With January 1 comes the arrival of a new year, and a new decade, and it promises to be a watershed moment for the Canadian cannabis market. 2020 will see the long-awaited arrival of legal cannabis edibles and other ingestible forms of marijuana, products that customers have been crying out for since it was first announced that Canada was to legalize cannabis.
While legalization 2.0 technically came into effect on October 17, Health Canada implemented a 60-day waiting period while it ensured that 2.0 products were safe for general consumption and the necessary paperwork was filed. This meant that December 16 was the first day that these 2.0 products were allowed to hit shelves; however, supply has been limited as companies wait for the new year to fully launch their extensive range of cannabis ingestibles.
Here, we’ll take a look at how some of the big hitters in the Canadian cannabis space have prepared for the 2.0 market and what sort of products we can expect to see hit shelves over the coming weeks.
Canopy has one of the most extensive ranges of 2.0 products on the market, which includes chocolates and infused beverages. Canada’s most prominent cannabis company teamed up with chocolate maker Hummingbird Chocolates to produce a range of products at its Smiths Fall facility, previously known as the ‘Chocolate Capital of Ontario.’ Utilizing Hummingbird’s chocolate expertise, the company will soon begin selling a couple of types of dark chocolate.
Bean & Bud is 70% dark chocolate “crafted from beans grown in a bird sanctuary in the Dominican Republic,” with two “medallions” per pack, each containing five mg of THC. Its Tokyo Smoke brand will also offer a dark chocolate bar containing five pieces with two mg of THC per piece, while its Tweed milk chocolate bar is made with Canopy’s Penelope strain with four pieces per bar containing 2.5 mg of THC and 1.8 mg of CBD.
Canopy has also invested heavily in producing infused beverages, leveraging the expertise of its parent company and alcohol heavyweight Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), which also produces Corona beer. Canopy’s range of beverages is named in part after the strains from which they are derived, such as Penelope & Tonic and Houndstooth and Soda. All drinks produced under the Tweed label will include 2 mg of THC, and some will also contain 1.5 mg of CBD.
Canopy has also produced a line of mixers that you can use to make your own drinks, with each 150 ml bottle containing 10 mg of THC while the Penelope flavor will also have 7.5 mg of CBD. The Houseplant Grapefruit and Lemon drinks have been developed in cooperation with renowned Canadian cannabis connoisseurs Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and will contain 2.5 mg of THC per 355 ml can. Deep Space will be Canopy’s strongest beverage, described as a “carbonated beverage, dark-colored with a bold, full flavor” containing 10 mg of THC, which is Health Canada’s limit.
Canopy’s closest rival, Aurora Cannabis, has an equally impressive range of cannabis edibles but has not bet so heavily on infused beverages. The company will release three varieties of chocolates all containing two mg of THC. These include sea salt and caramel milk chocolate, 64% dark chocolate, and half-spheres chocolate. The company will also produce 10 mg gummies in five flavors, including blue raspberry, red raspberry, grape, pineapple, and peach. Each packet will contain five gummies.
Interestingly, Aurora is also set to release two flavors of weed-infused mints in spearmint and peppermint, each containing two mg of THC and coming in packets of five.
Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY)
Tilray will launch its edibles portfolio through its High Park subsidiary and the various brands under that umbrella label. One such brand is Goodship, already well-known for its range of cannabis-infused baked goods, chocolates, and confections. Goodship will roll out its first cannabis collection in Canada with a baking oil followed by cannabis-infused chocolates and mints. Another brand, Chowie Wowie, will release cannabis-infused chocolates and gummies in the coming weeks.
Tilray has also partnered with AB InBev to create the Fluent Beverage Company. Fluent plans to commercialize non-alcohol, CBD-infused beverages in Canada, and further its research on non-alcohol, THC-infused beverages. High Park has partnered with leading confectionary firm Cannfections Group to further build its product and manufacturing capacity of confectionery cannabis products for the 2.0 market.
The launch of such 2.0 products couldn’t have come at a more critical time for the cannabis market. 2019 saw pot stocks across the board take a hammering as the black market continued to dominate legitimate sales. Shares in what were Canada’s 10 largest pot producers by market capitalization lost an average of more than half their value, stinging many investors. According to auditing firm Deloitte, the market for cannabis edibles and other 2.0 products is expected to be worth more than $2.5 billion CAD.
For consumers, impatience with the bumpy rollout of legal pot drove many to the black market, where cannabis products can be purchased online and delivered on the same day at reduced prices. With products as innovative and exciting as the ones mentioned above, pot firms and consumers alike will be hoping the next few weeks will see the idealized vision of the legal market finally come to fruition. Are you excited?
Featured Image: DepositPhotos © Evgeniy_Bobkov