Recently the Ontario Cannabis Store put out their Craft Cannabis guidelines, and went so far as to develop a Craft designation on their website. We had a chance to write about this development before their offical release, Crafting the Craftiest Craft Cannabis.
We’re happy to see all the discussion about craft cannabis, but we cant help but notice the The OCS’s craft cannabis designation is missing a whole lot of a key ingredient…..Ontario.
Now that we have the craft cannabis designation, what % is Ontario Craft?
Over a cup of coffee we took the time to tally all of the Craft products on the ocs.ca website, to see just how many of the producers are in fact based in Ontario. Of the 71 products that met the craft criteria, only 14 are grown in Ontario. That’s a little under 20%.
In a way this makes sense. We’ve all grown up smoking BC bud, hash from Montreal, but at the same time this overlooks the incredible growers and legacy we have in our own backyard.
Why support Ontario Craft Cannabis?
Well, there’s a bunch of great reasons:
1. Fresher Product:
We’ve all been burned by a bad package date. Product that’s made in your own backyard means less time spent in transit, before it makes it way to the shelf.
2. More dynamic marketplace:
a. More craft growers in Ontario mean more farmgate stores in Ontario (We’re working on ours, right now our municipality has opted out). Why are farmgate stores important? Because we dont think it’s too much to ask that people be able to drive up to a facility and purchase a bag right from your grower!
b. Regional growers means regional trends. Maybe Ontarians will like gassy strains more than Albertans like sweeter/fruity strains. Growers will then cater to those needs and LPs will then begin to develop a reputation for their ability to meet the local need rather than big LPs trying to take a one size fits all approach across the country.
3. It means Ontario jobs. In the last year we’ve grown from 12 to 40 employees, and there are a bunch of great Ontario Craft producers who have had a similar growth trajectory, one that was recently purchased.
We think part of our job at Carmel is advocating for craft cannabis in Ontario, but we think it’s important to have a few caveats. First, being a craft producer doesn’t mean you’re automatically a quality product. Hang dried bunk is still bunk. A craft producer is more likely to produce a quality product, but it’s not guaranteed. Also, craft weed is expensive. Depending on budget, or if you consume for medical purposes, costs can add up quickly and everybody needs to shop within their budget.
Thanks for reading 👌
To date we’ve focused exclusively on bringing Whole Flower products to market, so taking on the task of developing our pre-rolls is a big milestone for us.
We also see our pre-roll launch as a big step for Ontario craft growers. As we write this article, there are no options to purchase a pre-roll that is grown and rolled by an Ontario craft grower.
The benefit of having a team of legacy growers is that this isn’t really anything new, but doing it at this scale and with all the usual industry challenges makes it a big task.
The format we’re coming to market with is a 3x.5g pack, however arriving at that conclusion was a long road of talking to as many budtenders as possible, testing an obscene amount of competitive product, and engaging directly with our consumers to hear what they were looking for.
What was top of mind as we developed our pre-rolls?
Size – We look at size on two dimensions
1. The size of the pre roll: we thought that the .5g was the best option. People aren’t sharing joints these days which limits the 1g, and .35g just isn’t enough.
2. The size of the cone: this is more personal preference, but we didn’t love the short stubby cones. We went with a bit of a longer, more slender joint.
Burn: This is a combination of moisture content, how well the cones are packed, and how finely milled the product is. If something goes wrong in any of those variables, you’re going to have a bad smoke. We’ve dialed things in for a while now, and we’ll be refreshing the Reddit OCS thread at an unhealthy rate at launch to make sure we got it right.
Package: We wanted to do something that kept things super fresh, was pocket friendly, and re-usable. A glass tube with a cork, packaged in our signature pouch just made sense.
Input: Forget everything else. If you aren’t starting with quality flower you’re not going to have a quality joint. This meant using only whole flower that recieved the usual Carmel treatment (hang dried, slow cold cured, non-irradiated).
When are our pre-rolls launching?
Our Animal Face pre-rolls will be on the market June 15th and our Garlic Breath pre-rolls will be landing July 13th. We expect to be releasing MAC 1 and Peanut Butter Breath pre-rolls later this summer.
How much are we selling our pre-rolls for?
Our recommended selling price for our 3x.5g pre rolls is $21 after tax. We believe this as a really competitive price, almost $7/unit or 24% less than our closest competitor.
We appreciate you reading our post and we hope you’re able to get your hands on some pre-rolls this summer, as Ontario opens back up!
We want to hear all your feedback on our pre-rolls, so send your thoughts to email@example.com when you’re able to get your hands on them 👌