Even if you haven’t been paying attention, you have probably heard the phrase “cannabis 2.0” appearing in news articles across the country. But what are people referring to exactly?
When Canada legalized cannabis in October, 2018, the only products that were available were dried flower, and diluted oil, either in the form of sublingual drops or capsules. At the time, the Canadian government indicated that they would be taking an extra year or so to introduce other cannabis products into the market, to ensure public health and safety. On October 17, 2019, these new regulations came into force, ushering in the period now known as “cannabis 2.0”.
This means that as of October 17, 2019, Canadian cannabis companies have been submitting hundreds of new product forms to Health Canada for approval, and the first of these products will be legally permitted to be sold on December 17, 2019. That being said, it will likely take at least a few months for consumers to begin seeing a full selection of these new products in the stores near them, depending on specific product availability in each province.
So When Exactly are These New Products Going to be Available?
That depends on which province you are in. Unfortunately, it appears that Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland will probably be the only provinces to see any of these new products before Christmas, or the beginning of 2020. Most producers and provinces have indicated these products will begin being shipped to retailers between mid to late January. We expect stores in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to begin carrying these products close to christmas, with stores in Alberta and Ontario beginning to sell them closer to the middle of January.
What New Products Will There Be?
The potential number of new products that can be introduced is virtually unlimited. Most producers, however, have indicated they expect to begin production of the same types of products, which include those in the list below. The items at the beginning of the list are the ones you will likely see first, with those further down on the list likely taking longer to be introduced to the market. These products include:
Some of the first products that will be available will be vaping products that have enjoyed large success in more mature legal markets in the United States. These products will generally come in 3 formats:
Disposable - these products will include a vape cartridge and battery in a disposable format that is meant for one time use and to be completely disposed of after use;
Cartridge systems - these will include both cartridges that fit on industry standard “510” threaded batteries as well as cartridges that are proprietary, including the PAX era pod system;
Kits - these products will incorporate both a battery and a cartridge. The cartridges can then be purchased on their own and used with the original battery from the kit.
Gummies / Chocolates / Mints
Most edible products will come as either gummies, chocolates or mints. These products are being produced with THC levels of anywhere from 2mg to 10mg, with most products featuring a package of 5 edibles with 2mg of THC, CBD, or both in each.
Many cannabis producers have announced plans for beverages that will include THC, CBD or both, in amounts of up to 10mg per package. Many of these products will be sold in multi-packs, with multiple servings of 2mg each. Some of the products that have been announced include:
Flavoured sparkling drinks;
Beer style beverages based on hops;
Shot-style drinks that have a small amount of liquid and the maximum allowable 10mg of THC.
Extracts and Tinctures
While not expected at the beginning of cannabis 2.0, over the next year we expect to see many of the more popular products available in the illicit market become available in legal stores as well. These products include many that have been popular for a long time including:
Cosmetics and Topicals
Eventually, we expect to see more sophisticated products be released for sale, including topical products, bath bombs, and other cosmetics that generally not inhaled or ingested. While many producers have indicated a desire to produce and sell these types of products, it is currently unclear exactly when they will be available.
Cannabis 2.0 represents an entirely new frontier in the legalization of cannabis in Canada. For the first time in history, consumers will be able to purchase cannabis products of all types, with the options for new products seemingly endless. We are excited to have you join us on the next stage of this journey.