Ontario’s edibles rollout planned to hit shelved with an entire variety of cannabis-infused goodies, but it’s taking a bit longer than we all hoped.
Demand was obviously higher than expected, and it’s projected to keep climbing in popularity. Over the past 8 years in the U.S, edible sales have more than doubled their market share, growing from 5.4% to 12% — and by 2022 it’s estimated to reach 14% with flower sales dropping about the same rate as edibles are rising.
So start preparing to ramp up your space to feature the latest and greatest edibles on the market, because you’ll definitely have people lining up looking to try something new.
With the high demand and the low supply, for the time being, you’re bound to have some customers who are upset that they can’t get their hands on some of the new edibles right away. But rest assured, they’re on their way.
Why so slow?
The OCS originally released 59 full lines of edibles and varied stock for each, sending them out to dispensaries who placed orders and kept some stock to sell exclusively online, and of course, they sold out in less than a couple hours.
In hindsight, it makes sense. Edibles are hot commodities and for those infused items to reach the surface of retail in Ontario, they first have to pass rigorous regulatory tests and an application process to ensure that they’re exactly what they say they are.
The government is working to approve many more brands and types of edibles so consumers have a nice selection, but to make sure the products are up to par, it might take some time.
If your customers are upset by the limited supply, assure them that there will be plenty more in the coming months and if they keep an eye on the stock they’re sure to get their hands on some in no time.
What to expect
New demographic of consumers
People who are trying cannabis for the first time are experimenting with edibles — I mean why wouldn’t they? If the concept of smoking isn’t something that you feel comfortable doing, then what’s the fear behind a gummy — similar to something you’d actually buy at the movie theatre or pick up at the grocery store.
They’re the most diverse and friendly format to try. Deloitte even highlighted that “safety is rated as likely consumers’ most important consideration across all formats, followed by the product quality and being Canadian-made.”
The only worry is, you can’t just eat edibles like you’d eat regular cookies or gummies, and it’s because of this that there are such strict branding and advertising guidelines for them. Packaging can’t be appealing.. especially to kids, it has to include the standardized cannabis symbols and health warnings, and must clearly outline all information about the cannabis content — along with a bunch of other restricting design elements — but the point is that education about edibles is going to be a must for your dispensary.
Which brings us here. Having something at-the-ready for those new consumers looking to take a bit of information with them can be super helpful.
A lot of people are afraid that they’ll have an overwhelming experience when they try edibles for the first time thanks to illicit market products and word of mouth about those experiences, but these consumers simply need the proper direction and education to have a controlled and enjoyable experience.
Legal cannabis consistency reigns supreme for
When the illicit market was ruling edible sales, you’d see products like cookies or brownies wrapped in cello. The thing is, 2 cookies or 2 brownies could have wildly different components inside, leading to 2 wildly different experiences. Without proper labeling or packaging, there was no way of actually knowing what kind of experience you’re expected to have, but with licensed dispensaries selling regulated products, that’s no longer the case.
Edibles are made and tested to make sure that they’re safe to consume and properly labeled in favour of the consumer so that there is no confusion when it comes to consuming. So if something is labeled to have 5mg of THC in one gummy, it contains exactly that. No more. No less. So they can be consumed with total peace of mind.
This information is also really helpful for those consumers who have bought once or twice and found something they like and wish to try again. So, if they bought edibles that were 5mg THC and an equal amount CBD, they can use contents and potencies as a base for when they start searching again.
The general rule of thumb is to start low and to go slow when it comes to edibles. Edibles take time to really kick in, and there isn’t a way to make the process go much faster, unfortunately, and of course, patience is tough, especially when someone is eager for the experience.
Edibles are typically pre-split into small dosages, like gummies for instance, where you can start out with a single gummy and work your way from there. As per federal regulation, edibles cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC per package; so for a customer who has never consumed cannabis before, we recommend that they start as small as 2.5 to 5 mg. Other items such as brownies or cookies will list the contents and potency for the entire thing, and you may have to divvy it up and do some math to make sure you’re not consuming more than you’re comfortable doing.
The biggest mistake a beginner can make is to take an edible, wait 20 or so minutes, not feel the effects yet, and then to take another dose. And this is exactly how people have these bad experiences.
In my personal experience, the wait time is between 45 minutes and an hour before trying to up your dose but other sources say to wait between an hour to 2 hours, to be safe. When new customers ask about the wait time to experience an edible, you could mention what it has been like for you, personally, with edibles, and then mention that it could take upwards of the 2-hour bracket to keep you covered.
The major point we want to get across here is to be patient while getting started with edibles. Everyone is different, and everyone has unique experiences. If you just ate, it’s going to take longer for an edible to hit you versus someone who didn’t eat at all that day. The same goes for someone with a smaller build versus a larger build. One gummy might be all someone who has a smaller build needs while someone with a larger build might need 2 or 3 to feel the same effects.
Take dosing and timing with a grain of salt. Start small, wait it out, and go from there. Just be patient and only go as fast as you’re really comfortable.
Our advice: avoid mixing!
One last thing that dispensaries need to shout from their rooftops is not to mix cannabis with alcohol or other illicit substances! The combination doesn’t agree with some people’s stomachs, so it’s better off to start out with one thing at a time and work your way up once you start feeling more comfortable. Simple as that.
P.S the Verda Platform is LIVE. If you’re a dispensary owner, find your store and start customizing today! Otherwise, browse our directory, find licensed legal sources for cannabis that have the verdafied stamp of approval! Start searching today!