The medical cannabis market in Canada has been the testing ground for some interesting products and product features that recreational consumers haven’t had access to.
Here are some items to look out for:
Licensed processors have largely shied away from supplying clones to provinces. Newfoundland however, has permitted clones to be shipped to recreational customers from suppliers in other provinces.
On the medical side, many licensed medical cannabis sellers offer clones to their patients—but every patient must be licensed by Health Canada to cultivate cannabis, not just purchase it.
While some seeds have been available to recreational purchasers, there are hardly any clones. That may change, at least for Ontario, as the province considers alternative options to OCS cannabis wholesale, exploring the possibility of private wholesalers and direct producer/store agreements instead.
Cloud CBD vapes
Last year, Aurora released the Cloud, a vaporizer cartridge that contains 550mg/ml of CBD and up to 30mg/ml of THC. But wait a minute, you ask. Cannabis vape oil cartridges won’t be available until December!
That’s true, but producers have also been permitted to produce and sell ‘cannabis oil’ for a while now. The oil is subject to regulations—it must have a specific carrier oil for example, and no additional additives.
Add that to the fact that no cannabis oil can contain more than 30mg/ml THC, and you have a challenging regulatory environment. That didn’t seem to stop Aurora which has produced and sold a compliant, CBD-heavy ‘cannabis oil’ vape to its medical patients for a year now.
Watch for this product to cross over to recreational retailers in December, or shortly thereafter.
Licensed producers can also sell cannabis oil in ‘discrete forms,’ such as oil capsules and soft gels. Aurora took things one step further, convincing Health Canada to allow them to start selling Listerine-like Dissolve Strips in this category, instead of having them characterized as edibles (which would have prohibited sale until at least December 2019).
We profiled these glass cannabis tasters back in June of this year.
CannMart, a non-cultivation licensed processor and seller of cannabis, has been offering their patients .25g flower tasters, packaged in convenient glass one-hitters. Ten strains are available, and are priced from $3.99 to $4.25.
Is this economical if you know you want to purchase a lot of one strain? No. But, it’s a great way to sample.
As of July, Spectrum Therapeutics has been offering trial sizes of dried cannabis product in 2g sizes, and various capsule products.
Novel package sizes
Alright, so this isn’t a product unto itself, but at least one vestige of the medical cannabis market that might cross over to recreational are novel package sizes.
If you walk into your local recreational store, you’ll mostly find dried whole cannabis in 1g, 3.5g, 7g, and maybe 15g packages (but rarely 30g).
Earlier this month, Quebec-based producer HEXO announced a new 28g (or 1oz) size for Quebec’s recreational market called Original Stash.
Priced at $125.70—or just under $4.50 per gram—this offering harkens to the legacy market’s steep discounts on bulk orders. (Currently most strains on the legal market come in at an average of around $11.50 per gram).