Canada edition / May 20, 2020
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1 WHY CAN’T EVERYONE GET HOME DELIVERY?

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Photos by Danny B / Creative Commons

Ontario again extended delivery and curbside pickup for REC stores, though stores may now open under certain conditions. This extension will last 10 more days, until May 29.

Many would like to see same-day delivery become permanent. Hill+Knowlton National Cannabis Lead Omar Yar Khan told me he's working with a group of six REC retailers to lobby the Ontario government to make same-day home delivery a fixture of REC retail in the province.

  • The same group succeeded in convincing the Ford government to reverse its ban on REC retail during the emergency in favour of delivery and curbside pickup. If the government is listening to any industry group on this matter, it might well be Khan and his partners.
  • "We've had some discussions with the premier's office and the office of the attorney general," Khan said. "To make this permanent would require legislative change: it's not something that can happen overnight."

As private REC delivery has expanded, the obvious question is why other provinces can't allow it too. That's being asked loudest in British Columbia, where the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) is lobbying municipalities to press the province to allow private home REC delivery.
Kamloops This Week

This week on the podcast
Chelsea Cebara’s Weed Sexuality Has Gravity

A special episode with the co-founder of acclaimed cannabis lubricant brand Velvet Swing. Chelsea Cebara wasn’t a cannabis consumer when she arrived in Seattle as a Florida transplant. Trained in the scientific method, Cebara came to the creation of her product through unorthodox avenues.

  • Cebara entered the cannabis industry while teaching sex education various Seattle weed and sex shops.
  • A week prior to Washington State legalization, a painful endometriosis attack brought her to the cannabis plant. 
  • Cebara co-founded her brand with the dominatrix and writer Mistress Matisse (Episode 20

2 HOW ONTARIO’S DOING

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raindog / creative commons

As private delivery succeeds in Ontario, click-and-connect is also thriving, with rules now updated to allow consumers to pay at curbside on pickup rather than paying only online.
Twitter--@MattPMaurer

  • One of the companies at the forefront of click-and-connect is Dutchie, profiled here.
    GrowthOp.

As of last week, Ontario had 60 REC stores open and a staggering 292 "in progress." Construction on new stores was allowed to begin again yesterday.
Twitter--@itsdgc, @MattPMaurer

The Ontario Cannabis Store added seeds to its offerings "to breathe life into the category," though in BC all seeds sold out within 24 hours. Seeds are one of the most frequently searched terms on the OCS website.
MJ Biz Daily, Twitter--@drowbb, GrowthOp

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3 COVID AT TILRAY FACILITY AND ACROSS THE INDUSTRY

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Reinhold Möller / Creative Commons

An employee at Tilray's 662,000 sq-ft High Park Gardens cultivation facility in Leamington, ON, tested positive for COVID-19 last week, forcing the company to suspend work for an evening.
MJ Biz Daily

Organigram is beginning to bring its laid-off workers back, with 50 out of 400 asked to return as "the first phase of its return-to-work strategy."
Yahoo Finance

Though Aurora's interim CEO Michael Singer reported sales falling after an initial surge in March, the Ontario Cannabis Store continues to report higher demand than pre-COVID.
Yahoo Finance

PEI will reopen all REC (and liquor) stores in the province this Friday, May 22.
CBC PEI

In the absence of opportunities to smoke together, cannabis enthusiasts are "care-mongering" by sending weed-related care-packages.
Toronto Sun

4 SECTOR: TILRAY CEO WARNS OF A DOZEN MORE LP BANKRUPTCIES

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Creative Commons / Meltedplastic

Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy predicted "another dozen more [bankruptcies] as funding has dried out" across the cannabis sector.
BNN Bloomberg

In early April, Hexo again faced warnings from the New York Stock Exchange after its share price fell below $1, though the company did not inform shareholders until mid-May. Hexo has until mid-December to become compliant and is considering consolidating its shares as Aurora recently did.
MJ Biz Daily, The Deep Dive, Marketwatch

TerrAscend is looking to raise $30M to expand into the US.
New Cannabis Ventures

REC retailer Inner Spirit reported $3.8M revenue against $4.2M loss. The company operates 47 REC stores and hopes to open 30 more this year.
Newswire, Twitter--@itsdgc

Oil extractor MediPharm Labs labs will lay off 10% of its staff (equal to about 23 people) and take an inventory impairment of $10M to $15M as executives take a 10% cut. Chief strategy officer Braden Fenske left his position.
Twitter--@itsdgc, Yahoo Finance, Twitter--@BettingBruiser

 

 

5 AURORA’S $137M LOSS AN IMPROVEMENT

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Creative Commons / Multi Month Loans

