Following the legalization of cannabis in Canada, many new career paths have opened up. With the right training, you can find a place in the cannabis industry as a quality assurance technician, a cultivation supervisor, or retail store manager, among many other options. There is also the world of edibles, including chocolate products.
In Canada, edibles have been legal for sale since late 2019, and one of the first cannabis-infused chocolates made by a London producer has been approved. What does this mean for individuals entering the industry? Keep reading to learn more about the next steps in edible processing.
Factory Revival and Innovation Possibilities
Twenty years ago, the Hershey chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ontario, closed. Today it is up and running again under the ownership of Hummingbird Chocolate. This company collaborated with Canopy Growth and started manufacturing cannabis-infused chocolate last year. A few of the products include:
- The Bean & Bud: 70 percent dark chocolate with 5 mg of THC per piece
- The Penelope: milk chocolate with 2.5 mg of THC and 1.8 mg of CBD in each piece
- The Tokyo Smoke: a dark chocolate with 2 mg of THC per segmented piece
If it isn’t already clear from the names, take it from Hummingbird owner Drew Gilmour, the revived chocolate factory is a “centre of innovation.” Plus, they now employ 1,300 residents of Smith Falls’ 9,000-person population, and work with other companies like Tweed on more cannabis infused chocolate products.
With the chocolate expertise of Hummingbird, and the cannabis expertise of Canopy and Tweed, the possibilities with chocolates are rich with opportunity if you want to open a cannabis business.
Learn More about Edibles When You Train for Cannabis Industry Careers
As with cannabis-infused drinks, the process of infusion and the particular manufacturing processes for cannabis edibles are often proprietary. Companies like Canopy Growth and Tweed even have their own proprietary strains of cannabis. However, those training to begin their cannabis industry careers will have the opportunity to learn about:
- The principles practiced in the food industry
- Unit operations in food processing, including extraction and drying
- Food structure
- Food ingredient development
- Packaging regulations and requirements
The above is just a small sample of the topics that will contribute to the knowledge necessary for a career in cannabis, whether you are interested in edibles manufacturing, getting your cannabis retailer licence, or specializing in other industry areas.
A Look into the Chocolate Infusion Process
As mentioned above, the details of the process come with training and an entry into the industry, but here is a list of the factors to consider when developing and manufacturing cannabis-infused chocolate:
- Medium for infusion: sometimes cannabis is infused into an oil before it is added to another ingredient like chocolate
- Cannabis strain: different types of cannabis have different effects, so testing different strains may be necessary
- Type of cacao beans and roasting process: Hummingbird, for example, roasts beans from Columbia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic in the factory
- Decarboxylation: protocol for preparing cannabis for infusion must be established
- Quantities: there are regulations about how much THC and CBD may be contained in portions of edibles
All of the factors that go into developing cannabis-infused chocolate will affect its flavour, potency, and effects.
Want to know more about training for cannabis industry careers?
Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences today!