As many as 10 Canadian pot and alcohol companies have come together on the same page in the form of Cannabis Beverage Producers Alliance (CBPA) to push for changes to proposed rules before edibles become legal in the country.
The first and foremost issue that the alliance has highlighted is the cost. According to the government’s proposed rules, beverage companies need to have separate, dedicated production facilities for cannabis-infused drinks. In no case, they can use the same production facility where non-cannabis (normal) beverages are being manufactured or processed.
The companies said that different production facilities will only increase the cost of the end product and the consumer would end up paying a lot higher. Furthermore, the high price of legal edibles (beverages) will only push consumers to the illicit market, which is a huge NO-NO.
In addition, separate facilities aren’t much of a feasible option for many small-scale companies.
CBPA, which includes, Molson Coors-Hexo Corp.-joint venture Truss Beverages, is also doing everything in its power to convince lawmakers for less-stringent marketing norms that would allow them to use terms like ‘wine’ and ‘beer’.
Prohibiting the use of words like “beer” in regard to cannabis-beverages would be “very confusing for the Canadian consumer,” said Terry Donnelly, chief executive of Hill Street Beverage Company.
What’s more annoying though for the companies is the fact that under the proposed rules, they can’t use their already established brand names on cannabis drinks. So in terms of marketing, this is a huge setback.
The group is sure that its concerns will be heard; however, if the government doesn’t agree with what they say, they also have a “Plan B under the proposed regulations”.
Notably, Ottawa had wrapped up the consultation process for its proposed rules in February and the final version is still awaited. As per an official statement by Health Canada, the final rules must be brought into force no later than October 17, 2019.