It’s been three years since Canada Legalized cannabis use for adultsAnd, indeed, some of the most popular brands on the market come from just south of the border.
As of August, based in Colorado And I’m Sur Jamies It captured 38% of the food market, according to hi fire. And Bhang’s Chocolate, the award-winning California-based food brand, is among the best-selling cannabis chocolates in the country.
Both brands regularly dominate headphone Bestseller lists, too, which grind sales data from Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.
Of course, products are not shipped across the border between legal states and Canada. Instead, they make their way to Canadian customers through licensing deals.
Canadian companies buy the rights to use US intellectual property and genetics, then manufacture and package them according to Canada regulations.
This is how California is based biscuit He made his way north: headed by rapper Berner. Cookies were launched in Canada in Ontario using two strains of cannabis: Gary Payton And Georgia pieBoth sold out within days.
A Colorado-based beverage company How do, which makes infused soft drinks like Bubba Kush root beer, which was recently launched in Canada. The stigma result grows Partnership with BevCanna To bring the infused drinks to market.
But are there any differences between what is sold in the US market versus what is sold in the Canadian market? And why are some so famous? Leafly took a closer look.
Start with Bhang
When London, Ontario-based Endiva Signed her first licensing deal with bhang In 2018, President and CEO Neil Marotta said there was some skepticism about the idea.
“We’ve had a lot of people say, ‘Why are you licensing a brand? Nobody knows the name of the brand.’ He said on the phone call ‘Anyone can put cannabis in chocolate.’ But we knew better than that. It’s not true.”
Marotta, who has a background in capital markets, not cannabis processing, said Canadian consumers are used to American brands entering the market. And if customers like Bhang in Colorado and California, he thought they’d probably like it in Canada too.
So far, he has been proven right.
Despite their brand’s American roots, Marotta said he still considers the products Canadian. He attributes Bhang and Wana’s success not only to the American brands that created the recipes, but also to the manufacturing and office staff in Canada who were able to meet demand quickly and consistently.
Beyond packaging, where Canadian labeling is more restrictive, one of the most obvious differences between US food brands in Canada is potency: For example, Bhang bars come in 100mg formats in the US, while Canada is limited to 10mg per pack.
This limit is likely to eat food market share and push experienced consumers to other sources, he said. If this limit is raised, the food market – and brands like Wana and Bhang – will likely grow to be more successful.
“There is still a group of people that have a higher level of tolerance, whether that is due to past medical use or because they have used cannabis in large amounts,” explains this Marotta.
“And I think there is a public safety issue here, where if we are not allowed to offer a legal alternative that is safe in terms of potency food items in the packaging, it will keep this category as small and you will need to bring people back to the illegal market.”
The cookie brand is coming to Canada
Licensing intellectual property for manufactured cannabis products is one challenge, but replicating a consistent source of California flower in a Canadian facility is another.
This is exactly what cookies set out to do Gage partner cannabis, who have already worked with him in a number of dispensaries in Michigan.
Together, by working with Canadian farmer Noya Cannabis, the team at Gage and Cookies were able to bring the popular Gary Payton and Georgia Pie strains to the Canadian market.
“If you open a blue bag now in Toronto, you should have the same experience you would if you did it in San Francisco at our store in Haight,”
Crystal Millican, retail vice president of cookies, said in a phone call.
But the blue bag is clearly different – it’s gone fun illustrations on US bags, replaced by a solid blue color with a large “C” at the top. After all, the name of the cookies can be considered attractive to children – which is prohibited by Canadian brand regulations.
Fortunately for the cookies, the freedom to market and promote their cannabis flower in the US – founder Berner has 1.8 million followers on Instagram alone – has likely helped them sell the products completely within days of launching.
This high demand has also led to higher prices for the cookie strains. Pre-orders are currently priced under $18 on the Ontario Cannabis Store website.
“The hype behind the brand and the sophistication behind what has already been created from the cookie community, and being able to bring that to Canada is what got everyone interested in going out and buying them. Even if their store is selling it at higher prices,” said Cassia Pomaretto, director of marketing for the company. Gage Canada, in a phone call.
The conquest of the American brand is not over yet
Cookies plans to expand to other counties, bring in more of its signature strains, and will also open a flagship store in Toronto in 2022. Gage has extended the licensing deal for two years, until 2026.
The influx of US brands with Canadian licensing deals will continue to make their way to the market. in TREC The last acquisition Agripharm, for example, gives them exclusive rights to more award winners from the US—Bread and O.pen.
As for Indiva, they have also launched local food brands like Ottawa sluride bakery. Their licensing deal with bestselling Wana has another three and a half years, but that may be complicated by Canopy Growth’s The deal was recently announced with the Colorado Corporation.
The deal allows Canopy to fully acquire Wana, but the deal is contingent on a federal cannabis reform in the United States — which is far from certain at this point.
“It’s not 100% clear how it’s going to go,” Marotta said. “But we’re excited about it. We think it’s a great testament to the brand, seeing Canopy buy Wana and maybe a testament to the licensing model as well.”
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