Edibles are the most popular cannabis products, and Canadians are keen to try them. When Canada legalized edibles and beverages on October 17, the hopes were that these products would hit the market by December. However, three of Canada’s provinces won’t see edibles until January.
Cannabis edibles are delayed in provinces
On December 16, CBC reported that three of Canada’s largest provinces—Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta—won’t be able to sell cannabis-infused edibles before January. Health Canada requires a 60-day application process before it can grant licenses to cannabis companies to sell edibles. The 60-day waiting period ended this week. However, these provinces will still have to wait.
CBC explained this delay, noting, “That’s because the long-awaited expansion of sales for cannabis derivatives have gone through a gauntlet of regulatory checkpoints and cumbersome logistics, dashing hopes of last-minute gift purchases with its late arrival.”
CBC reported that Harrison Stoker, vice president of Hobo Recreational Cannabis, stated that his staff would require more time to understand the edibles products. The edibles category includes a varied range of marijuana-infused chocolates, gummy bears, gums, mints, lollipops, lozenges, brownies, and cookies.
These products are quite popular during the holiday season. Stoker mentioned that if they had additional time, they could have planned for the products to hit the stores before Christmas.
Marijuana companies are prepared for Cannabis 2.0
Cannabis companies expect a new consumer base for edibles products. According to Canopy Growth’s survey, many consumers are interested in trying edibles. A Deloitte survey showed that consumers who don’t like smoking or vaping cannabis are keener to try marijuana in an edible form.
Hexo (HEXO) reported its first-quarter earnings on December 16. The company disappointed investors again with its results. Hexo attributed the slow rollout of stores in Canada as the reason for declining revenues.
Pricing and supply issues also affect cannabis companies’ expansion plans. While the production of edibles is ramping up, slow regulatory procedures could change their expansion plans. For an in-depth analysis of Hexo’s results, please read HEXO’s Q1 Earnings Were a Bit of a Letdown.
Meanwhile, Canopy Growth is hoping that it can launch its products in the provinces with more relaxed regulations. According to CBC, “’Our teams are having sleepover parties at the office to be ready to receive and process orders for shipment when they start to come in at 12:01,’ on Monday, when middlemen can place orders, said spokesperson Laura Gallant.”
Manitoba to see edibles soon in the market
Meanwhile, Manitoba is ready to sell edibles by next week. CBC reported on December 16 that Manitoba would receive the edible products this week if weather conditions permit. One of the licensed cannabis producers in Manitoba Delta 9 expects to receive vape oils, pens, cartridges, disposable pens, gummies, chocolates, and mints. To learn more, take a look at Manitoba to See Cannabis Edibles Soon.
Yesterday, I discussed how Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta’s regulations are stricter than in other provinces in Canada. As a result, edibles could take a while to become available in these provinces. CBC reported that these regions have their distribution systems because of regulatory concerns. So, cannabis edibles will not be available before mid- to late January.
While Ontario is trying to be lenient with its cannabis laws, Quebec has stricter regulations. Retailers in Ontario could receive the edibles products by January 6, CBC reported. However, consumers in Quebec would have to wait a while. Alberta can expect products by mid-January. Some stores in British Columbia can expect edibles before Christmas.
Concerns about marijuana edibles
Edibles gained popularity among people who do not like smoking or vaping cannabis. Moreover, vaping concerns created anxiety among many users. Edibles are also considered a healthier option, as they are digested in the body like any other food product.
Also, the effect of edibles lasts longer than smoking weed. Research has also shown that edibles help people with health conditions like muscle inflammation and spasms, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, insomnia, and nausea. In the US, Maryland is among the states including edibles in their medical cannabis programs. To learn more, please read Are Cannabis Edibles Coming to Maryland Soon?
However, the downside of edibles is that they take longer to become effective due to the digestion process. So, some people may consume a larger quantity of edibles to feel the effects sooner. This practice can induce several side effects. Cannabis contains THC, which is the psychoactive component of the plant. THC can be lethal when consumed in high doses.
As a result, Health Canada enacts strict regulations when it comes to consuming edibles. Cannabis 2.0 rules allow 10 milligrams of THC per edible product.
Recently, CBC reported that Paul Daeninck, an oncologist with Cancer Care Manitoba, believes that limiting the quantity doesn’t stop the side effects. He feels the impact of edibles could be different for someone consuming them for the first time.
However, expectations are that edibles could also help tackle the rise of black market cannabis sales in Canada. Rising black market sales have impacted the legal sales of cannabis. So, the revenue and profitability of cannabis companies took a hit. Canopy Growth’s former CEO, Bruce Linton, is also hopeful about Cannabis 2.0.
What do we think?
There are numerous pros and cons related to marijuana consumption. As a result, the United States government is pushing for quality research before federal legalization occurs. However, edibles still could capture a considerable market share in Canada and in US states where it is legal.
The cannabis sector has suffered significantly this year. Year-to-date, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ) has lost 37.7%. Among the prominent players in the cannabis sector, Aurora Cannabis (ACB) and Canopy Growth (CGC) (WEED) have lost 54.2% and 25.3%, respectively. In addition, Cronos Group (CRON), Hexo (HEXO), and Aphria (APHA) are down 33.4%, 61.6%, and 13.1%, respectively.
In an evolving industry, ups and downs are expected. It will be interesting to see how the future of the cannabis industry unfolds in 2020. To learn more, be sure to read Cannabis Sector 2019 Review and 2020 Outlook.
Check out 420 Investor Daily for more updates on the marijuana sector.