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Quebec cannabis stores now sell poutine sauce, jerky and nuts; sales remain miniscule

The few customers looking for an edible option at a Quebec cannabis store (SQDC) will have noticed some new options on the shelves and website.

While edible products commonly associated with cannabis, like gummies or brownies, can not be sold under provincial law due to their appeal to minors, the SQDC stores now sell cannabis-infused spicy crackers, mini-sausages, chicken ramen, dill pickle-flavoured nuts, cinnamon and black currant bites, and, naturally, poutine sauce.

SQDC spokesperson Vanessa Roland said the provincially-run body modifies its product assortments twice a year, but edible submissions are evaluated throughout the year when they are submitted.

She added that the new products haven’t made much difference to the bottom line.

“Generally, it sparked interest from customers. However, edibles represent less than 1 per cent of the sales at SQDC,” she said.

SQDC president and CEO Jacques Farcy said in 2023 that the Crown corporation does not plan to expand its scope after realizing that sales had plateaued and that the illegal market remains active in the province.

“When you look at other Canadian provinces where the legal framework is a little different, you realize, in fact, that the amount of the illegal market captured is quite comparable, with between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the market absorbed,” he told The Canadian Press.

Edibles in Ontario, however, are a growth industry, rising from around 1 million units distributed to stores at the beginning of 2022 to around 1.5 million by the end of 2023.

The soft chews, chocolate, hard candy and baked goods sold at the Ontario Cannabis Stores (OCS) made up 10 per cent of their sales in 2023 ($87,855,476). 

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Gummies and other edibles are also sold at multiple cannabis stores in the Mohawk community of Kanesatake, about 40 minutes north of Montreal.

A variety of cannabis edibles are displayed at the Ontario Cannabis Store in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. Quebec has some of the toughest cannabis laws on the books in the country and strict rules when it comes to selling edibles that could appeal to youngsters, when it began stocking consumables on the shelves earlier this year, cauliflower bites was an anticipated choice. (Tijana Martin, The Canadian Press)

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