When it comes to size and dynamism, Canadian cannabis producers take a backseat to no one. Across the country we have licensed producers who are leading the way in product innovation and designs for world-conquering growth. Some are already among the largest cannabis producers around, and others are up-and-coming players, whose ambitions show in their ambitious plans and products. Here is a sampling:
Based in Smith Falls, Ontario, Canopy Growth has the distinction of perhaps being the largest cannabis company in existence, and the first federally-regulated and licensed publicly-traded cannabis grower in North America.
Its subsidiary Tweed was the first to introduce the now standard concept of “compassionate pricing” to make medical cannabis affordable for patients. Canopy Growth has too many brands to list here bit a few include:
- Spectrum Therapeutics— an international medical brand, serving as the company’s healthcare professional and patient-facing identity in medical markets worldwide.
- Martha Steward— the gourmet flavored gummies, softgels, and oil drops are specially formulated by Martha Stewart.
- Houseplant — boasting a “relentless focus on the highest quality products that allow people to trust, try, and enjoy cannabis in the format that’s right for them.”
- Biosteel Sports Nutrition — one of the most trusted brands in both locker rooms and households alike, as well as “the most purchased product in North American pro sports.”
Early this year, its division Canopy Animal Health launched a new line of CBD products for dogs under the brand name SurityPro. The products are designed to support calm behavior, joint health and flexibility, healthy aging, and overall physical and mental well-being in dogs.
Says Robert Menardi, director of veterinary educational and technical services at Canopy Animal Health: “We are the industry leader in pet CBD research with more than 32 completed studies into the potential use of cannabinoids in pet health. We’re confident in the science behind our products and committed to making CBD soft chews and oils that pet owners can trust and dogs will love.”
Neptune Wellness Solutions
Headquartered in Laval, Quebec — with production facilities in Sherbrooke and North Carolina — Neptune Wellness Solutions gets a nod from Investopedia as the best value marijuana stock. Among its specialties: cannabis and industrial hemp extraction, nutrition products and pet supplements, and other natural and hemp-based remedies.
Dedicated to innovation, quality and sustainability, Neptune recently unveiled the first products in its Mood Ring line. These are non-GMO and environmentally friendly packaged products: High CBD Oil, Legacy Hashish, and High CBD Capsules. The High CBD Oil and High CBD Capsules boast “a patented cold ethanol extraction process, which creates a full spectrum concentrate that preserves terpenes to retain its earthy aroma and flavor.” The process requires significantly less energy than CO2 extraction, helping to minimize the company’s carbon footprint.
“At Neptune we recognize the immense potential of cannabinoids and have put our decades of experience in health and wellness to develop responsibly crafted products,” says CEO and president Michael Cammarata. “We want to enable Canadians nationwide to benefit from legalization in innovative ways and our partnerships with provincial wholesalers supports this accessibility.”
Village Farms International
Besides growing vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, Village Farms is becoming a major producer of cannabis, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Pure Sunfarms.
The huge B.C.-based grower — also with greenhouses and partner greenhouses in Texas, Ontario and Mexico — boasts that it has one of the largest cannabis-growing operations in the world. It also intends to “pursue opportunities to become a vertically integrated leader in the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market, subject to compliance with all applicable U.S. federal and state laws.”
Earlier this year, the company unveiled its first cannabis-infused edible products, Pure Sunfarms Real Fruit Gummies, complementing its branded products in each of the five largest cannabis product categories in Canada – dried flower, pre-rolls, vapes, edibles and oils.
“We're a brand that takes great pride in our B.C. roots, so it was a natural extension of our brand to add Real Fruit Gummies, inspired by B.C. fruits, to our portfolio,” said Mandesh Dosanjh, president and CEO of Pure Sunfarms.
"In developing the gummies, it was important for Pure Sunfarms to create a product that was equally delicious as it was natural. Featuring natural flavours and colours, they are pectin-based, clean label, and vegan, ensuring a soft, natural texture with every bite.”
While it has had money troubles, Cronos Group is still one of Canada’s largest cannabis producers, with production and distribution across five continents. Its portfolio includes Peace Naturals, a global wellness platform; two adult-use brands, Cove and Spinach; and three hemp-derived CBD brands, Lord Jones, Happy Dance and Peace+.
