The second wave of legalization of recreational cannabis is no longer very far in Canada. In October, one year after the legalization of flowers and oils , Edibles, concentrates and topicals will be legal. It was made known 2 weeks ago that the estimates indicate that this new market could be worth $2.7 billion.
This estimate comes from the international consulting firm Deloitte. According to them, edibles will represent the largest market share with $1.6 billion in annual sales. Cannabis-infused drinks, a market that has already attracted major investment, will be worth $529 million a year. The rest - tinctures, topicals, concentrates, capsules - is estimated at $400 million in annual sales.
Despite these promising numbers, a survey conducted by Dalhousie University indicates that demand for edibles has declined since the legalization of cannabis. In 2017, 46% of those surveyed indicated that they were interested in edibles compared to only 36% of respondents this year.
"What we get from this survey is that people are not as excited or enthusiastic about cannabis in general," says Sylvain Charlebois, director of agri-food analysis laboratories.
Deloitte analysts say that "the introduction of edible cannabis-infused products will clearly threaten the alcohol industry as consumers use these kinds of products in similar contexts". This effect of legalization has been anticipated by several alcohol groups who have engaged in partnerships with Canadian cannabis producers and laboratories to develop cannabis-infused drinks. The creed seems to be "diversification rather than competition".
The government has already published first regulatory considerations last year, but these are not final. Health Canada has indicated its willingness to enter into a dialogue with industry. Government proposals include THC limits for each product category, taxation based on THC content, and strict packaging standards.
At the same time, Health Canada began issuing new production licenses, particularly for outdoor growing. To avoid the problems of shortages that have hit the legal cannabis from the first days of legalization, it is indeed necessary to ensure enough raw material for extractions and the production of by-products. It is therefore necessary that new crops start as soon as possible.