There's not one day that goes by without somebody asking me what my cannabis play is going to be. On October 17, it will become legal to purchase and use cannabis in Canada. It's an evolving picture with respect to how it will be regulated and when edibles will be legal, but what's interesting is that the question posed to me implies that I have a cannabis strategy and that I will be entering the market. Not if, but how and when.
With the upcoming legalization throughout Canada of a substance that has been previously banned, everybody and their brother thinks that a gold rush is underway and I'd be a fool to ignore it.
I find myself conflicted about how to approach this. I'm both a capitalist and a parent and in this case, the two contradict each other. While I believe that people should be free to make their own decisions and to not have burdensome government intervention, I also believe in public safety and if a substance has been illegal, there's probably a good reason for it.
For what it's worth, the stance of this company is that cannabis can, and probably does have a medical benefit for users seeking out 'alternative' ways to manage their ailments. Cannabis has also been used as a method to wean users of other illegal substances off their addictions. It has also been used pervasively in the music community to make experiencing bands like Phish, the Allman Brothers or the Grateful Dead a lot of fun. (***writer's note - these bands are verifiably awesome without any intoxicant in your body). However, this company does not believe that cannabis should be widely and publicly available the same way alcohol and tobacco are. One joint, even one toke, gets you high and keeps you high; one drag from a cigarette or one drink does not. Simple as that. Any product causing impairment of your faculties carries with it the potential for big trouble.
Despite the problems associated with cannabis, to ignore how widespread the (ab)use of it is, the coming legalization of it, the commercial opportunities present and potential benefits of it, if properly controlled, would be ignorant of me as a businessman...So it's time to take a stance on how to participate in this marketplace. I have found that in business, you often get confronted with the need to make a decision without the complete set of facts. It's very easy to sit on the sidelines as things play out so can you learn more, but you're dilly dallying as your opportunity passes you by. The top of the fence can be comfortable, but you get a front-row seat to see the action, not be a part of it.
Here's my stake in the ground: The use of marijuana products is in many regards, similar to how I feel about indulging in a Bald Baker cookie: it should be a satisfying, safe and pleasurable experience that doesn't cause any undue harm to your body or to others. There are going to be rules, laws and regulations on how to ensure this. We will explore ideas and develop products under a different brand name to create desserts that subscribe to this philosophy. We will make every effort to prevent our products from finding their way into the hands of children/minors or grown-ups who act like children. Our goal will be to create responsible products for responsible indulgences. In the meantime, instead of cannabis, if you're looking to address the pleasure zone in your brain and in your belly, a tasty Sweet & Salty Cookie or Nutty Chipster is legal, cheap, widely available and very satisfying.