NSLC won't have cannabis edibles until Christmas
HALIFAX -- Edible cannabis products become legal on Thursday, but it will be another two months before any are being sold in government stores.
Health Canada has to approve them first, but even so, the Nova Scotia Liqour Corporation is clearing shelf space and training staff to handle edibles.
"Even though legalization is Oct 17, it's going to be quite some time before the products are available in our stores," said NSLC spokeswoman Beverley Ware. "The licensed producers have 60 days to submit their new products for consideration for retailers such as ourselves."
The earliest NSLC could place any purchase orders would be Dec. 16. The company expects to have an expanded selection of edibles and beverages available in January.
As for how the newly-released products will impact the overall marketplace, Dalhousie University professor Sylvain Charlebois doesn't expect much change.
"We actually expect the black market to take a substantial place in Canada, at least for a while, because of all the restrictions we see domestically," Charlebois said.
Charlebois says, following underwhelming national cannabis sales, edibles may in time break through and reach higher levels of profitability.
"With edibles and with a better distribution strategy, we are expecting to hit that $5 billion mark," Charlebois said.
But he doesn't think that will happen overnight.
"In 2025-26, not 2022 as predicted," he said.
Until the products are made available to consumers, the redesign of the NSLC stores will continue.
"New counters, new cabinets, we're going to have some new display of product," Ware said.
The modifications will help showcase and sell the new cannabis edibles.
"We're also putting in some small fridges," Ware said.
Ware also says the NSLC will continue to train employees and develop new websites as the transition to selling edibles continues.
There's also a buy local aspect to the edibles; three Nova Scotia cannabis producers will help stock the supplies, making up 20 per cent of the product for NSLC.