Article by Jonathan Hiltz, Food in Canada
When it comes to identifying trends in the food and beverage industry, it’s not always easy to see the forest through the trees. Much of the time, certain types of products gain momentum, and then before you know it, they are everywhere.
Sometimes however, it’s very easy to see a movement coming at you like a distant tsunami. Such is the case with the imminent legalization of cannabis in Canada.
Marijuana is expected to be fully legal across the country within a matter of months and this will undoubtedly lead to a kaleidoscope of offerings in the edibles and beverage sectors. Companies can either jump on the bandwagon and profit from this, or watch their competitors capitalize instead.
But navigating the intricate world of this almost-legal substance can be a daunting task. Those who want to add cannabis and its derivatives to their food and drinks need to know how to do so safely and within Health Canada guidelines.
“[Cannabis edibles] are expected to be legal within one year of legalization,” says Lisa Campbell, cannabis portfolio specialist for Lifford Wine & Spirits. “Now legalization has been delayed to late summer or fall essentially, so within that year we are expecting that Health Canada will approve other cannabis derivative products.”
Campbell went on to add that for a company not already in the cannabis sector to get involved, overhead costs such as added security need to be factored in due to the fact that cannabis is a controlled substance. One of the ways to negate some of these costs would be to work with an existing licensed cannabis producer (LP), of which there are many. “A lot of licensed producers are looking for turnkey businesses they can partner with, or potentially acquire, to add to their product portfolios.”