In January, it announced its intention to release the first lab-grown recreational cannabis products to the Canadian market later in 2021. The new products would contain cannabinoids produced with biosynthesis, an engineering process that can make THC and CBD for only pennies on the dollar.
“Ultimately, the cannabinoids are the same whether they're coming from the plant or from fermentation,” says CEO and chairman Mike Gorenstein said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg. "They're completely fungible. It's just when you use the rare cannabinoids, you're able to get them in a higher quantity from fermentation than from cultivation.”
Based in Moncton, New Brunswick, OrganiGram also got a nod from Investopedia as a best value marijuana stock. The company is focused on producing high-quality medical and recreational cannabis — including dried cannabis and cannabis oil — through its different subsidiaries. Its portfolio includes the medical brand OrganiGram, and adult recreational brands Edison Cannabis, Trail Blazer, and ANKR Organics.
Last December, OganiGram expanded its Edison portfolio with three new indica genetics:
- Black Cherry Punch: The strain offers sweet and floral undertones balancing a fruity flavour and aroma. It boasts terpenes that include limonene, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene, and beta-pinene and a THC range of 20% to26%.
- Ice Cream Cake: This strain pairs 20% to 26% THC with sweet, spicy, and savoury flavours. The strain’s dominant terpenes include limonene, beta-caryophyllene, Germacrene B linalool and αlpha-pinene.
- Slurricane: With strong 17%+ THC, the strain has rich notes of blueberries and cream with nutty, floral undertones. This strain’s dominant terpenes include beta-caryophyllene, germacrene B, alpha-humulene and myrcene.
“At Organigram, our attention to both the genetics of the plant and the environment in which it is grown result in a unique phenotype expression,” says CEO Greg Engel. “This means even plants grown from the same genetics can be markedly different based on their growing conditions. This can include important variations such as the physical properties, potency, and kinds of terpenes and aromas found in the plant.”
The large Leamington, Ontario producer, founded in 2014, focuses on the medical cannabis market, proudly proclaiming that it is “powered by sunlight” with its 100% greenhouse-grown offerings. Aphria focuses on quality cannabis oils, using C02 extraction methods that preserve purity and ensure safety.
Its new products include CBD oils with 15:5 and 50:2 CBD-THC ratios, and a THC oil with 15:5 THC-CBD ratio.
Last November, the company launched a new medical portal, allowing users to view its full catalogue, compare products side by side, chat in real-time with the Patient Care Team and place orders for their medication.
In December, Aphria announced its merger with Tilray, which would make it the biggest cannabis producer in the world by sales. The merger still needs to be approved by both companies’ shareholders. The two have recently launched a website to provide shareholders with pertinent information about the merger.
Based in Concord, Ontario, Aleafia Health continues to grow, providing cannabis care through nationwide clinics, world-class cultivation and innovative research — part of its plan to become a global brand.
In February, it launched its new Canadian cannabis portfolio Sunday Market, with four new distinct brands, each tailored to a specific consumer segment and featuring its own list of cannabis products. The brands are mostly aimed at the adult-use market, with some formats also made available to medical cannabis patients of Aleafia Health’s subsidiary Emblem.
“The Sunday Market house of brands has been crafted to provide consumers with a welcoming, authentic experience that showcases the local community and the people that create great cannabis products,” says Tricia Symmes, Aleafia Health’s CCO.
The brands include:
- Nith & Grand: The flagship brand’s namesake is a tribute to the company’s product innovation facility’s home community of Paris, Ont., whose downtown core is centred around the confluence of the Nith and Grand rivers.
- Bogart’s Kitchen: This is an edible cannabis brand combining extensive R&D and culinary experimentation. It will feature high-demand formats that include soft chews, along with some novel edibles not yet available in Canada.
- Divvy: This brand will feature affordable, high-quality, dried flower, pre-rolls, vape cartridges and concentrates.
- Noon & Night:This is a cannabis wellness brand, catering to the growing demand for CBD-dominant products. It will feature innovative formats that are already an important component of consumers’ everyday wellness routines.
The strategic growth and innovation of licensed producers like these will ensure Canadian and world customers will continue to receive supply of high-quality, ground-breaking cannabis products.