- Cannabis-infused chocolate to boost Calgary-based Choklat production by up to 1,100 per cent
- Choklat’s 1-ounce cannabis infused chocolate bars expected to sell at retail for $9 each
- Namaste to supply Choklat with cannabis extracts; both companies await licences
The quickly approaching legalization of edible cannabis products in Canada has one fine-chocolate maker in Calgary set to expand production by roughly 10 times, highlighting the big bets some companies are making on an industry that aims to attract new consumers to retail pot shops and increase demand for legal marijuana.
Premium chocolatier Choklat Inc. aims to increase its production by 900 per cent to 1,100 per cent when it adds cannabis-infused chocolate to its offerings, which are on track to be legalized later this year.
The Calgary-based company, which has been grinding its own cocoa beans and making single-origin chocolate products that are currently sold in stores such as Sobeys, is 49-per-cent owned by cannabis seller Namaste Technologies Inc.
Namaste, a Vancouver-headquartered company that operates an e-commerce platform where Canadian cannabis growers can sell their own product, is recovering from a management overhaul after the CEO and director Sean Dollinger was terminated for allegedly breaching his fiduciary duty to the company.
Choklat, a late-stage cannabis licence applicant that has established a separate facility in which to make its pot-infused treats, aims to expand exponentially through edible chocolate.
“In the long run, cannabis infused chocolate will be the majority of our chocolate. I see it far more profitable than dried flower,” said Brad Churchill, Choklat founder and chief executive.
Upon receiving a licence from Health Canada, cannabis-infused chocolate will account for 80-90 per cent of Choklat’s sales, Mr. Churchill said.
The sale of cannabis-infused foods, along with drinks, vapes and topicals, are expected to reach $2.7-billion annually in Canada within the first few years of their legalization, according to Deloitte.
Proposed bans and added restrictions on cannabis extracts in Quebec, however, could cost Canada’s legal pot sector hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales, experts have warned.
But Alberta-based Choklat has already approached 100 stores that said they are interested in selling the company’s high-quality cannabis products. To start with, Choklat plans to make 17 different chocolate bars containing either 10 milligrams of THC or 20 mg of CBD, with the expectation for the 1-ounce bars to sell for $9 each in stores.
The chocolatier will also make five cannabis hot chocolate mixes, as well as THC- and CBD-infused sugar that will be sold in individual packets designed to be added to drinks.
Choklat, which has a supply agreement to buy cannabis extracts from Namaste, which is awaiting a licence for its extraction facility called CannMart Labs, has the capacity to make 16,000 bars and 38,000 sugar packets daily.
For Namaste, Choklat is its first venture into the edibles market.
“This fits with our general price point for our patients,” said Meni Morim, chief executive of Namaste.