Canada’s cannabis industry faces another major problem: Mislabeled products

Canada’s cannabis industry faces another major problem: Mislabeled products

Aside from the clear supply and demand problem, it seems like Canada’s cannabis industry is facing labeling issues as well. 

Although recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada last October, it is hard to say that the industry is already in full swing. There are still a lot of issues concerning consumers, growers and retailers alike. Even in Ontario—the largest possible market for marijuana, problems remain prominent. The province is not just facing supply problems, a lot of the products are apparently mislabelled as well.

Since there are no physical retailers of cannabis in Ontario, consumers have to rely heavily on province-run online stores. The largest portal people can order from is the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) but consumers are claiming that its products are not properly labeled.

Speaking to CBC Canada, consumer Peter Lyon said that he recently ordered Radiate, a cannabis product that contains high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, upon checking the receipt, the THC content listed was different from what he saw on the website. The website notes that Radiate had 24 percent THC for $9.45 a gram whereas, in the receipt, the content was reduced to 13 percent.

For cannabis products, the composition is crucial so this is a critical error on part of the OCS. However, Radiate producer TerrAscend Canada is the primary source of the matter said company vice president Ari Unterman on the website of OCS.

Lyon was obviously looking for recreational marijuana that would give him the sensation he was looking for. However, with the THC content dropping from 24 to 13 percent, he would get a lesser intensity of the feeling instead. This will also be a major issue for those who are using marijuana for medical purposes only.

What makes the issue more pressing is the fact that retailers are legally obligated to ensure that the labels on their products are accurate. Cannabis brands have to ensure that the labeling on their products are correct as it could have serious medical repercussions on the side of the consumers. Fortunately for Lyon, he was not able to use the product yet as the product still has not reached his doorstep despite being ordered two weeks back.

What companies can do to avoid such matters

This is an error that should not be repeated in the cannabis industry. For brands like White Label Liquid Inc. (OTCMKTS:WLAB), mistakes like this could cost them their consumers. Luckily, the global leader in the development of e-liquid products remains steadfast in creating high-quality and properly labeled products. The company focuses heavily on the cannabidiol (CBD)-infused e-liquid products so proper labeling is definitely important.

WLAB provides strategies and other services for cannabis companies.  (Source)

WLAB understands its duty as a cannabis company as well. Aside from distributing e-liquids to retailers around the world, it is also an expert in the development of strategies and white labels for other cannabis brands. It has already helped many brands reach out to the market they are targeting and those in Canada could use the help.

The growth of the cannabis industry in Canada is certainly unexpected. Along with it came entrepreneurs who jumped into the business without having any prior knowledge about the enterprise. Now, they are struggling to keep up with regulations and standards. Hope is not lost for them though as they could still progress by partnering with brands such as WLAB.

Packaging and labeling standards in Canada

Canada’s Cannabis Act not only sought to legalize recreational marijuana, but it also worked towards creating standards for retailers and growers to abide by. That includes a few lines regarding packaging and labeling. The standards set in the Cannabis Act are intended to decrease product's appeal to minors, provide proper details to consumers and most importantly, to protect against accidental consumption.

Although the standards were simple, it presented a few issues to companies. One of which is the size of the labeling. The government wanted detailed product information but cannabis labels are typically small. Another issue is that companies must have variable information including lot numbers and packaging dates. This prevents companies from printing labels in bulk, making it more costly to adhere to the standards.

What companies need to do is to simply outsource their labels and packaging from third-party companies. This might cost them more, but they will at least avoid major legal complications in the future.

Many people have an optimistic view of Canada’s cannabis industry but it is hard to see it flourish completely if companies still make critical errors such as the one made by TerrAscend. The obvious route, for now, is to partner up or seek the aid of other cannabis brands that have a better understanding of the industry.