Canadian Cannabis Consumers Crazy for Edibles and Vapes

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Canadian Cannabis Consumers Crazy for Edibles and Vapes
by Josh Jardine

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DONALD WEBER / STRINGER / GETTY

To the North, the people once again doing a better job with virtually every aspect of their society than we are, Canada, continues the development of their nationwide cannabis program with new product categories coming to market, resulting in what the Toronto Sun dubbed “Edibles Madness.”

Cannabis flower has been legal and available for purchase in brick and mortar stores, and by mail via online ordering, shortly after Canada legalized cannabis in October 2018. But products such as edibles and vaporizer options were put on ice for a year while the country developed standards and practices. These products became available in stores in December, but this month saw the beginning of being able to point, click, and receive those items by post.

Canada has embraced the increasingly standardized dose of 10 milligrams of THC per serving per edible—the same as in Oregon—although Canada has limited 10 milligrams of THC per package, while Oregon allows up to 100 milligrams. Interestingly, that’s for edibles and beverages only. In the category of “Cannabis Ingestibles” Health Canada specifies “10 mg of THC per unit (such as a capsule) or dispensed amount” and 1000 mg of THC per package. Vapes and topicals are also limited to 1000 mg of THC per package. There are also rules limiting/banning caffeine and alcohol as an ingredient.

Ontario, a province with 15 million residents, recently started offering online ordering, which resulted in a complete sell out of most products, sometimes within minutes. The Sun reports that the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) did some impressive numbers for the roll out.

When the menu of 70 different new products became available online, 2,000 orders were placed within the first hour. Within the first 24 hours, over 38,000 orders were processed. The OCS said they expected to be restocked with sold out items quickly, as this wave of Cannabis 2.0 has learned its lessons from the initial roll out, when product shortages hit the industry hard.

By some analysts predictions, cannabis edibles and topicals are expected to produce over $2.5 billion in sales. An examination of the OCS website shows how easily those numbers can be achieved, based on some of the pricing on the OCS website.

OCS has 24 different edibles, all of which were sold out as of January 12, ranging from $6.65 for a two pack of fruit flavored soft chews, to $14.20 for a pack of two chocolate chip cookies, all with no more than 10 mg THC per pack. A three pack of Rooibos Vanilla tea bags with 10mg of CBD each retails for 18.95. (All prices include taxes).

Those prices seemed reasonable compared to what I can buy on the West Coast, but I had some serious sticker shock looking over the vaporizer option pricing. The cheapest option is a disposable “sativa blend” vape pen for $28.95. However, the pen has a total of .15 grams of cannabis oil in it, making the cost per gram of that oil $193. Prices for disposable pens top out for some which have .25 grams of distillate for $74.95, or $299.80 per gram. 510 threaded cartridges are the best bet, with the cheapest being .45 grams for $34.95, or $77.67 per gram. The most expensive I found was a 9:1 THC/CBD disposable pen. It’s price tag of $59.95 was for a mere .185 grams or “50 pulls,” making it $324.05 per gram. (Ouch, eh?)

Vaping is expected to be very popular in Ontario, as officials have established some progressive rules when it comes to where people can consume. Per Merry Jane:

“People can puff in outdoor public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks. They can also spark up in designated smoking guest rooms in hotels, motels, and inns. Residential vehicles (such as RVs) and boats that have permanent sleeping accommodations and cooking facilities, and are parked or anchored are also safe smoking zones. People can consume cannabis at scientific research and testing facilities, as long as the consumption is to facilitate testing and/or research. And, finally, the public can smoketh le herb in controlled areas at specific long-term care and retirement homes, residential hospices, provincially-funded supportive housing, and designated psychiatric or veterans’ facilities. All of these spaces happen to be ones in which people can smoke tobacco, too.”

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