Industry: It’s October 17th!

Or, as I like to call it, Legal Canna-Dab-Is Day

The legalization of cannabis in Canada was a much-anticipated event. The industry has come a long way since the first legal bud was sold in Newfoundland.

Many of us in the industry had high hopes (hah!) of what it would look like.

In many ways, the legal industry has given us many surprises. Some good. In other ways… Well, let’s just say that some most of our predictions have yet to come true.

Diversity

I had hoped we'd see more indie stores.

Unfortunately, women-led businesses are not the majority since legalization. As of February 2019, only 9% of publicly-traded cannabis companies had a women CEO or co-CEO in Canada. Since then, the number is even smaller as some women CEO have stepped down.

But the ladies growing pot, dealing weed and trailblazing canna-ducation in Canada make an impact. From Irisa and Queen of Bud to THC a2z (who helps us out on our blog and social media!), women are standing out in one of the most progressive industries. 

That being said, I really want to see a more diverse representation in the industry, be it gender or skin tone.

And regarding independent stores… well, I’m less hopeful of that in the future.

Edibles

I thought the edibles would taste better in general

For a couple of us at Daikoku, our first experience with cannabis was at a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. And those space cakes were delicious. The biggest danger with the edibles in the Netherlands was that they taste so good, you might end up consuming too much.

That’s not really much of a risk with the products you find on the legal market at the moment. While the products can be tasty, they have a distinctive “weed” flavour to prevent accidental dosing.

Which is great! Unless the flavour of cannabis far overpowers the flavour you’re trying to achieve in the edibles. We’re hopeful that the future will yield products that better complement natural flavours. (And we’re looking forward to more full-spectrum goodies that are making their way to our shelves!)

“We never expected to see beverages.”

Ok so full confession: I believed we might see smoothies. Sparkling beverages and sodas did catch us off guard.

But what really surprised us is the way the marijuana equivalencies are calculated for beverages! 

10mg of THC / pkg is dumb

We understand and appreciate the need for low-dose edible portions. After all, edibles are often involved when people report a negative cannabis experience. That being said, we feel that the limits on THC per edible products package are too small. Increasing the total allowed THC per package would also lower the price per unit since less packaging would be required to sell more product.

And on the topic of…

Packaging

This is a big one, and one we hear echoed a lot by customers. 

The industry still hasn’t implemented viable recycling solutions for some products — like vaporizer cartridges and disposable vaporizer pens that came along in what we’ve dubbed ‘legalization 2.0’— and the pandemic has put a pause on many of the industry-lead recycling initiatives. 

It’s also important to note that some packaging, which we think of as “greener” or less bulky, like the mylar bags, are actually worse for the environment since they cannot be recycled. Check out our blog post for the details on what to do with your cannabis waste.

Quality

“Microwaving” is the colloquial term we use for licensed producers who choose quick-curing and gamma radiation to treat pests and humidity (as opposed to a slow cure). If Encountered cannabis with a dry feel? Did it sound crunchy? Did it bit in your hand while you reached for your grinder? It was likely irradiated. This process is completely safe for humans and prevents many long-term storage issues. 

Tip: Use a 2-way rehydration pack when storing your cannabis! After 12 hours, the rehydration pack will allow cannabis to regain humidity. For quick rehydration, use a sterile humidifying disk.

Avoid using fruit or fruit rinds as these may have trace amounts of other biological compounds that can cause your cannabis to rot. 

Luckily, many craft growers opt for slow cures and even go so far as to emulate organic farming practices. However, they tend to work in small batches. This translates into a higher price-point. And a very select list of ‘favourite producers’ for the team. 😉 

You might notice that there are quite a few brands we don’t carry at Daikoku. Instead, we opt for a more selective approach and a carefully curated list… which frequently undergoes quality assessment *cough*.

The legacy market has had years to create amazing bud, great concentrates and trailblaze new products. They also don’t have to deal with bureaucracy in addition to other market challenges in order to get their products vetted and sold. (Which doesn’t mean they don’t have their share of risks, of course: it’s illegal to grow, create or sell cannabis in Canada without proper permits in place.) 

Another hurdle is that given that cannabis was illegal, only varieties that were grown under the ACMPR were part of the initial roster. The process to introduce new cultivars is very complex. Lastly, while the legacy market could use names like “Bruce Banner” and “Moby Dick,” the legal market can’t, either due to copyright infringements or the reference to male anatomy respectively, as per Health Canada rules. 

What about you?

What pot-predictions did you make? Were you right or were you surprised by how legalization has been turning out?

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