Anyone hungry for psychoactive cauliflower?
This year, the SQDC joined other Canadian weed suppliers by providing edible cannabis products for the first time since its creation in 2018. The first SQDC edibles were released in April, and this summer, the organization added more products to its consumable line. You might be picturing brightly coloured gummies or baked treats, but Quebec had something else in mind: dried beets, figs and... cauliflower?
If you're confused and slightly put off, that's by design. The well-travelled Canadian stoner is familiar with the differences in supply between provinces; the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) offers plenty of sugary sweet cannabis-containing candies and snacks, like the edibles traditionally sold on the black market.
But in Quebec, the laws are much stricter — not only does the government have a monopoly on the sale of cannabis products, but it also has strong legislation against promoting the use of cannabis. These laws determine much of what the SQDC is able to sell, and what it can't.
"We review everything: the labels, ingredients, and inscriptions to make sure the products conform [with public health regulations], but also, that it's not a product that is too attractive," explained Geneviève Giroux, the vice-president of demand and product management at the SQDC.
What she means by "too attractive," is any product that actively encourages cannabis consumption, something the SQDC is extremely forbidden from doing. So, if you think beets, figs and cauliflower are less appealing than, say, an OCS gummy, then you're right on the money.
"In my role," Giroux told MTL Blog in an exclusive interview, "what's most important is maintaining a balance between public safety and bringing clients from the black market." In other words, the SQDC has to make sure its products aren't so enticing that they raise the risk of abuse.
While the SQDC sees itself increasing the range of edibles and other consumables available to purchase, Quebecers shouldn't hold their breath for Willy Wonka-esque weed delights. "We're really trying to make sure that we're offering products that will encourage consumers to choose the SQDC," Giroux said. "We're always evolving. We're watching [the edibles rollout] and we'll see how we'll move forward in the next few months."