Back on October 17, Cannabis 2.0 launched which means licensed producers could submit new products to Health Canada to undergo a 60 day evaluation period. New products include edibles, extracts (like hash, shatter, and preloaded vape pens) and topicals. We were at first assuming that these products would be available in the rec market through the OCS a day or two after December 17 (which is 60 days after October 17) in time for Christmas fun. In a recent interview, the CEO of the OCS stated that the actual date for the first sales will be January 6, 2020 (the Monday after New Years).
What will actually be available? Well, Health Canada has said over 750 vape cartridge products will be on the market throughout the country. Heh. As someone who has been strongly affected by what we call the Vape Madness I would say that's like 740 too many. I love dry herb vaping and look forward to dry herb pods (although am concerned about the waste they will produce a la Keurig crisis). I hate preloaded cartridges (or "carts" as I heard some cool kids call it). I just find them to be pretty ineffective for me and more of a placebo--especially when for me the alternative is a joint, and the jury is still out on the suspending fluid they are in. I am willing to try others but I expect that side of the market to take a pretty big dump with all the negative press (and dry herb vapes getting confused with ecigs and preloads) and I'm waiting for a price drop before I grab any.
What else will we have? Edibles! But these edibles are limited to packages that are only 10 mg. each. I have so far seen a lot of chocolates (what is this? 1965?) and some cookie prototypes but nothing really original. I suppose I will be excited if/when Kiva comes to Canada, but the products they sell right now would mostly be non-compliant. Dear 7 Acres: Please make a deal with Kiva and helps them bring their bomb ass chocolate to Canada. I am also hoping for some distillate infused plain olive oil and butter (which I could really only make myself if I had a rotovap or whatever--I don't know the first thing about those). I guess I'm just waiting for distillate I can add to things myself. I want some more savoury things...I once had some decent infused guac that looked awful but tasted pretty good.
We will also have drinkables. I am mostly nonplussed about these--they were not really popular in the old dispensary days (I was only given them as gifts--I never wanted to drink warm sugary pop). I've tried some pretty ineffective tea and coffee blends (which gave us all indigestion). We will also see a lot of THC and CBD infused sparkling and flat waters. Speaking of things I can add myself, there is one product from Tweed I am especially interested in--a 10 mg. neutral concentrate I can add to my own beverages. I am also curious to sample a few other drinks, but its a lot of fluid to ingest. After a lot of testing I find 30 true milligrams to be the right dose for me (although I'm sure people would say more or less depending on their personal exposure). I certainly wouldn't give someone the same dose I would take.
Additionally, we will have some topicals hit the market. I am probably least excited about these. I never find them to be effective--especially not recreationally effective. Topicals for pain are not something recreational stores should be selling. I guess the only recreational topical is a sexual lubricant which I refuse to try--that is a delicate balance down there. We had some submitted to us for judging a while back and I gave it to a staff member to try. I think she rated it 6/10. I don't know how a lube could get such a tepid response.
What am I excited about? Extracts like shatter and wax--I love to dab. It's something I don't make myself because it's really dangerous to do but I love it so much. The flavour! How stoned I get! One of our friends from Amsterdam was visiting a couple years back and I gave him his very first dab. Shatter and wax are considered hard drugs in the Netherlands (maybe it was the blowtorch? maybe its the dangerous manufacturing process?) So he was acting super sketchy afterwards like I was introducing him to crack. I know that a lot of the cannabis production at this point is fit for extracts (meaning not pretty but may have trichomes in tact).
In addition to the 2.0 announcement the OCS also has reiterated more shops are coming soon. In one interview they were quoted as saying as soon as January 1 (where this won't be news by the spring), but in the most recent interview it was clarified that more stores would be coming with open allocation by this time next year. I'm hoping that means they will work through the current waitlist first, allowing stores like ours to make some sort of declaration of readiness. We had to jump through a lot of hoops to even get on the waitlist so I'm hoping that's dealt with before it moves to open allocation or it was all for nothing. Of course--no firm dates yet. But we are ready for it all!