Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
COVID-19 might be keeping many Canadians indoors and idle, but the activity has not slowed for a number of cannabis providers who continue to identify new and innovative approaches to benefit marijuana consumers.
Consider what’s going on in Quebec. ROSE LifeScience Inc. — a private company created in 2016 that is committed to ensuring its home province benefits from the responsible production, sale and use of cannabis — has launched Quebec’s first cannabis micro-producer, according to the company.
The launch is under DLYS, a brand-collective that unites regional micro-producers in the province so they can share resources and help bring local cannabis to market.
The collective simplifies the distribution process for local producers, thereby “making it easier to share their expertise with Quebec’s consumer market,” according to ROSE.
ROSE does its part by working directly with the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) — which has a legislated monopoly on recreational weed sales in the province and is currently the exclusive retailer for ROSE products and brands — to advance those efforts.
In Quebec, only companies or persons with a cultivation permit issued by Health Canada can legally grow cannabis, either indoors or outdoors, notes information from the SQDC. A micro-cultivator can have a facility of 200 square metres or 2,150 square feet.
Developed by Abitibi, Que.-based mindiCANNA, the first cannabis micro-producer to emerge in Quebec, Amos craft cannabis products are the first offerings under the DLYS moniker to hit SQDC shelves. The products — like those that will follow — are all local.
Keeping things local is a central goal of ROSE, whose new initiative will help to bring these new products to market in La Belle Province.
“Consumers deserve to have access to the great work local producers are doing here. Now they can,” Davide Zaffino, ROSE’s president and chief financial officer, says in the statement.
MindiCANNA takes “advantage of some of the world’s best water and growing soil to elevate the development of their plants,” the statement points out. “We know how to grow cannabis here, in optimal ways,” adds mindiCANNA co-founder Daniel Lessard.
Aphria Inc. is also trying to optimize not only its own potential, but to home in on consumer wants with its entry into the topicals space.
This week, the Leamington, Ont.-based company issued what it touts as the highest potency topical available in the Canadian market. Under its adult-use brand, Solei, the topicals include Unplug (lavender),Balance (orange citrus), Free (cucumber Mint) and Free Unscented, reports Aphria, a global cannabis-lifestyle consumer packaged goods company.
The topicals’ scents have been selected to match consumer wants and are rich to the touch, Aphria reports. Free and Free Unscented includes 500 milligrams of CBD per container, Balance contains 250 mg of each THC and CBD, and Unplug contains 350 mg of THC and 150 mg of CBD.
U.S.-based Grandview Research estimated that the global CBD skincare market size was worth US$234.1 million in 2018 and it was expected to expand significantly between 2019 and 2025. “The market is majorly driven by growing awareness with respect to the benefits of CBD-infused personal care products.” the research company noted in 2019.
“Topicals are one, if not the most, accessible cannabis format available today, making it appealing to a large segment of consumers,” Irwin D. Simon, chairman and CEO of Aphria, says in the company statement. “We are listening to the needs of our consumers.”
Unplug and Balance are now available online and in select retail stores across Ontario, while Free and Free Unscented will be available next month.
Things are also happening on the medical cannabis side, focusing on the needs of patients. Canada House Wellness Group is looking to extend a helping hand to those who have served, announcing that its subsidiary Abba Medix Corp. has launched Veterans Kush, a cultivar that was seven years in development and designed specifically for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).