Like a lot of places that have legalized regulated cannabis commerce, Canada has experienced some growing pains. The transition from a medical market into an adult-use one has difficult for small businesses and farmers while bureaucratic regulatory hurdles have stifled the supply chain, limiting the number of retail outlets that have been able to open. Sales have been lower than many initial forecasts estimated (many cannabis insiders tried to issue warnings), but better news is on the horizon. March saw retail sales reach an all-time high and cannabis edibles and other infused products are about to hit the market.

With only flower available since Canada became the first G7 nation to end prohibition, the industry has been operating with one hand tied behind its back. Another revenue stream is about to become available, and the International Cannabis Business Conference will have the latest details in September with a program that includes an “Upcoming Regulatory Model: Edibles, Topicals, and Extracts” panel, that will prepare attendees for a business sector expected to be a $2.7 billion dollar market according to business auditing and financial advisory firm Deloitte, as CBC reported:

Pot companies, as well as food and beverage makers, have been preparing to roll out their own pot-infused products which they anticipate will appeal to a broader audience — particularly those who aren’t interested in smoking weed.

The federal government wrapped up its consultation on the draft edible rules in February, and has said the regulations must be brought into force no later than Oct. 17, 2019.

Deloitte estimates that roughly $1.6 billion will be spent on edibles in Canada, followed by cannabis-infused beverages at $529 million and topicals at $174 million. Spending on concentrates is expected to hit $140 million, followed by tinctures at $116 million and capsules at $114 million.

A wider selection of cannabis products will give consumers more options to suit their needs while also providing more revenue for both the industry and the Canadian government, truly a win-win. As usual, the world will be watching the Great White North so its regulatory framework will have an impact around the globe. Hopefully, the testing and safety standards will meet the right balance of informing consumers and protecting public safety while not over-burdening the burgeoning industry. With a lot of cannabis rules, the initial regulations will likely change over time as needed. So long as the cannabis community remains vigilant and common sense prevails (I know, that can be a challenge when the government is involved), the future remains extremely bright for the Canadian cannabis industry.

The International Cannabis Business Conference returns to Vancouver, Canada this September 15-16. Get your discounted, early bird tickets by August 21st to save and ensure your spot at the globe’s premier cannabis industry event.