Canada edition / May 13, 2020
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1 ONTARIO PROLONGS PRIVATE DELIVERY, CONTINUES EXPANDING STORES

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Hardgrave Photography / Creative Commons

The Ontario government extended its temporary emergency order allowing private REC retailers to deliver directly to customers and offer curbside pickup. The emergency order has been extended to May 19.
MJ Biz Daily, Daily Hive

As of last week, 274 prospective REC stores had entered the public notice period in Ontario..
Twitter--@Hiscoe

The province continues granting Retail Store Authorizations (some of which are conditional) at a striking pace, authorizing seven stores last week, and five within the first two days of this week.
Twitter--@MattPMaurer, @All91James

For those wondering how the AGCO is handling REC store franchising, lawyer Chad Finkelstein broke down the nuances of owning a REC franchise in a Twitter thread.
Twitter--@ChadFinkelstein

This week on the podcast
Tammy Pettigrew Is Microdosing Toward Parenting Excellence

WeedWeek Council member Tammy Pettigrew is best known as Instagram educator @thecannabiscutie — one of the fresh voices out of Orange County weed. Alex and Donnell chat with Pettigrew about weed’s place post-quarantine, and how microdosing edibles has been a recent key to pleasant parenting.

 

  • An educator and cannabis advocate, Tammy Pettigrew also has a MBA.
  • Pettigrew, who first appeared on Episode 49 of this podcast, has taken her home classroom to her garden, to further de-stigmatize the  cannabis for her children.
  • She said weed should not be viewed as a remedy to the recent rise in domestic violence issues.

2 SALES BEGAN SPIKING IN MARCH PANDEMIC PANIC

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cacophonyx / creative commons

Data from cannabis CRM firm Buddi found sales spiked on the weekend of March 13 and 14, and again the next weekend. Similar surges occurred in the U.S.
Cannabis Retailer

CannStandard offered a nifty detailed breakdown of market share at the Ontario Cannabis Store. The November introduction of Hexo's value-brand Original Stash represents an especially impressive moment, auguring the present boom in econo products.
CannStandard, Twitter--@CannStandard

A note from the editor

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3 C-SUITE CUTS AT CANOPY, APHRIA

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Coffee Girl Wood / Wikimedia Commons

Two members of Canopy's C-suite departed: chief commercial officer Dave Bigioni, who handled sales and marketing, and chief operating officer Andre Fernandez, who oversaw Canopy's supply chain.
MJ Biz Daily

  • The company has "engaged an executive search firm to fill the roles of COO and CCO to lead the business forward."
    BNN Bloomberg

4 TILRAY STABLE, OPTIMISTIC

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Matt From London / Creative Commons

Tilray reported a 126% increase in sales year-over-year, though a US$30M impairment left the company posting an improved net loss of US$184.1 (down from $219.1M last quarter), and a US$19.7M loss in adjusted EBITDA. Net revenue was $47.1M.
BNN Bloomberg

CEO Kennedy offered some optimism, saying Fortune 500 companies are warming to investment in the sector, thanks in part to cannabis stocks descending from dizzy heights.
Yahoo Finance.

Quick Hits

  1. Ottawa's Hybrid Pharm opened the first pharmacy outside of Shoppers Drug Mart with a sales license, and may provide both traditional pharmaceuticals and MED. (They are not licensed to compound cannabis.)
    Twitter--@StoicAdvisory, @DhallaRahim

  2. Demand for pediatric MED is increasing, even as most pediatricians are uncomfortable prescribing MED to children. The Canadian Paediatric Society will publish guidelines this summer.
    The Conversation

     

5 AURORA DOES REVERSE SPLIT TO AVOID NYSE DE-LIST

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chengkaiz / creative commons

Looking to avoid being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, Aurora completed its planned reverse stock split to leave shareholders with one share for every 12 they held previously.
Marketwatch

  • The rolled up shares will open at around $8, which will keep Aurora trading in the U.S.

In other LP news:

Cronos fell short of analyst expectations with its Q1 earnings, partly caused by a US$8M inventory writedown, which it said would not be its last "due to pricing pressures in the marketplace." (ie. As prices go down, inventory will no longer valued at what it once was.)
BNN Bloomberg, MJ Biz Daily

Aleafia, which recently parted ways with controversial chair Julian Fantino, announced a $13M bought deal offering.
Tri-City News, Leafly, New Cannabis Ventures

Organigram VP public affairs Cameron Bishop praised Ottawa for supporting the sector and asked the government to allow licensees to waive the annual regulatory fees, equal to 2.3% total revenue.
Twitter--@Ottawa_Cameron

WeedMD is preparing for its second outdoor planting.
London Free Press

Scandal-plagued CannTrust has four weeks to go before its Site 1 license expires. Many expect to see its distressed assets up for sale soon.
Twitter--@AaronWAnderson, @AlexTheChemist

