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By the ounce  

BLK sheep of cannabis

BLK MKT is making quite a name for itself in the legal market.

The Kelowna cannabis brand has fast become known for:

  1. Producing some of the most premium bud 
  2. Producing the most controversial tagline 

Love them or hate them, everyone is talking about them. At a Vancouver cannabis conference earlier this month attended by thousands, they ran with the slogan, ‘Once you go BLK…’ 

The reaction online was swift.

“This is disgusting and appalling,” tweeted Rachel Colic, of Boss Ladies of Cannabis. “The name was bad enough, but these headlines are racist, not edgy.”

Others, however, cite the old saying that no press is bad press.

GTEC Holdings, which owns BLK MKT under the Alberta Craft Cannabis banner, says it will drop the tagline. 

Still, they defended themselves, saying detractors were outliers, and the reaction it received to the ‘Once you go BLK…’ tagline was overwhelmingly positive.

“The BLK MKT brand was conceptualized and built by three individuals, two of which were people of colour,” says a company statement.

“The brand was considered relevant, interesting and ‘edgy’ in that it references the legacy cannabis market. ... Moreover, while it should be obvious, we would highlight that this brand has absolutely nothing to do with race.”

The company also cited its own diversity in the statement — their CEO is Chinese, CFO is female, and Head of Marketing is of East African descent.

***

When do we get our weed bevvies?

Long available in the legal U.S. market, more and more people are wondering when cannabis drinks will be sold here in Canada.

The country’s biggest cannabis company, Canopy Growth, has delayed its line of cannabis drinks. Initially announced to launch this month, it’s now uncertain when Tweed fridges across Canada will be filled with weed bevvies. 

Canopy says it’s made “meaningful progress” towards production on a commercial scale, adding they remain confident in the underlying beverage science.

But they’re not there yet.

Late last year, Canopy created buzz by releasing images of their 'imminent' drink offerings, including two Houseplant-brand drinks; as well as a maximum allowable 10-mg THC offering, called Deep Space.

“Canopy has had seven weeks to work with THC in the brand new beverage facility to scale processes and IP it has developed in the R&D environment,” says David Klein, CEO, Canopy Growth, in a statement. “In order to deliver products that meet our customer’s high standards we are electing to revise the launch date while we work through the final details.”

Alcoholic beverage giant Constellation Brands has a big stake in Canopy.

Big cannabis producers Hexo and Tilray also plan pot drinks, and have partnered up with big alcohol to do it.

***

Kelowna is big into Cannabis 2.0

Here are three Kelowna companies playing their own unique roles in Cannabis 2.0:

  1. Vitalis Extraction Tech has many of their machines operating in the wild. One of the latest to be installed is at WeedMD’ site in Aylmer, Ont. This is the second Vitalis Q-90 cannabis extractor there. The LP, which owns Color Cannabis, will be using it to make Cannabis 2.0 products.
  2. The Valens Company has numerous agreements in play to use their extraction products in beverages and other products. Last year they purchased a cider company in Ontario.
  3. THC BioMed has its own beverage in the works, called THC Kiss.

Email questions or tips to [email protected].

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About the Author

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. — a cannabis newsletter that covers the growing legal weed industry from the Okanagan Valley.

He has been a journalist for nearly two decades, working in newsrooms all over Canada.  

David is active as okanaganz on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Subscribe to the email newsletter at okanaganz.com.

An ounce of info goes a long way.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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