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Gerry's Corner - Certainly Not the Brownies Your Grandmother Made

Gerry Cameron - Sep 10, 2018
The Specialty Food Association named edibles as one of the top ten trends to watch.

The day is set. Next month on October 17, recreational marijuana will officially become legal in Canada, and the Canadian cannabis market, according to Deloitte’s recent report “Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities”, is going to be big. We are talking $7 billion a year big. But strict regulations will be in place. For instance, in the province of Alberta, smoking and vaping will be restricted in areas that are frequented by kids; think playgrounds, beaches, and parks, and of course other public areas where smoking is prohibited. So, with these types of restrictions taking place, the big bet is that edibles like marijuana-infused brownies will become the preferred form of consuming cannabis. Why? They’re portable, discreet, and don’t carry the stigma of lighting up a joint. Now legalization for edibles in this country will not be legal until 2019 at the earliest, but that is not stopping a number of Canadian companies from getting creative in their kitchens and supplying our neighbors to the south. If you haven’t heard, pot in the States is big business.

According to an article in Mother Jones, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, Vermont, and Washington DC have already legalized recreational, adult-use cannabis, and it’s creating a huge buzz; no pun intended. Venture capitalists are jumping into the sector, college students can now graduate with a major in cannabis, and the industry is creating a whole slew of new professions: cannabis lawyers, infusion chefs, and budtenders. But with smoking falling out of favor, it’s down by as much as 90% in some age groups in California, the edibles market, cannabis-infused foods, are exploding. David Downs, editor for the online culture magazine, GreenState, explains that these products are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue where weed is legal. According to Colorado-based Cannabis data firm, BDS Analytics, February 2017 sales of marijuana edibles in Colorado gained 67% over the previous year. In fact, The Specialty Food Association named edibles as one of the top ten trends to watch.

Fact: The active ingredient in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It's the molecule that is responsible for that euphoric high. It’s extremely small, very potent, and it’s pretty lipophilic. In other words, it loves fats and can dissolve in alcohol. Think pastries and wine-infused drinks.

And Downs believes big business is watching and is going to get in this space. Big brand companies are recognizing the writing on the wall. Again, according to Downs, something like 8% of Americans are regular cannabis consumers. Half of Americans have tried cannabis in their lifetime. That’s 20-million cannabis-minded tourists in California alone this year. He expects to see either people from those companies retire and then start edibles companies that are really squeaky-clean, or the companies themselves start an offshoot cannabis brand that’s linked to the parent brand.

Whatever happens, edibles are certainly giving the term ”munchies” a whole new meaning.