Aurora posted Q3 earnings and the most improved number was net losses, up to $137.4M from last quarter's $1.3B net loss. (The enormity of that loss was caused by a $762.2M goodwill impairment plus a $210.6M impairment on intangibles and property). Net revenue was $75.5M, up 35% over last quarter, which beat analyst expectations of $66M.
MJ Biz Daily, Global News, BNN Bloomberg

Aurora moved to sell its Exeter, ON greenhouse for half its $17M listing price.
MJ Biz Daily

6 OPTIMUM MINIMUM AGE IS 19 SAY RESEARCHERS

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Creative Commons / d_t_vos i

Researchers at Newfoundland's Memorial University explored Canadians' relationships with cannabis and determined 19 is the optimal legal age for REC use. They published their research in BMC Public Health.
Eureka Alert

  • The authors studied data from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Surveys (CTUMS) and Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Surveys (CTADS). Combined, the two surveys annually interview up to 20,000 Canadians over 15.
  • Different minimum ages led to different outcomes: those who use cannabis at 18 are more likely to smoke tobacco later in life than those who begin at 19 or 20.
  • The effect on general health was "significantly better" among those who started using cannabis at 18 or older.

Quick Hits

  1. A non-drinking stoner tried REC beverages—and noted some offered more of a head high than a traditional edibles body buzz.
    Chatelaine

  2. Will this be CBG's year? Many hope cannabigerol (CBG), which only debuted in bulk on the Cannabis Mercantile Exchange last September, will be as trendy a cannabinoid as CBD.
    Twitter--@cannamerx, Prohibition Partners

 

7 NO EXEMPTION FOR VICTORIA CANNABIS BUYERS CLUB

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TJFlex2 / Creative Commons

BC's Cannabis Secretariat Mary Shaw rejected a call by the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club for temporary exemption from provincial law banning storefront MED sales.
Twitter--@VCBCtweets

  • Though the compassion club has been in operation since the late 1990s, the province rejected VCBC's demand for exemption on the basis that "it is illegal to sell cannabis that was not produced by a producer licensed by Health Canada."
    StratCann

Shaw acknowledged the 10mg THC cap on edibles left them unsuitable for medical use and suggested "ingestible extracts [...] may therefore be a better fit."

  • In response to VCBC's call for affordable MED for low-income populations, Shaw noted, "you may be interested to know that prices for legal cannabis products are trending down." VCBC Founder Ted Smith vowed to keep fighting.
    Cannabis Digest

 

8 STUDY: DAILY CANNABIS DOESN’T AFFECT DRIVING MUCH

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Creative Commons / Mojoey

A team of researchers from Health Canada, the University of Toronto, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found daily cannabis consumption may be much less impairing to drivers than previously believed. The research was published in the Journal of Concurrent Disorders.
Inside the Jar

  • Researchers followed 14 patients who used cannabis daily and tested their driving abilities after their usual daily dose. They found drivers reduced speed when under the influence, but they did not find an effect on lateral control and braking.
  • The study follows upon research by CAMH that made news in December with findings that stoned drivers have difficulty driving fast enough and keeping their vehicles centred in their lanes. The same study found no motor impairment 24 or 48 hours after cannabis use.
    Global News

 

Quick Hits

  1. Lawyer Trina Fraser broke down the details of who's allowed to sell what, and when, with MED sales licenses and processor licenses. Fraser also broke down the regs for indoor-outdoor grows, which are not allowed for MED, unless there's more than one at the same address… it's complicated.
    Twitter--@TrinaFraser

  2. Canopy Animal Health published the first ever trial of MED for dogs in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
    Cannabis Retailer, Frontiers

  3. Here's a breakdown of the various types of cannabis extraction.
    Cannabis Retailer

9 QUALITY QUANDARIES CONTINUE

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Creative Commons / mag3737

Ryan Roch, owner of Alberta's Lake City Cannabis, provoked the ire of canna-fans by arguing beloved LP Broken Coast had so declined that he would no longer even stock the brand once known as synonymous with quality.
Twitter--@LakeCityCanna

On the positive side of reviews, TGOD's popular Infusers may have a challenger in Hexo/Truss Beverages' Veryvell Water Soluble THC drops.
Twitter--@dablarocque, NewsWire

10 RAIDS AND ARRESTS STILL HAPPENING

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Creative Commons / Whizzyfingers

Nineteen months into legalization, Canada's the most cannabis-friendly country in the world (according to The Weed Blog), but continued busts prove no government is friendly to illicit cannabis.
GrowthOp, Weed Blog

Raiding in connection to sales on illicit mail-order marijuana (MOM) website Cannabus780, Edmonton police seized thousands of grams of dry flower, 420 grams of shatter, THC vape pens and edibles, as well as cocaine and crack cocaine.
CTV News, CBC Edmonton

After US Customs and Border Patrol intercepted two major shipments of US-bound cannabis from Canada, Canadian Border Services arrested an allegedly impaired man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who asked border agents to buy weed off them.
CTV News, Soo Today