Marijuana edibles won’t catch on, Smiths Falls producer believes

Bruce Linton, co-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, speaks to the Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit in Kemptville, Ont. on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. Linton believes Canada won't be a big marijuana edibles market. He's hedging his bet on a cannabis beverage when edibles are legalized in fall 2019. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

KEMPTVILLE – A major Canadian marijuana producer in Smiths Falls believes Canadians won’t have an appetite for edibles.

“I don’t know that Canada is going to be a big edibles market,” Bruce Linton, co-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, said Friday. He was responding to a question from outgoing Brockville Mayor David Henderson during the Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit in Kemptville.

“In the U.S., criminals make things like gummy bears and chocolates with that (cannabis) oil in it. They make really ugly, coloured stuff that tastes bad. If you’re a criminal it’s really hard to spend a lot of money on technology on an amazing system because if the cops bust you, you lose all that tech,” Linton said.

“I don’t think we’re going to ever have gummy bears in Canada,” he concluded.

Instead, Linton is anticipating people will want a drink — a cannabis beverage that could also be vaporized or used medically, which is where they are focusing their attention. The Smiths Falls plant has already expanded in anticipation.

“Our regulator in every province has a liquor authority. Have you ever been to a liquor store that sold anything that wasn’t a shelf staple beverage? They’re (the liquor authorities) not looking for a crazy, let’s have a gummy bear aisle.”

The other problem is the uneven active ingredient level in gummies. “I think people prefer certainty. You don’t walk into a liquor store and say, ‘How strong is the vodka today?’ You want it to be the same every time.”

The private cannabis store regime is expected to go online in Ontario on April 1, 2019. The edibles market hasn’t been tackled yet by the government and will probably not be legalized until October 2019.