On Wednesday, as reported by BNN Bloomberg, Bruce Linton expressed optimism about the cannabis sector after the Cannabis 2.0 launch. Canopy Growth’s (CGC) ex-CEO and Vireo Health’s current executive chairman explained that next-generation cannabis-infused products will attract more retail customers. As a result, he expects the retail demand for Cannabis 2.0 products to be a major factor behind increasing cannabis stocks in January and February.
Cannabis 2.0 product launch is progressing slowly
On Monday, BNN Bloomberg reported that only the Newfoundland and Labrador provinces have started selling Cannabis 2.0 products like vapes, edibles, and beverages. Overall, the products will mainly be available in Alberta and Ontario in January.
Many prominent cannabis companies plan to enter the Cannabis 2.0 market with a small number of brands. The companies plan to launch a broader portfolio in 2020. Companies have been working to comply with the safety and quality standards required for cannabis-infused products. Some companies are also working to develop manufacturing expertise for these products.
Provinces are also restricting the launch of specific categories of Cannabis 2.0 products. Quebec has banned the sale of vape products and most cannabis-infused edibles. Newfoundland and Nova Scotia have banned cannabis vapes and flavored vaping products, respectively.
In the first-quarter earnings call, HEXO (HEXO) highlighted its focus on ensuring the safety of its vaping products. The company is conducting safety trials to assess vapes’ negative event profile. As reported by BNN Bloomberg, HEXO CEO Sebastien St-Louis expects data from clinical trials to convince policymakers to lift the ban on vaping products in Quebec.
Companies are planning for the launch
HEXO CEO Sebastien St-Louis highlighted the timeline for a national rollout of its Cannabis 2.0 products including beverages and vape products in the first half of 2020. Notably, the company wants to establish a strong supply chain for the launch to avoid logistical problems. Tilray also plans to introduce Cannabis 2.0 edibles including chocolates, baked goods, gummies, and mints in 2020.
On December 6, Canopy Growth disclosed its plans to launch Cannabis 2.0 products in Canada. The company plans to introduce three types of chocolate bars, multiple cannabis-infused beverages, and a range of vape products. The company will be introducing these products in January and February 2020.
According to fourth-quarter earnings, OrganiGram (OGI) will launch its vape pens in mid-December 2019. The company plans to introduce cannabis-infused chocolates in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, OrganiGram will likely launch powdered beverage products in the second quarter.
Cronos Group (CRON) and Aphria (APHA) also plan to launch vape products in mid-December. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Cronos Group’s head of marketing, Eric Klein, highlighted the differentiating factors of the company’s vape products. The company is using stainless steel instead of brass in its vape products to prevent rusting and heavy metal leakage. Also, Cronos Group has worked to improve the heating element and battery technology in these products. The company aims to differentiate its vape products based on safety and consistency.
Ontario seems ready for Cannabis 2.0 launch
Ontario Cannabis Store interim CEO Cal Bricker claimed that the province is ready for the launch of Cannabis 2.0 products. However, he doesn’t think that the Cannabis 2.0 launch will face supply challenges like the Cannabis 1.0 launch. He expects cannabis-infused vape products, edibles, topical products, and extracts to become available in Ontario starting on January 6.