6 ANOTHER BANKRUPTCY, AND LAWSUITS

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vastateparksstaff / Creative Commons

Down to $1,200 cash and $15.5M in liabilities, Ontario LP Muskoka Grown filed a notice of intent to file for bankruptcy. The family-run company, which produced small-batch craft REC, blamed COVID-19 and Ontario's lack of REC retail, along with its own struggles with crop quality.
Twitter--@ItsDGC, @TheCanadianMike, MJ Biz Daily

U.S. investors filed a lawsuit against Alberta LP Sundial, alleging the company misled them about the its acquisition of a U.K. firm that would allow Sundial to be "first to market" in exporting hemp-derived CBD to the EU.
Hemp Industry Daily

In the US, class action lawsuits against cannabis companies--including Canadian companies like Sundial--are up 116%.
Cannabis Life Network

 

7 HEALTH CANADA “REPRIORITIZES” RESOURCES, RELAXES SOME REGS

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Bbutler / Wikimedia Commons

Announcing it was "reprioritizing" resources "to higher risk areas" during COVID-19s, Health Canada announced it has relaxed its demands for those wishing to make "low risk changes" to licensed sites.
StratCann

  • License holders planning changes or additions to operations areas in already-licensed buildings (save modifications to Organizational Security Plans) no longer need submit amendments for review.
  • Additionally, producers no longer have to file a 60-day Notices of New Cannabis Products for every container size--a single NNCP will now suffice for the same product in different containers. NNCPs may also be submitted before a product is packaged or labelled.
    Twitter--@drowbb
  • Compliance expert Ivy Zmuda broke the changes down in a in a Twitter thread.
    Twitter--@InfosecIvy

Quick Hits

  1. Good news for legacy growers: if someone with as long a history in the unlicensed market as Vancouver Island grower Travis Lane can get a Health Canada security clearance, you probably can too.
    Twitter--@BeardedGreenly

  2. Budtenders at a Canna Cabana in Hamilton voted to unionize, becoming the first REC retail employees to do so in Ontario.
    Cannabis Retailer

PRE-ORDER "THE CANNABIS DICTIONARY!

8 CANNABIS CONFLICT AT MOHAWK TERRITORY

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Jesse Staniforth

In a controversial move, Kanehsatake Mohawk Territory Grand Chief Serge Simon called in provincial police the Sureté de Québec (SQ) to the First Nation outside Montreal, saying cannabis- and tobacco-shack owners on the Mohawk Reserve were planning to confine him in his council office so they could reopen.
Montreal Gazette

  • Kanehsatake's economy is fueled in large part by dozens of cannabis dispensaries and tax-free tobacco shops, which sell mostly to non-Native customers. At the beginning of the pandemic, Simon ordered roadblocks up to prevent outsiders from entering the community.
  • Simon's opponents say he exaggerated business owners' anger at his handling of the crisis. First Nations have different eligibilities for federal COVID bailout funds, and Simon's opponents say he's failing to inform them about their options to keep themselves afloat.

Kanehsatake was ground-zero for the 1990 Oka Crisis, which began as an exchange of gunfire between Mohawk Warriors and members of the SQ, seen by many as an occupying power.
CBC Archives

  • Simon vowed to keep the roadblocks up to protect community health. He said, "If it’s a choice between calling the SQ and seeing mass death come to this territory, I’ll call in the SQ."
    Journal de Montréal--In French

9 SETH ROGEN’S REC BEVS COMING SOON

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Public Domain

Canopy will continue the rollout of its REC beverage portfolio "in coming weeks" with the launch of Houseplant Grapefruit, part of actor Seth Rogen's Houseplant brand.
Yahoo Finance

Sales of pre-rolls have declined, while every new beverage launched sells out quickly. That may just be a reflection of the current supply.
Cannabis Retailer

In Other 2.0 News:

The Ontario Cannabis Store is finally adding seeds to its offerings.
MJ Biz Daily

10 WHAT WE LIKE: INFUSERS (AND QUALITY BUD)

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The Green Organic Dutchman

The Green Organic Dutchman's dissolvable "infuser" powders have proven an unexpected hit among the 2.0 rollout. Enthusiasts call them "game changers" that are "[putting] TGOD on the map." You can add them to any beverage you like (and, happily, Jello).
@HamzahKingKhan, @GregDistefano4, @Jcoby14, @Cannaluck, @SamuelHess52, Reddit

Consumers also want quality flower--even from LPs they previously distrusted. Some consumers didn't like the way Redecan handled reports of mould and insects in its bud in 2018, but many have discovered they like Redecan's quality enough to forgive them.
CityNews, Twitter--@putrid_fragrant, @harjord, @feralmiller

Quick Hits

  1. Leafly told the story of the popular Jean Guy cultivar—a White Widow variant named in honour of its roots at the Montreal Compassion Club.
    Leafly