In Canada, many licensed producers have built their business models around high THC cannabis, for the simple reason that the system is skewed to reward
Organic cannabis is at a crossroads in Canada. The lack of federal legislation is slowing market growth, with producers following different rules. This can cause confusion for consumers, with both domestic and export markets being hindered by the lack of clarity.
When Canada legalized cannabis the federal government hoped that the regulated market would take the wind out of the sales of organized crime. Since then, there has been an impressive shift, but the unregulated market is nonetheless substantial.
Cannabis consumers are often attracted to specific, so-called “strains” of cannabis flower, with the name becoming the brand. That’s great – except that there’s a serious lack of consistency, and no regulatory framework to establish a reliable taxonomy.
The cannabis industry has many vital players, yet people are often unaware of how growers, processors, and labs work together to build strong brands. As the market matures, partnerships remain critical for brand development, with labs often playing a central role.
Across Canada, cannabis is being sold legally in retail outlets and online. However, there’s one model that, to date, has had limited uptake: farmgate, wherein a licensed provider can sell directly to the consumer at the point of production.
Women and people of colour have made significant contributions to the Canadian cannabis industry, both before and after legalization. However, the industry still has a long way to go before it is properly reflective of Canadian society. This represents a missed opportunity for all stakeholders.