Canada edition / November 08, 2019
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1 ONTARIO BLESSES CLICK-AND-COLLECT AND FARM-GATE SALES, RETAINS DELIVERY

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HTTPS://WWW.GEOGRAPH.ORG.UK/PROFILE/15746

As part of the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, Ontario's Conservative Ford government announced its plan to make three updates to cannabis retail rules. (It did not release draft regulations or a timeline.)
Financial Post, Twitter—Trina Fraser

The Cannabis Council of Canada hailed the moves as "a strong signal to the legal cannabis industry in Ontario" (while also demanding the government announce a REC retail expansion timeline).
NewsWire

  • Lawyer Trina Fraser called for full retailer delivery. (In April, the province canceled a REC delivery tender.)
    Twitter—Trina Fraser, Globe and Mail
  • In a damning assessment, MJ Biz Daily's Matt Lamers said, "Click-&-collect? Who cares when you only have 24 stores open. A sideshow. Ontario could barely fill 1/2 a page of the nearly 200 page 'economic plan' on one of the fastest growing industries in Canada."
    Twitter—Matt Lamers
  • Global Public Affairs cannabis analyst Roderick C. Elliot predicted it would be another 18 to 36 months "before we start to see retail approved and built in Ontario."
    Twitter—Roderick C. Elliot

The Ontario government predicted the OCS would turn a $10M profit in fiscal 2019-20, followed by $75M in 2020-21, and $80M in 2021-22.
Twitter—David George-Cosh

This week on the podcast
From NHL Enforcer to Cannabis Ambassador

2 QUEBEC WON’T SELL VAPE PRODUCTS

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Citing concern about VAPI, Quebec government sources told La Presse the Société Québécoise Du Cannabis (SQDC) will be prevented from selling vapeable extract products such as vape pens, effectively banning them in the province.
La Presse—In French

The government will also delay the launch of edible products in the SQDC from December 16 to January 1, in order to sync the edibles launch with the new ban on cannabis consumption by adults 18 to 21. (The province banned sweetened edibles this summer along with the aforementioned extracts).
Montreal Gazette

Montreal civil-rights lawyer Julius Grey plans to challenge the constitutionality of raising the REC age.
Montreal Gazette

Quick Hit

  1. The Workers Compensation Board of PEI dropped vaporizers from their medical coverage due to Health Canada warnings stemming from VAPI.
    CBC PEI
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3 CANOPY REBRANDS ITSELF DRAKE

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Canopy announced it will give Toronto rapper Drake a 60% stake in the newly created company More Life Growth (named after Drake's 2017 More Life mixtape). The company will take over a licensed Toronto production facility licensed by Canopy, who will continue to operate it and distribute its products.
Financial Post, Drake

Canopy reportedly beat Aurora to a deal with Drake, thanks in part to negotiations the hip-hop star made with ousted Canopy co-founder and co-CEO Bruce Linton. Insiders hope Drake's entry into the Canadian market will revitalize consumer interest in legal REC while normalizing the sector for consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) companies.
Bloomberg

Quick Hits

  1. Delta 9 Cannabis filed the inevitable "WEED THE NORTH" trademark application.
    Twitter—Presumably Paul
  2. Aurora, being from Edmonton, does not pronounce the name of its San Rafael '71 brand the same way as residents of San Rafael, California (birthplace of 4:20).
 
 

4 CANOPY GETS ASPIRATIONAL

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PUBLIC DOMAIN

Earlier in the week, Canopy made two moves positioning itself and its brands as luxury items. Teaming up with high-end department store chain Holt Renfrew, Canopy announced the partners would launch a line of holiday-themed cannabis accessories.
Yahoo Finance

Holt Renfrew will sell these products alongside "a curated selection" of Tokyo Smoke's accessories in adults-only popup shops in their Vancouver and Toronto stores—but not their Art Deco former-headquarters in Montreal, where they might run afoul of strict Quebec law on sales of cannabis accessories.
Leafly

Canopy also announced it was in talks to open a Tokyo Smoke store at One Bloor Street in Toronto, at the corner of Yonge—one of Canada's busiest intersections, in a tony shopping neighbourhood known as Mink Mile.
BNN Bloomberg

Also this week, Canopy announced it was laying off 15% of its Latin American workforce, another in a series of moves that suggest companies are acknowledging their subsidiaries are losing money and refocusing resources "on revenue generating markets."
MJ Biz Daily, Twitter—Matt Lamers

Ousted Canopy co-CEO and co-founder Bruce Linton joined US MSO Vireo Health International as executive chair. The company is a cannabis research and IP firm. Investors were pleased.
Bloomberg, MJ Biz Daily

Quick Hits

  1. Hexo CEO Sebastien St-Louis said he would not step down despite weak sales. He said, "I don’t feel that my work here is done by any stretch."
    Bloomberg
  2. Second Cup announced plans to change its name to the questionably pronounceable Aegis ahead of expanding further into REC retail.
    Financial Post

5 HOW MUCH STOCK DO LPS HAVE?

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LPs and extractors hold such huge stocks of unfinished inventory that some worry about a price crash.
Financial Post

A total of 13,000 kg of legal dry flower sold in August—making the presently held unfinished inventory equal to 30 times that month's sales.

