A few chocolate bars, a cookie and tea: Ontario unveils new legal cannabis edibles

Cannabis users eagerly awaiting the arrival of legal edibles in Ontario will have to wait a bit longer for the variety of options many expected.

More options are on the way in coming months, OCS says

Soft-baked cookies are among the new edible pot products unveiled by the Ontario Cannabis Store on Friday. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

Cannabis users eagerly awaiting the arrival of legal edibles in Ontario will have to wait a bit longer for the variety of options many expected.

On Friday, the crown corporation tasked with online sales and wholesale distribution of recreational cannabis unveiled 16 edible products being delivered to brick-and-mortar stores next week. They'll be available online by Jan. 16.

"We know that Ontarian adults have been waiting for these products for a long, long time," said David Lobo, vice-president of corporate affairs for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).

"Initially there will be limited supply and variety of products."

The assortment includes four kinds of chocolate bars, three types of chocolate squares and a chocolate chip cookie, as well as eight options for soft chews — all ranging in price from $7.50 to $16 per item.

Those options will have between 2 mg and 10 mg of THC per package — the upper limit allowed by Health Canada.

There will also be one brand of tea available for between $7 and $11 per bag and more than 40 different vaping products ranging in price from $29 to $139.

Vape products make up the bulk of new items that will be available for sale at retail locations in Ontario next week. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

At a morning news conference in Toronto, Lobo and other OCS representatives said they expect more edibles to hit the market by early March.

Lobo told reporters that the first delivery of edibles and vapes could sell out by the end of next week. But he isn't anticipating the kind of supply problems that plagued the first rollout of recreational cannabis in late 2018 and well into last year.

"We expect that supply shortages on these products will not be as long and lingering," he said, adding that licensed producers have been preparing for months for the Ontario edibles market to open.

Further, Lobo said, the OCS projects that sales of the new products and dozens more retail stores opening for business in coming months will ensure Ontario actually makes money from recreational cannabis.

In September, it was revealed that the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. — the entity that runs the OCS — lost $42 million in the last fiscal year

Chocolate edibles being rolled out at authorized retailers are displayed at the Ontario Cannabis Store in Toronto on Friday. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

Lobo blamed the loss on the costs of setting up retail infrastructure.

"We are tracking at the end of this fiscal year to be in the positive. And through the upcoming provincial budget in the spring, we will provide more detailed information about what our finances are going to look like for years to come," he said.

Ontario announced in November that it would scrap its lottery system for licensing pot shops, part of an effort to combat the thriving illegal cannabis market. The open licensing system proposed by the provincial government could facilitate a rapid expansion in the number of retail locations, which currently stands at just a few dozen stores for a province of nearly 15 million people.