Article by Jacquie Miller, The Ottawa Sun
An illegal pot shop on Bank Street recently had a sale on peanut butter cookies. The cannabis-laced sweets were $5, a third of the regular price of $15.
“For this price, you can’t go wrong,” said a customer snapping up 10 of them. “Might as well stock up.”
The store had traditional dried weed for sale in glass jars, but half the display cases were filled with cookies, gummy candies shaped like teddy bears, tea, cannabis concentrates and vape pens loaded with cannabis oil.
It’s a reflection of a broad shift among marijuana users away from smoking.
In cannabis cutting-edge Colorado, dried weed makes up a steadily shrinking proportion of sales. And edible products like chocolate bars, candy and lemonade are taking a growing bite out of the market.
Edibles are already widely available at Canada’s illegal pot shops and online. But don’t expect to buy any cannabis candy legally the day Canada ushers in recreational marijuana.
Only dried weed and cannabis oil will be on sale when pot is legalized — the target date is July 2018. The federal government has promised to regulate edibles later, but has given no indication of when or details about what products will be allowed.
It could be a while before Canadians can legally buy a cannabis gummy candy — the most popular edible in Colorado — if that kind of treat is even approved for sale.
The federal government is taking a cautious approach.
“Designing an appropriate regulatory system for cannabis edibles is a complex undertaking and there are unique potential health risks and harms that need to be carefully understood before the development and coming into place of these regulations,” according to a government statement.
But Battley and others working to make the cannabis industry mainstream also realize the importance of government regulations.
“I’m going to say something people in the industry probably aren’t going to be happy about, but I think edibles are probably the riskiest area of the cannabis industry,” says Michael Gorenstein, president of Cronos Group, which owns two medical cannabis growers.