The Canadian Cannabis LP Index fell 18.2% in October, the seventh consecutive month of decline, to a new 52-week low and a 31.6% decline year to date.
New Cannabis Ventures

  • The Globe ran a deep examination of how "stock promoters, hedge fund managers, investment banks and law firms that have helped raise close to $8-billion from public investors since 2017, and have clipped hundreds of millions of dollars in fees in the process."
    Globe and Mail

An analyst at New York's Cantor Fitzgerald said the Canadian cannabis industry has hit its bottom and predicted good news over the next year.
Bloomberg

Quick Hits

  1. Two US class-action suits are pending against LP Sundial, charging the company didn't disclose that Zenabis returned $2.5M worth of product contaminated with mould and parts of rubber gloves. So far Sundial has call
    MJ Biz Daily
  2. Italy stripped Aurora of one of the lots the company won this summer, saying Aurora was not in compliance with EU Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) standards.
    MJ Biz Daily

6 FN DISPENSARY OWNER ELIGIBLE FOR ONTARIO REC LICENSE

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As Ontario opens up the number of licenses it's willing to grant to REC retailers located on First Nations, one of the business-owners eligible for a license—Sherry Lee Ann Kohoko of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in the Ottawa Valley—is presently operating an unlicensed dispensary, and doesn't intend to shut it down.
Ottawa Citizen

Quick Hits

  1. If you're on a plane from one Canadian airport to another and the plane has to land in the United States, dump any cannabis you've got in your carry-ons—the American border people do not mess around with this stuff, despite it being legal at the state level in many places.
    CBC British Columbia
  2. Nova Scotia RCMP said a parent reported finding cannabis edibles in her child's Halloween candy. The child was one of a group of eight, and was the only child to be given the edibles, which were labelled as containing THC.
    CTV News, CBC Nova Scotia

7 STOP DRUG-TESTING REC USER, EMPLOYER TOLD

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An arbitrator ordered Vancouver transit authority TransLink to stop randomly drug-screening an employee who tested positive for cannabis.
CBC Vancouver

  • Though the company doesn't have a policy banning employees from using cannabis after hours and a company doctor concluded he did not have a cannabis use disorder, the employee was forced to take counselling and twice-monthly urine tests.
  • In a 52-page decision, the arbitrator concluded called the treatment "highly intrusive, controlling his daily routine with call-in obligations and demanding he give bodily fluids twice per month."

Employers say the provinces haven't done enough to educate them about cannabis in the workplace.
Cannabis Retailer

Quick Hits

  1. In another sign Alberta is dominating post-legalization cannabis, Edmonton city council is studying how to set rules for the country's first legal cannabis lounges.
    Global News
  2. Manitoba rolled out its "Know My Limits" education campaign for edibles, telling Manitobans to store them safely away from kids, and to "point out the pot" at gatherings so people don't accidentally consume infused items. The province also plans to ban public edibles consumption.
    Winnipeg Free Press, Victoria Times-Colonist

8 CANNABIS NB MAY BE PROFITABLE NEXT YEAR

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New Brunswick Crown monopoly REC retailer Cannabis NB won't make a profit until at least next year, according to new president Patrick Parent.

Quick Hits

  1. REC retail chain National Access Cannabis changed its name to Meta Growth (pending shareholder approval), and will sell off its MED clinics as it focuses on the REC market.
    NewsWire, Cannabis Retailer
  2. Following news it received a Health Canada cultivation license for its gargantuan 1.2M sq. ft Diamond cultivation facility (doubling its production capacity), Aphria interim CEO Irwin Simon said he planned to run the plant at full capacity, in spite of concerns about a supply glut.
    NewsWire, Bloomberg

9 IS IT A CRIME TO SQUISH ANOTHER’S WEED?

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An interesting legal discussion followed CBC Windsor's profile of a local woman, Alicia Jimmerfield, who invested in a rosin press to offer a "squishing" service, inviting customers to bring in up to their legally allowable 30 grams of dry flower, out of which she would press the rosin. She'd complained she was considered ineligible for business grants from the Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre.
CBC Windsor

Quick Hits

  1. Some think the rash of new CFO appointments is a sign the cannabis sector is getting serious about financial management.
    Globe and Mail
  2. The Star profiled outdoor growers like 48North at their first harvest.
    The Star