their manufacturing capacity and introduce new products to the market.

OCS President Cal Bricker says he is hoping the expansion of products will help combat sales of cannabis through the underground market.

The Canadian market is still grappling with a severe shortage of retail outlets that has hampered the development of the legal pot market and allowed the black market to remain dominant, according to analysts and investors. Just last week, Statistics Canada released crowdsourced price data for the black and legal markets and found an average legal price in the third quarter of C$10.23 a gram, almost double the black market average price of C$5.59 a gram.

According to data, by the end of 2019, there were currently about 500 stores in all of Canada. By comparison, in the US, Denver alone has nearly 400 total dispensaries, including medical and recreational.

The first year of cannabis only allowed for flower and oils to be sold, with the launch of edibles and derivatives delayed. But even with Cannabis 2.0, nothing will change immediately as a company that wants to market a new product will have to register with Health Canada and give 60 days notice. Without the opportunity to market a wide selection of products, it will continue to be harder to compete with the black market.


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Oso Oseguera
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