Cannabis Extraction & Processing in Canada
Canada finds itself on the verge of great things in cannabis. The country is slated to export its products across the globe, giving itself a first to market advantage over all the other nations. One of the key sectors will be cannabis concentrate production, which is not for sale in Canada's new market. Despite the short-term limitation, this is not holding back a market that is rife with opportunity for major player LPs as well as mom and pop craft creations.
With an abundance of material and a head start, it's on Canada to steer its course correctly. Here is how prospects look so far.
Canada’s First to Market Advantage
While Uruguay was the first nation to legalize recreational use, Canada set itself apart by becoming a booming market with an influential hand in research, exporting and other intercontinental efforts. By being the first nation to do so, Canada gives itself a first-mover advantage. As the first to the international market, companies both large and small are valuable entities, with many expanding into other countries with ventures ranging from sales to research.
Some experts project that Canada will continue to extend its influence in the global market as domestic efforts alone will not allow Canada's market to prosper. However, with a continued focus on global expansion and innovation, the country should remain one of the top markets as others enter as well.
Canada Makes Cannabis Entrepreneurship Accessible
Canada is on the verge of a craft cannabis revolution, and not just products from major player LPs such as Aurora, Tilray, and Canopy. Canada had a focus on creating a cannabis market that would lead to more than a few behemoths. Thanks to several classes of licenses, large- and small-scale ventures obtained licenses prior to legalization day on October 17th. The stages of licenses include:
- Processing (micro and standard)
- Producers (micro and standard), nurseries
- Industrial hemp
- Analytical testing
- Medical sales
Canada continued to expand entrepreneurial access in the new space. Though, this decision came to the surprise of some. The country’s licensing body, Health Canada, opted to allow non-violent cannabis offenders to receive licenses as well. Instead, those with a charge on their record will be examined on a case by case basis. In addition to allowing access to non-violent offenders, black market growers have an avenue into the legitimate sector as well. Using the micro-producer license, black market genetics producers can register their work and sell to nurseries and other genetics companies to create products for the public. The decision is an attempt to remedy the old system which saw some high-quality strains never reach the market.
Through its varying stages of licenses and other inclusive measures, Canada provided its sector with ample opportunities to establish itself. Today, this growth is appearing on the large-scale as well as in craft cannabis.
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Restriction on Edibles and Concentrates Present Short-Term Roadblock
Though Canada’s first to market advantage is in effect, restrictive laws hinder progress to some extent. While it is evident that the solventless processing currently done by producers in Canada is impressive, these items cannot reach domestic sales shelves just yet. For now, they have to find their way to the U.S. and other countries.
This outcome is due to the one-year prohibition on selling edibles and concentrates. The exclusion means that consumers seeking rosin, edibles, drinks, cartridges and much more once again only have the black market to turn to. The settlement came in 2017 and is designed to allow lawmakers more time to learn about these products. From there, a set of regulations will be implemented, and their sales will commence.
The decision was and continues to be controversial among citizens, business owners and lawmakers alike. Those pushing back on the decision claim that little to any new information will come to light during this downtime. Meanwhile, illegal sales will continue to thrive.
With cannabis concentrates in Canada on hold, the black market is acting a bit more out in the open than it once had. Reports a week before legalization day found that "at least a dozen" websites sold edibles illegally, with some in operation for more than a year already. With legalization just about to begin, lawmakers began wondering if the ruling party allowed these sites to operate despite their nefarious actions.
Canadian cannabis processing was indeed dealt a blow by the one-year ban. That said, the black market sales are concerning in that there are no laws in place. In rare cases, children have been hospitalized for ingesting THC infused gummies. However, these rare cases should not dampen an exciting space. Soon enough, regulations will be in place and solventless processing can truly come to light. With a clear demand, solventless concentrates and edibles are sure to become top sellers once they are legally sold online and in shops.
An Amazing Market Potential
As mentioned above, if Canada plays its cards right, then its first to market advantage should translate into sizable earnings for business owners and the nation alike in the years to come. Analysts from CIBC predicted this past summer that Canada's market revenue could reach $6.5 billion by 2020. Additionally, first-year projections from Deloitte found that the country could generate $4.3 billion in legal cannabis sales during the first year of operation.
This sort of market potential shows what Canada’s revenue potential could look like without edibles and concentrates. Now, imagine what happens when they are introduced to sales shelves and online marketplaces. Rosin in Canada is sure to take off as a high-quality solventless concentrate that works for dabbing just as it does for edibles.
Overall, solventless processing continues to evolve from its DIY days to become a safe, reliable form of extracting cannabis. Without breaking the bank, extractors can produce highly potent yields from top strains. At PurePressure, we are proud to serve as the industry leaders in commercial grade rosin extraction. We are excited to become the primary solventless equipment provider to rosin extractors in Canada.
To learn more about solventless processing, check out our other article that dives into commercial-grade solventless extraction.