The recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Canada as of 17 October 2018. The legalization includes fresh, dried, oil, plants and seeds. However, the sale and purchase of cannabis infused edibles is to become legal sometime in late 2019. The delay is caused by the complexity of dosing, packaging and consumer regulations.
While cannabis oil can be infused in almost any homemade recipe from cookies, muffins and smoothies, commercial recipe development is not as easy. What will the legalization of edibles mean for the pizza industry and what are some challenges that come with developing cannabis-infused dough?
Consumer will be able to enjoy edibles in various locations, including restaurants, without facing the social stigma of smoking. Edibles are also better suited for new or low dosage users who are just curious to try it out. In fact, a Deloitte survey of 1,500 Canadians showed that six out of ten likely pot consumers will choose edibles. For the pizza industry, this represents the potential to tap into an entirely new market. However, it’s not as simple as adding cannabis oil to an existing pizza recipe. Developing cannabis-infused pizza comes with multiple issues related to dosage, packaging, labelling, and consumer regulations.
Packaging & labelling
To avoid accidental consumption, packaging and labelling are one of the most important issues in the edibles market. Cannabis-infused pizza will have to have similar nutritional content information as other food products and include the production and expiry dates. In US, for instance, edibles must contain a child-resistant package, stamped with a universal symbol and divided into servings of 10 or less milligrams of THC. A similar type of standardized packaging is probably to be expected in Canadians edibles too.
Dosage is another issue, since there is no established system to determine appropriate amounts for consumption. Manufacturers need to demonstrate that they have a rigorous dosage system in place, as it is essential for consumers to be aware of their consumption amount. As of now, more research needs to be done to uncover what represents an acceptable unit of measurement when it comes to cannabis oil.
Baking & production
Baking times and temperatures are issues specific to the pizza industry. Cannabis oil loses its potency (dissipates) when baked in high temperatures. Pizza manufacturers will need to develop custom techniques and baking methods to accommodate cannabis-infused dough.
What are your thoughts on cannabis-infused pizza dough? Is this something you would offer to your customers?