While Canada is planning to delay the roll out of recreational cannabis edibles for regulatory reasons, it may give stakeholders the added benefit of having extra time to master their formulations for what may become a booming market segment.
According to a new study released by Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, 45.8% of Canadians would buy cannabis edibles if they became available in the legal market.
“Our study shows that the majority of Canadians are willing to purchase [edibles], and edibles are Health Canada’s recommended consumption form for cannabis,” said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, in a press release.
By surveying 1,087 Canadians in August 2017, Dalhousie was able to go beyond calculating the percentage of Canadian adults who would buy cannabis edibles from a retailer and tap into some data on cannabis as a food ingredient.
According to the study, 39% of Canadian adults would try cannabis edibles sold in a restaurant, but only 20% felt knowledgeable enough to make cannabis edibles at home and only 12.6% would consider cannabis a healthy food ingredient; meanwhile, 59.8% of Canadian adults indicated that they would be concerned about consuming too much of a potent cannabis edible.
Dalhousie’s study may also allay some of the fears of the alcohol industry, as only 26.6% of adults indicated that cannabis edibles would replace their alcoholic drink at a restaurant.
“This should be of comfort to the liquor industry which may be concerned that cannabis could be a direct competitor for its products once it becomes legal,” Charlebois said.
Beyond the cannabis edibles market, the study also found that 58.5% of Canadians are worried about the potential risks recreational cannabis could pose to children and young adults, but perhaps Health Canada’s upcoming campaign to warn minors about cannabis use may assuage some of those fears by the time recreational cannabis is legal in July 2018.