Cannabis edibles hit the P.E.I. market on Dec. 18 and a Charlottetown company that produces them says staff have been racing to keep up with demand.
Dosecann is busy producing cannabis gummies and chocolates to shell out to Islanders and the rest of Canada.
“This building has literally gone from first gear to sixth. We’re racing as if we’re a Formula One team,” said David Baranowski, director of technology, transfer and quality control.
Cannabis edibles are limited to a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC per retail pack.
Baranowski said the biggest challenge for the company is identifying its own capabilities, and what the interest is of the market in general.
“It’s very new. We are learning as we go, and we are very very good at learning, and very good at adapting,” said Baranowski.
Dosecann started down this track a couple of years ago by researching and developing its cannabis products, but it wasn’t until this past October the company could start producing the products legally.
“It’s a very stressful time when you’re turning the equipment on for the first time, you’re making chocolate for the first time,” said Peter Crooks, chief product innovation officer.
He said no one knew how to operate that equipment initially. But the race was on to get products ready for market.
The company’s CEO Greg Boone said there was a short window to get products ready with production beginning in mid-October for the earliest shipping date on Dec. 17.
“It was a very condensed window of time to build inventory, manufacture products to get them out the door quickly,” Boone said.
Now he said there are many stores from coast to coast after Dosecann’s products. The pressure has been so high, he has had to hire additional staff.
“We actually hired roughly 30 to 40 people in the last 30 to 45 days. People have easily been working 15-, 16-hour days happily,” Boone said.
Dosecann edibles have been selling out within days of reaching shelves, Boone said.
“There hasn’t been many other licensed processors that have shipped those products. So for us, it’s very challenging to keep up to the demand,” he said.
Keeping up a challenge
He said the demand for adult chewables and chocolates has been remarkable
“To try and fill that demand on an ongoing basis will be challenging,” Boone said. “Our understanding, in talking to our commercial group, is sort of, a 48-hour window and we’re sold out.”
Dosecann plans to double its production space by the summer and its staff by the end of the year to about 300.
Boone said there’s a need for more of just about everyone from packers to scientists.
He said the plan is to add new products like cannabis mints and hard candy.
Scientists working at Dosecann said the long hours put in developing products are worth it now, seeing how successful the company has been.
Jennifer Klaus, an analytical scientist with Dosecann, said the company’s success makes all those long hours worth it.
“Just hearing all over the news and whatnot that our products are sold out pretty much in every province, that’s awesome for us in here,” she said.
“Hard work pays off.”