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Canadian CBD Retailers Are Struggling To Keep Up With Demand

canada cannabis demand
Written by Steven Bridge

Following the legalization of Cannabis in Canada, retailers are having a hard time meeting the serious demand they’ve faced since the new law. But there’s one product that’s flying off the shelves more than any other, and that’s CBD.

CBD is a compound inside the cannabis plant that’s non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high or leave you feeling disoriented or dizzy. It does, however, appear to have a bunch of significant medicinal effects that help people with things like anxiety, stress and sleepless nights. Since legalization in Canada, cannabis sales have skyrocketed through the roof as growers ramp up hemp cultivation in a bid to keep up with demand.

They assumed that demand would be heaviest for THC-dominant cannabis, but they misjudged the situation. As it turns out, more people seem to want CBD than anticipated and that means that many CBD products are “out of stock” for some retailers. CBD also enjoyed an upsurge following Kim Kardashian’s “CBD Baby Shower” where guests were invited to make CBD-infused body scrums and oils.

canada cannabis demand

Kim Kardashian’s CBD baby shower drew a lot of publicity to cannabidiol

As Khurram Malik, CEO of Biome Grow said according to a CBC report,  “The demand side just blew up and caught everyone by surprise, on both sides of the border,” as a result of the Kardashian baby shower and other factors of course.

Meanwhile, provincial distributors across British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador have said that the CBD shortage has affected them and they are unable to keep up with demand.

According to B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch “There has been a significant learning curve for licensed producers as they transition into supplying a new market,” they said. “Licensed producers are working towards becoming more efficient, however many of their expansion projects have not yet been fully ramped up.”

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., Beverley Ware, told reporters that they have been unable to carry pure CBD Oil products for some time now due to the crisis. At the same time, Darrell Smith, spokesperson for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp., explained that customers want pure CBD products, without THC in the mix and that has presented a problem. “It has been a challenge to source a steady supply of these products as they are often reserved for the medical cannabis community,” he said.

Another issue facing the CBD industry is that it’s unregulated for the most part and research into it is limited as it has been illegal for scientists to study cannabis or cannabis derivatives due to them being controlled substances. The situation is improving as Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatrist at McGill University who has carried out tests on cannabis, published a study on the efficacy of CBD for pain and anxiety.

canada cannabis demand

Regulations surround cannabis extracts remain complicated

The FDA has also approved CBD for children who have epilepsy as authorities struggle to come to grips with hemp and cannabis. As Gobbi explained, “Today there is a dominant culture of cannabis, dominant culture of everything that is natural is good. This is why cannabidiol is so popular,” she said.

The various parties in Canada, in the interim, are trying to ramp up hemp cultivation, so they start selling CBD products to customers. Many approved and licensed farms have orders to grow as much good quality hemp and cannabis as quickly as possible so that the market’s needs can be served.

Unlike cannabis, CBD extracts aren’t really something you can buy on the black market. This means that some people are left without CBD and even worse, some have no choice but to go back to the toxic pain medication their doctor prescribed them.

It remains to be seen whether or not supply will meet demand when it comes to CBD in Canada in 2019. Let’s hope growers and CBD manufacturers are better poised as we enter 2020.

For more on market outlooks, make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter, the top source for all things cannabis-related. 

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About the author

Steven Bridge

Having been a cannabis and CBD aficionado for many years, Steven spends much of his time opposite a shiny MacBook, researching, exploring, understanding and creating interesting reading for people interested in knowing more about CBD, Vaping, Cannabis Strains and Delivery Methods, and just about anything related to magical green herbs that help people with anything from sleepless nights to pain.