Cronos Focuses Efforts on Cannabis Vaping versus Edibles – LPC
When cannabis edibles legalization happens later in 2019, another form will also be legalized: cannabis vaping. That’s because the sale of cannabis extract, which will be the main ingredient in cannabis vaping, will be legalized too. According to Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group Inc., the vaping market is more exciting than the edibles market.
“We wanted to allocate supply in the category where we see the biggest advantage – and that is vapes,” Gorenstein said.
The edibles market, on the other hand, faces uncertainty. Although Gorenstein said he believes cannabis edibles will become a multi-billion-dollar industry, it won’t live up to the hype. “Burdensome” regulations, environmental waste, and an industry that will not be able to meet demand are some of the issues.
Cannabis vaping may not have the same hype, but could be a more solid play in the long run. Cronos partnered with the US tobacco company Altria Group Inc., which invested $2.4 billion in the cannabis company.
“I think the big value-add [Altria brings], which is hard to quantify, is being able to keep the focus on our strategy and not worry about becoming a global farmer,” Gorenstein said.
Are Regulations Too Stiff in the Canadian Market? – LPC
Health Canada announced its proposed regulations for edibles last year. This wide category includes edibles, extracts (used in cannabis vaping), and topicals. Gorenstein feels that regulations within the cannabis industry are too restrictive. Among other things, it will hurt Canadian companies trying to become global.
“Could you take a brand from Canada… and build this global brand? Absolutely,” he said. “But I think that you need to build your base first. It’s really difficult with these advertising restrictions and plain packaging to build a global brand. If Canadians aren’t sure which brand is what, why would the rest of the world recognize them?”
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair, on the other hand, said it’s safety first for edibles, cannabis vaping, and all areas of cannabis use. “It’s not the government’s intention to promote the use of this drug,” he said. “But rather, to make it legally available in a well-regulated manner to reduce the social and health harms often associated with cannabis use.”
Cannabis edibles safety in particular is a concern. A recent Harvard Health Blog post outlines the dangers of making cannabis edibles too appealing to children or look too much like non-cannabis food.
It’s no surprise that regulations around cannabis vaping, cannabis edibles, and cannabis use in general are so strict in Canada. What do Canadians believe is more important, health and safety of its people or the economic opportunities of its companies? Perhaps there is room for both, but it will take a balanced approach.
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