On April 15, 2023, StratCann held its most recent Growing Relationships event in Burlington, Ontario. This event brought together more than 180 cannabis businesses, including producers, retailers, ancillary services, and public agencies.
Below is a recap of some of the current industry and regulatory challenges raised and discussed by attendees at the Ontario 2023 event.
StratCann’s Growing Relationships is a series of networking events designed to engage focused discussion on local industry and regulatory challenges, opportunities, and solutions. The second in the ongoing series, our Ontario event included a one-hour industry brainstorming session asking attendees to discuss some of the most critical issues as they see them.
StratCann’s host, David Brown, led attendees through the exercise. With a 10-minute timeframe, 18 tables of 10 stakeholders each discussed what they see as the most critical issues facing their businesses and the industry overall at this time. Each table selected a spokesperson to present their discussion items to the room.
Tables included an array of stakeholders, so while responses varied, particular trends also emerged.
While many of the more commonly-known issues, such as high federal excise taxes and the overall regulatory burden, frustrations with the 10mg THC limit for cannabis edibles, and challenges in accessing capital were raised, attendees also identified several areas where they saw opportunities for industry to lead with needed changes that don’t require regulatory involvement.
A few examples include a need for the industry to develop its own consistent packaging standards and definitions for things such as harvest date and packaging date, terpene levels, and transparency around production methods and processes like remediation/irradiation.
Retailers also spoke about wanting more information from producers that will allow them to talk about attributes other than high THC levels. Several stakeholders spoke about the need for the OCS/AGCO to let producers know which retailers carry their products. This would help them to convey product information more effectively and better understand specific retailer needs.
Also, several micro producers spoke about their interest in the provincial flow-through model, and the topic of direct delivery from producers to retailers—at least for micro or craft producers—was raised several times.