The Yukon Liquor Corporation has signed its first major supply agreement with a licensed cannabis producer.
Tilray Canada sells medical cannabis nationally, but its subsidiary, High Park, will be providing recreational cannabis to Yukoners when the drug becomes legal this summer.
High Park says its recreational product is tested for potency so consumers will have a good idea of what they are buying.
"You have to test for potency, so all of that will be validated. So the potency of the product — you can rest assured, or consumers can rest assured, it's the potency in the product," said Adine Fabiani-Carter, the chief marketing officer at High Park.
She says all products will be labelled with "exactly what the THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol] and CBD [Cannabidiol] percentage is," she said.
Once the federal government legalizes recreational pot, Yukon will receive its first 50 kilograms of inventory. It has the option of purchasing 350 kilograms in the first year.
Tilray and its affiliate High Park have federally-licensed $30-million medical cannabis cultivation and processing facilities in Nanaimo, B.C. The company plans to expand and build a second $30-million facility in Ontario this summer.
Fabiani-Carter says High Park will be sending adult recreational use cannabis and oil only.
"We will be selling everything we are allowed to, under the regulations that are coming out by Health Canada. What you would think of cannabis in its most standard forms — so, the bud of the cannabis flower, whether it's in a dry flower form or put into a pre-roll."
From seed to sale
Federal legislation and regulations stipulate suppliers can't supply loose cannabis. Everything has to be accounted for, from seed to sale.
"It's going to be packaged in child-resistant packaging," says Fabiani-Carter.
She says the packaging is not designed to be attractive to children. There will be warning labels affixed to the sealed product, along with information about its weight and contents.
High Park's website shows a variety of cannabis products including Marley Natural, Irisa, and Dutchy brands — although the Yukon Liquor Corporation won't say which brands will be sold in the territory.
Yukoners will be able to buy flower bud and cannabis oil, but not edibles.
"Well, right now I can tell you edibles won't be legalized at first," says Scott Westerlaken of the Yukon Liquor Corporation. He says they may become legal by 2019.
Westerlaken says the liquor corporation is also looking at other licensed producers besides High Park.
"There is no exclusivity with Tilray [High Park], so we can sign several different suppliers as required or needed by customer demand," he said.
Westerlaken says under the federal legislation, the Yukon government can't advertise the effects of different strains of cannabis. But he says Yukoners will be able to choose from a variety of new and established brands and products.
According to federal estimates, Yukoners are expected to consume about 800 to 1,000 kilograms of cannabis each year.
The Yukon government plans to spend about $2.7 million this year on cannabis inventory.