Sale of cannabis edibles now legal, but buying some will take some time
CALGARY -- Cannabis retailers and edible producers alike are keen to get cookies, bars, candies and topicals out on store shelves but are forced to wait 60 days even though edibles are now effectively legal in canada.
Health Canada will be reviewing applications until Dec. 17, but that is just the earliest approval date possible.
"I don't think anybody in Alberta is going to see chocolate edibles under the tree or anywhere on the shelves probably until January, and the reason is the process that companies have to go through," said Brad Churchill, founder of Choklat, a company that plans to branch into creating cannabis-infused sweets.
Churchill, who founded Choklat with part owner Namaste Technologies, says it's still a waiting game for regulatory bodies like the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission to approve purchase orders.
Then, once they've received the green light, producers need to manufacture and distribute to retail locations.
It's a sluggish, costly process, Churchill said.
"From a business standpoint it's tough, because we're carrying a lot of extra overhead here for the cannabis industry that we won't see any revenue from for several months," he said.
Choklat plans to expand to a second location in the new year, completely separating the cannabis component of the business from its strictly chocolate branch.
Calgary retailers say they are anticipating "Cannabis 2.0" will reinvigorate the industry.
"It's going to really be a tidal wave," said Darren Bondar, CEO of Spiritleaf.
"The first wave of dried flower has been the focus, but (cannabis) 2.0 is really going to be a tidal wave of new products and new formats that consumers haven't seen."
Now that marijuana can be ingested by inhaling or swallowing, Bondar says he's excited to soon sell products that can be slurped.
"You're going to have cannabis-infused beverages manufactured by some of the top cannabis and alcohol companies in the world."
Calgary leads the nation with 66 city-approved cannabis stores.