Article by Jim Moodie, The Sudbury Star
Local marijuana retailers are preparing for the advent of edibles by making sure containers are available that can’t be pried open by tiny hands.
Cannabis legalization 2.0 is now underway, meaning a wide range of new products will be hitting the shelves in coming months, among them pot-infused treats and beverages.
“Most licensed producers have what they want to sell already, so now it’s just a matter of bringing it to market,” said Felicia Fahey, manager at the Highlife store at Silver Hills. “They still need to get the packaging approved, so realistically we’re looking at December or January before we will have everything in our store.”
Fahey said fruit gummies will be available, along with chocolate. One cannabis producer has even paired with famous chocolatier Laura Secord to add another high to the one you get from sugar.
While mature sweet tooths with an extra hankering for THC will no doubt welcome these new offerings, many are worried the treats could be inadvertently grabbed and gobbled up by kids.
“We’ve had a lot of people who are resistant to bringing out this market that they think is attractive to children,” said Fahey. “Like, how do you differentiate one type of candy from another, or if it’s a cookie. So we as an organization felt it was really important to, at the very least, come out with packaging to safeguard them.”
The chain has developed its own “customizable snap-tech bag,” she said, which is “smell-proof and child-proof. They’re almost like what a medical pill container would be, with child-proof locking on it.”
The store also stocks a wide assortment of other containers, including steel cases with combination locks, that even a teenager would be hard-pressed to crack.
“It’s important to us as a retailer to make sure the community is protected and safe,” said Fahey.
David Jones, co-manager of the Canna Cabana in the south end, said his store has also stocked up on a broad selection of bags and containers that customers can use to keep their cannabis products secure.
“We started a month and a half ago bringing in all these kinds of lock boxes and safe boxes, and we have a food-grade safe we started putting on display on Oct. 17,” he said.
That date was the one-year anniversary of legalization — the cannaversary, if you will — as well as the date when edibles, extracts and infused beverages were officially approved.
Jones said the container suitable for edibles is made from stainless steel and has a combination lock. “They’re called Sneak Guards, and it’s basically a tub divided into four sections. You put a humidity pack in there, then the lid goes on top with a lock, and there’s a hand pump to evacuate the air.”
Canna Cabana also has a full selection of pouches and containers made by the manufacturer RYOT. “They have eight or nine sizes or models that are all carbon-fibre-lined to keep scent in and they all come with a combination lock,” he said.
It isn’t only children who could potentially get into unprotected pot goodies. Dogs, too, are not likely to turn their noses up at anything that smells tempting and perhaps resembles a human snack they’ve snatched before.
“That’s something a lot of people forget about,” said Jones. “It could even just fall on the ground and your dog could scoop up the nuggets, and then you have issues, right?”
While it wouldn’t likely be a deadly scenario, both dogs and kids could get very sick, so customers who have either in their midst are highly encouraged to keep the adult treats under lock and key.
Despite the safety issues, however, both retailers in Sudbury are excited about the chance to offer more pot products and believe it will be a boost to an already hopping business.
“There’s a whole market of people who don’t smoke but may want to take advantage of cannabis, whether it’s recreational or for the health benefits you get from CBD products,” noted Fahey.