OCS expects first wave of cannabis 2.0 products to sell out within a week
Ontarians will see a “very limited supply” of cannabis 2.0 products at retail stores starting next week, with online sales starting Jan. 16, according to the Ontario Cannabis Store, the province’s only cannabis wholesaler.
“We expect products to sell out within the first week. But it will improve, week after week,” said OCS chief of staff David Lobo at a media event showcasing 59 different products that will soon be for sale.
While the OCS has begun shipping vape pens, chocolates, gummies and tea bags to the 27 retail stores across the province, it made the decision to delay the sale of these products on their own site, OCS.ca., due to limited supply.
“Producers have been looking at cannabis 2.0 as a significant opportunity for them, so the supply shortage will not be as long and lingering as it was for dried flower and oils last year,” Lobo said.
The OCS has received products (largely vape pens) from fewer than 10 licensed producers since such items became legal on Dec. 16 — the agency has supply agreements with 40 LPs across the country.
“On Dec. 16 itself, only two licensed producers had products ready to go,” OCS spokesperson Daffyd Roderick told the Financial Post. “We will sell out really quickly. That’s why we didn’t want to start selling products on our site as well, we thought we would allocate products that we had to all 27 private retailers first, before putting them up for sale on the site,” he added.
According to Roderick, each retailer across the province will receive the same quantity and type of products, regardless of where their stores are located. When supply increases over time, retailers will then be allowed to pick and choose which products they want in different quantities.
Among the licensed producers that have shipped products to the OCS under various brand names are Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc., Auxly Cannabis Group Inc., Redecan Pharm, Sundial Growers Inc. Canopy Growth Corp., Organigram Inc. and Cronos Group.
We will sell out really quickly
OCS spokesperson Daffyd Roderick
Canopy Growth has so far supplied just two products that consumers will be able to buy starting next week — two different flavours of Tokyo Smoke-branded milk chocolate. The company had previously said the “first wave” of its cannabis beverages would hit shelves in early January 2020, but that it would stagger the launch of various other products and formats.
Auxly — a Toronto-based cannabis company which received a $123-million investment from tobacco giant Imperial Brands last summer — has supplied the biggest variety of products to the OCS so far, with four kinds of vape cartridges, five flavours of soft-chew cannabis edibles, and three types of chocolate squares, all manufactured by PEI-based licensed producer Dosecann Inc.
When asked which producers have been most consistent in supplying new products to the OCS, Lobo said that individual companies “have different priorities” but that the OCS will “speed up” its own distribution to retailers if “supply comes more quickly.”
Prices of vape pens and their corresponding cartridges vary depending on potency, and range from as low as $29 to almost $140, at least three times the price of what can be purchased on the black market, according to OCS director of merchandising Kevin Lam.
Chocolate bars or squares (each containing not more than 10 mg of THC as per Health Canada guidelines) are priced between $7.50 and $12. Cannabis drinks, once available, will be priced between $4 and $5 for a 355ml can, said Lam.