October 17 2019 ushered in a new wave that many in the industry have been calling legalization 2.0. It consists of edibles, vapes and concentrates. So far only Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are starting to see these new products.
The legal limit will differ depending on the type of product you buy. For edibles you can expect each package to not exceed 10mg with other forms of combustible extracts not exceeding 1000mg THC per package.
Status of Vaporizers
Vaporizers, especially unregulated cartridges, have come under extreme pressure and attention as of late by media and policy makers a like. Substances such as Vitamin E oil are being mixed with other forms of THC extracts.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 21 identified vitamin E acetate, an additive that is often mixed with cannabis oil in the illicit cannabis market, as a “chemical of concern.” A regulated market allows for a lot of these issues to go unchecked and for the shake of public health can be quite dangerous.
So far, there are 13 known cases of vape related illnesses in Canada and that's enough to have regulators put a damper on the market and most importantly frustrate consumers a like.
Quebec & Newfoundland's ban on vaporizers
Earlier this month both Quebec and & Newfoundland & Labrador announced a sweeping ban on vaporizers further adding fuel to the fire. This adds further blow to many companies that are sitting on a back stock of inventory that they are hoping to turn that inventory into other consumable forms and fetch better margins.
BC's tax on concentrates
To add to further insult to injury. In November, the British Columbia government announced that they will be implementing a 20% tax on vapour products, which includes cannabis as defined as "Cannabis e-juice (cannabis in a liquid form designed for use in a vaping device)..." theses changes take effect on January 1 2020.
No Public Consumption in Manitoba
The Manitoba government has banned open consumption of cannabis-infused products in public spaces. Residents will still be able to purchase these products at their local stores.
Alberta puts a pause on vape sales
The province is suspending sales of cannabis vaping devices amid lingering concerns about their health effects, a move that would leave nearly half of the country's consumer market unable to purchase the newly-legal product. With a policy stance like this, it is also likely to drive consumers to the illicit market, which many legal operators are struggling to compete with.
Expect a wide variety of edibles to hit the market as the months progress. Many Licensed Producers (LPs) have already entered this space and quite a few retailers here in Alberta have already got there order spec sheets.
Concentrates can consists of:
- Hash - There are many forms of hash and so far you can expect to see bubble hash as one of those forms.
- Kief - An accumulation of resinous trichomes that is sifted from the cannabis plant with a mesh screen or sieve. Keif has a very high concentration of THCA
- Live Rosin - Live rosin refers to the process of utilizing heat and pressure to a bubble hash frozen or live, to create a resinous sap that captures the live terpene profile of the cannabis
Concentrates highlighted reflect the type that can be expected at the start of early 2020.
New regulations come with new issues. While Legalization 2.0 is a mark of progress, the actual work begins now. When the provinces place a ban or market the end product more expensive through legislation, the underground market will thrive. We must also remember the reality: the legacy market still exists and retailers are struggling to compete.
With a move like this, expect consumers that do vape to continue to purchase from their original sources or find alternatives as the price may be too high for the market to support. Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador represent 45 per cent of total cannabis sales in the country according to Statistics Canada.