With cannabis nearing its one-year anniversary of legalization in Canada, it’s become far less taboo for cottagers to spark up a joint on the dock and enjoy the last rays of a warm, summer day. This, however, doesn’t mean that everyone is onboard. It’s likely you’ve come across neighbours or family members who complain about the smell of cannabis smoke. CannabCo Pharmaceutical Corp., based in Brampton, Ont., is looking to solve this issue with Purecann, a nearly odourless strain of cannabis.
“It was really created for medical purposes, but by doing that, we virtually eliminated the odour of smoking cannabis,” says Mark Pellicane, president of CannabCo.
Purecann was originally intended to make smoking less harsh for medical patients. “Some of these people are very sick. They’re taking medication for pain. They don’t want to get into coughing fits,” Pellicane says. “We wanted to address that issue and create something for the medical market that was a lot more easily used and consumed.”
The product is smoked the same way as a regular cannabis bud. No extra devices are required. “The only difference,” Pellicane says, “is it’s considered by most to be much, much smoother, more of a connoisseur smoke.”
Despite Purecann being developed to provide a more easily consumed experience, Pellicane was shocked by how many people jumped on the strain’s nearly odourless characteristic. “We didn’t realize how big it would be. It’s gone viral globally at this point,” he says. “It’s been translated in German and French magazines, news articles. It’s absolutely everywhere.”
The reaction has convinced Pellicane that the product could be very successful commercially and potentially solve an issue of mutual respect surrounding the cannabis community. “I’ve gone to apartments and condominiums, and I’ve walked in and what ends up happening is there’s this strong odour of cannabis wafting down the hall,” he says. “You have kids that live in these places, you have elderly people, you have people that either get nauseous or don’t like the smell of cannabis.”
“The point is, if people are going to respect the rights of cannabis smokers, which of course I think they should, I think the reverse holds true as well. If we are going to use cannabis, we have to respect the people who don’t like the odour, given that it’s such a defining and strong factor.”
This isn’t to say Pellicane is advocating against the smell of cannabis. “Personally, I think that’s part of the cannabis experience,” he says. But he does recognize that during events like weddings or a family gathering, the smell might not be appreciated or appropriate. “There are situations that command a time when a little bit more discretion might be advised.”
As a result, the company is working hard to get Purecann on the market. CannabCo is currently raising capital and is in the process of having their pilot facility in Brampton approved by Health Canada. The Purecann technology, growing methods, and processes have already been approved, they’re just waiting for the licensing to go through.
“We’re going to get it out as soon as possible,” Pellicane says. “Everybody’s waiting for it and we’re really excited about it.”