One year after Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act) came into effect legalizing all recreational marijuana use, its cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals are now permitted.
"Since we've opened, I would say on average we probably get at least 50 people a day asking us about edibles," said Shae-Lynn McMann, manager at Plantlife Cochrane.
"There will be chocolates, gummies, there will be drinks as well, there's a couple different LP's (licensed producers) that have partnered up with some bigger brand names that are creating drinks. There is going to be powders for drinks as well, so there's going to be lots of different types of edibles."
Each province and territory in Canada has its own rules and regulations around cannabis. These include legal minimum age, purchase location, where it may be used and how much you can possess.
As laws vary throughout Canada, Alberta runs a little differently. The licensed producers need to sell their product to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) which then retailers can purchase from. The AGLC acts as a middle man whereas other provinces or territories may not need to sell their product to AGLC and can sell directly to the retailers.
"We have AGLC in the middle that makes those deals, those contracts that can bring down the price and they can say 'hey we have this amount in stock' but it can also hurt us on the other end where we've seen that they've had mass amounts of product in but they put it on the lottery system for us to do like lottery picks. So we aren't guaranteed product, so there's a lot of back and forth of good and bad with it," said McMann.
Some manufactures Plantlife deals with are Canopy, Auora, Whistler Medical, High Park, Seven Acres, Edison and Irisa. McMann says Plantlife is provided with AGLC ordering lists which they can then make their orders off based on demand. She says Plantlife stands behind having an educational background as opposed to just giving out cannabis.
"When I started with Plantlife I had a five day orientation so we actually had LP's come in and talk to us about their product, how they grow, what their process is, different things like that. Plantlife takes a lot of pride in the education aspect of it. So we have really good relationships with our LP's," said McMann.
Although edibles are now legal, McMann says they have not yet been able to place an order. Guidelines were released by Health Canada to licensed producers on October 17 and this is what they must follow before it is given the OK for consumption.
"We've been told by Health Canada and AGLC to expect a 30 to 60 day turnaround because the LP's have to make it, they have to get it to Health Canada, Health Canada has to do their checks, and then they have to send it to AGLC," said McMann. "They're saying probably before Christmas, Health Canada will probably be done their rounds by November 17. Then it has to get to AGLC and then they have to do their rounds of everything so they're hoping to get product to us before Christmas, but realistically it's probably going to be in January."
From her understanding McMann says the restrictions for any edibles will have a max amount of 10 mg of THC per package. Although the turn around may take some time McMann is hopeful that there could be a shipment before Christmas which would make for a perfect stocking stuffer.
With the new competition Spirtleaf opening up, McMann understands that people will be going to check it out - like anything new - but remains confident that the experience Plantlife offers, as well as the strong customer base they have, will keep Cochranites coming back.