Since the Cannabis Act of June 2018, a new sector was opened to the Canadian market with the potential, according to one report, to be worth CA$5bn by 2021.
Investors worldwide are now able to invest in stocks on the legal cannabis market. The Financial Times estimated the global market to be worth US$11bn in 2018, with the prediction of reaching US$50bn by 2029 - almost a 500% increase. The largest Canadian markets by sales volume are: Ontario (22.4%), Quebec (21.8%, and Alberta (19.9%), as detailed in this analysis from 2019. With unlockable profits seemingly available, the country’s biggest selling province, Ontario, where 39% of Canadian citizens reside, has room to expand its share.
On 10 June 2019, Ontario Cannabis Store - the only legal online retailer of cannabis in Ontario - announced its intention to release a greatly expanded range of cannabis product categories, including food and beverages. After months of careful consideration by Health Canada, OCS has now declared that it is ready to reveal 16 new, edible products to be available for purchase from 16 January 2020.
OCS, a corporation mandated by the Government of Ontario, believes that this product diversification has been long awaited by the province’s citizens: “This product call marks an important milestone in securing a broad variety of cannabis products that meet the preferences of Ontario consumers,” said Patrick Ford, former President and CEO.
In a move that appears to demonstrate an ethos of taking the product of cannabis forwards, OCS is calling its new collection of products ‘Cannabis 2.0’. Ontario locals will find that portfolio to include a range of chocolate bars, cookies, mints and soft chews. There will also be tea, flavoured soda, and sparkling water available.
Given OCS’s enthusiasm for diversifying its product, it should be explained why it has taken until this point for edibles to secure a release date in the largest legal Canadian cannabis market. Ironically, it is the top three selling provinces (Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta) that have encountered the most red tape, as changes to law and regulation are made following decades of prohibition; the Canadian Government is dedicated to ensuring that consumers receive the highest quality products.
When a press release from Health Canada announced the official legality of cannabis edibles on 17 October 2019, OCS finally had the ‘green light’ to develop its range. This also opens the possibility for other, Ontario-based companies, such as Canopy Growth Corp. and Cronos Group, to vary their output too and contribute to the expanding market.
So far, the difficulties experienced by OCS have been meeting consumer demand, with sales of edibles already anticipated to exceed available stock and dried herb supplies already struggling.