Some edible cannabis products will be available in stores as early as next week but officials with Ontario’s pot distributor are warning that supplies will be limited at first.
Cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals were officially legalized in October but due to a 60-day approval period imposed by Health Canada, there was a delay in the products actually hitting the shelves.
At a news conference on Friday, officials with the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) confirmed that a limited number of new products will be shipped to licensed retailers on Monday.
Some of the cannabis edibles that will be sold at licensed retailers in Ontario are shown. (Janice Golding)
Those products will then be made available for purchase from the province’s online retail website on Jan. 16.
“Licensed producers for many months have been looking at Cannabis 2.0 products as a significant opportunity for their companies so we expect that the supply shortages on these products will not be as long and lingering as they were with the initial dry cannabis and oils that were legalized in October, 2018,” David Lobo, who is the OCS’s Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, told reporters. “That said we expect the supply that will come to the initial stores to potentially sell out within the first week. As quickly as it comes to us we are going to move supply through the system.”
Officials say that the initial run of products being made available to licensed retailers will include “a large number of vapes, some edibles and a brand of tea.”
They say that edibles, such as chocolates or soft chews, will be priced at between $7.50 and $16 per package while tea bags will cost between $7 and $11. Beverages, which won’t be among the initial supply of products but are expected to be available in late February, will cost $4 to $10 per 355 millimetre can.
Vape products, meanwhile, will retail for anywhere from $25 to $125.
“We suspect that over the first half of 2020 there will be a lot more new products that come to market but for the products that we got today, we expect that in February and March that supply will rapidly improve,” Lobo said. “We will be making sure that every store has equal access to product through our allocations but just like any other product that has come to market over the past year as soon as supply improves we will completely open that up and stores can make their own choice around how much product they want to purchase.”
More than 100 products will be available eventually
At Friday’s briefing, OCS officials unveiled 59 products that will be available as of next week but they have indicated that they expect to have more than 100 Cannabis 2.0 products for sale within the coming months.
Those products, officials say, will all have been approved by Health Canada and feature labels indicating the THC content and the equivalency in dry cannabis.
“The packaging is just one element of it so our team has also delivered a lot of learning content that explains what a dose may be for a new user and how you may want to approach the different categories,” Lobo said.