Canadian Pharmacy Industry Trends: Cannabis Legalization, CBD Oil, and More

The retail scene is shifting in Canada as a new product is brought onto the market: cannabis.

While medical marijuana has had its place for several years, cannabis legalization is bringing with it opportunities for retailers, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

Cannabis legalization is set to launch in October 17, 2018. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. There are different rules for different provinces.

According to CTV News, these are:

Alberta – must be 18 years of age or older. Will be sold in privately-run retail stores and government-operated online sales.

British Columbia ­— must be 19 years of age or older. Both government and privately-run storefronts and online sales.

Manitoba — must be 19 years of age or older. Privately-run storefronts and online sales. Grow your own not permitted.

New Brunswick — 19+. Sold in government-operated storefronts and online.

Newfoundland and Labrador — 19+. Privately-licensed storefronts and government-operated online sales. Grow your own is TBD.

Northwest Territories — 19+. Privately-run liquor stores (already existing) and government-operated online sales.

Nova Scotia — 19+. Government-operated storefronts and online sales.

Nunavut — 19+. Established online vendors. Private businesses can apply for a license to sell cannabis but no stores will open in 2018. Grow your own not permitted.

Ontario — 19+. Government-operated storefronts and online sales and private sector storefronts (previously, it was only going to be allowed to be sold in LCBO locations, but that has changed under new provincial government).

Prince Edward Island — 19+. Government-operated retail locations and online sales.

Quebec — 19+. Government-operated storefronts and online sales. Grow your own not permitted.

Saskatchewan — 19+. Privately-run storefronts and online sales.

Yukon — 19+. Government-operated storefronts and online sales.

If you want to sell in a private storefront or online, check with your provincial government to see what is required — some have designated licenses.

See the full province-by-province breakdown by clicking here.

  1. Cannabis isn’t the only product hitting the market.

In one year, other forms of cannabis will be on the market, including pre-made edibles and marijuana extracts.

In American states that have legalized cannabis, the pre-made edibles market has blown up, as has infused beers, wines, and other beverages — including health and wellness drinks, like CBD iced teas, juices, and shakes.

Medical marijuana is also expanding its market. Recently, Manulife and Shoppers Drug Mart announced a partnership. Clients who have been approved for medical marijuana coverage will be able to consult with SDM pharmacists at an Ontario-based patient care centre about different strains of medical marijuana and the different ways to take it.

  1. There are other opportunities for retailers.

While certain provinces have restrictions on where cannabis can be sold, there are other accessory products that aren’t regulated. These have been legal to sell in the past, of course, but perhaps not as socially-acceptable. Now that could be changing.

For example, in most provinces, consumers can grow up to four plants of their own. While there may be limitations on who can actually sell the plant to grow, there would be nothing stopping brands from selling growing accessories for these plants.

  1. There will be a need for education.

With cannabis legalization, education is likely to follow — about different strains, methods of consumption, growing your own plants, and the like. This could take the form of signage, videos, books, advertising, and more. Even if you aren’t a cannabis distributor, there could be room to include these items in your product list.

With cannabis legalization coming quickly, the retail landscape in Canada could be shifting. How will you adapt?

Whether you’re selling cannabis or another product, Storesupport Canada can help your brand. Stay stocked on shelves, make sure your displays are attractive, and much more. Contact us today. Call 1 877 421 5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.

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