When it comes to edibles, the lion’s share of sales are still going through the black market, according to food policy expert Sylvain Charlebois, who estimates about 80 per cent of sales are made through illicit channels.
He says that’s in part because of limits on how much THC legal edibles can contain. In Canada, cannabis food and drink products can’t contain more than 10 mg of THC per package. Obviously, there is no such limit on what black market sellers do outside of the law.
“The black market has basically produced [more potent] edibles at a lower price,” said Charlebois.
In August, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found cannabis poisonings in children after edibles became legal in early 2020 were twice as high in Alberta, BC and Ontario than they were in Quebec, which hadn’t yet introduced edibles in stores.
But Leclerc says, given how many black market products are available with much higher levels of THC, it would make sense to have comparable products at the SQDC.
“Give the client the information,” he said, “and make sure the products that go into houses and streets are well controlled.”