Canadian officials announced today they’d officially penned the rollout date for the most in-demand cannabis products for consumers who don’t want to smoke or vape, edibles.
The CBC reported yesterday that the regulations would go into effect in mid-October. This will give Canadian producers two months to get everything in order before sales to the public commence.
Health Canada announced today the change would happen via amendments to Canada’s robust legal framework and establish rules governing the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals.
“It is expected that a limited selection of products will appear gradually in physical or online stores, and no earlier than mid-December 2019. Federal license holders will need to provide 60-days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell new products, as they are currently required to do,” the announcement said.
Regulators also want the public to remember that as with any new regulatory framework, legal producers will need time to become familiar with and prepare to comply with the new rules and to produce new products.
“The amended regulations under the Cannabis Act will support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting Canadians by helping to mitigate the health risks posed by these new cannabis products,” said Canada’s Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “I encourage adult Canadians who choose to consume cannabis to remember to store it safely out of the reach of children and youth, and to consult the new evidence-based resources on Health Canada’s website that can support you in making informed decisions.”
Bill Blair, minister of border security and organized crime reduction, is expecting this change in the law to really hit the underground brownie market.
“The amended regulations are the next step in our process to reduce the risks to public health and safety from edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals and displace the illegal market for these products in Canada,” Blair said. “We are committed to working closely with the provinces and territories as well as industry in the weeks ahead to prepare for effective implementation of these new regulations.”
Tom Adam of BDS Analytics weighed in on the potential for the Canadian edibles market to the CBC last month. At the time Adam warned that the closer producers got to the expected Oct. 17 launch of edibles without something to work with, the less time they’d have to prepare. That could make market disruptions more likely.
Even with the change in laws, Adam thinks it’s reasonable to presume the black market won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
“One thing the regulators often ignore is the illicit market is run by business people,” said Adam. “And business people react to consumer demand, and will take steps to capitalize on it whenever they can.”
Canada and California have comparable populations around 38 and 40 million so we took a look at the current edibles market value in California. The total edibles market in the Golden State was worth $412 Million in 2018 according to BDS Analytics Business Development Director Tamar Maritz who emailed us the most up to date numbers. In the first quarter of 2019, the California edibles market was worth $124 Million.
So should the Canadian market to be a little bit more excited than the California market given the slight difference in population, the market could potentially be worth $552 Million.
Liz Connors, director of analytics at Headset also weighed in on the news from Canada.
“One major difference to keep on the radar is the 10 mg package limit in Canada,” Connors said. “In most U.S. states the limit is 100 mg per package (or 50 mg in Oregon) and we see the bulk of packages at the 100 mg mark; so we would expect to see faster purchase cycles or more units per transaction in Canada given consumption patterns in the U.S.”
According to Connors, Headset’s data shows that the average U.S. edibles consumer makes about six edibles purchases per year.
“For Canada, we are expecting this number to be higher as the packages are so much smaller,” she said.
Health Canada said the final amended Cannabis Regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on June 26. But if any Canadians want to request a copy from Health Canada they can do so by emailing [email protected].
TELL US, do you buy more or less than six edibles per year?