Canada edition / July 07, 2020
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1 ONTARIO WILL END PRIVATE DELIVERY, CURBSIDE PICKUP

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jepoirrier / Creative Commons

Ontario premier Doug Ford's Conservative government is introducing a bill to extend some of its emergency orders for the next year. But private REC retail delivery and pickup will not be included among them. It will end those services.
Ottawa Matters

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2 O’GRAM SLASHES 25% OF WORKERS

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Antony *** / Creative Commons

Organigram announced 25% cuts to its staff, laying off roughly 220 employees, and announced it would maintain low production levels "for the foreseeable future."
Financial Post, CBC New Brunswick

The company said it's focused on "bringing new cultivars to market" and increasing THC content and "terpene [profiles]" to create more competitive dry flower products.
MJ Biz Daily

3 CIRCLE K AND FIRE & FLOWER IMAGINE REC CONVENIENCE STORES

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Jeangagnon / Creative Commons

Arguing the nation needs thousands more REC stores (at least three times as many as today) to effectively combat the legacy market, Fire & Flower launched a pilot project opening two Alberta REC stores adjacent Circle K convenience stores.
BNN Bloomberg, New Cannabis Ventures, Mugglehead

Circle K is a property of Quebec convenience-store monolith Couche Tard, which also owns a controlling stake in Fire & Flower (along with more than 16,000 convenience stores).
Globe and Mail

REC stores are becoming plentiful enough that cities have begun to worry about them again.

Maple Ridge, BC is now considering relaxing their demand for a 1-km buffer between REC retailers, which, experts hasten to remind us, are usually good for everyone's business.
City Council Meeting Minutes, Twitter--@TrinaFraser

BC cracked the 200 REC-store mark this week with 205 total, including 16 crown BC Cannabis Stores.
Twitter--@drowbb

4 COVID CASE AT CANOPY HQ

image
Josh Kolm

Canopy Growth confirmed "an individual" at their Smiths Falls, ON headquarters  tested positive for COVID-19. Eight other employees who were on site are being tested.
Inside Ottawa Valley

In Other Sector News:

Narbe Alexandrian, CEO of Canopy's investment arm Canopy Rivers, argued the collapse of the REC market proved "vertical integration doesn't work."
Yahoo Finance

Lift & Co has laid off most of its staff, while those who've stayed have accepted stock options over wages. The company was already struggling last year ahead of the COVID pandemic, and made an unspecified number of layoffs (rumoured to be much of Lift's workforce) in March.
PuffPuffPost, Twitter--@itsdgc

Kaitlin Dobler, who recently stepped down as Aurora's product education manager, hit back against sector analyst/critic Rob "BettingBruiser" Doxtator.

Zenabis reduced its asking price for its 25,000 sq. ft. cultivation and processing facility in Delta, BC from $12.75M to $11.5M. Though the space is licensed, licenses are not transferable.
The Deep Dive

LP stocks began rising in April and May after twelve months of decline, but New Cannabis Ventures' Canadian Cannabis LP Index declined 11.4% in June. The index has declined 68.4% over the last year.
New Cannabis Ventures

5 RED CROSS SEES INCREASED COVID CONSUMPTION

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Public Domain

A study by the Canadian Red Cross on the effects of the pandemic on Canadians' behaviour found:

  • 81% of respondents hadn't consumed cannabis in the last 30 days.
  • Of the 19% who had consumed, 6% did daily, 6% did so at least weekly but not daily, and 7% did so at least once in the last month.
  • 62% of those who used cannabis did so as frequently as usual, 27% of consumers used more often since the pandemic began, and 12% did so less often.
    Radio-Canada International English

Quick Hits

  1. There are now 56 micro-cultivators licensed by Health Canada.
    Twitter--@CraftShelter

6 LOBBY PUSHES FOR MICROBIZ IN BC

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Jenny Lee Silver / Creative Commons

As BC struggles to legalize its massive and entrenched unlicensed cannabis market, the BC Chamber of Commerce--working with the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES)--asked the province to loosen its REC rules to encourage small BC craft producers to enter the market.
Twitter--@JeremyPJacob, GrowthOp

  • The BCCC suggested the provincial regulator should prioritize buying REC products grown in province (as the SQDC does), allow unlicensed growers to continue operating as they apply for licensing, and allow small producers to wholesale directly to private REC retailers.
  • Farm gate sales are a part of every proposal for BC's future REC system. StratCann considered what such sales might look like.
    StratCann

In Other Provincial News:

The first legal REC grown in Newfoundland and Labrador, by LP/honey producer Beehighve, is now for sale in the province.
CBC Nlfd & Labrador

Since Cannabis NB is likely to be profitable this year, selling off the crown REC retail monopoly to a single buyer may not seem like such a great idea. However, the decision may come down to the provincial government not wanting to be in the REC retail business.
Global News

7 WHICH CONSUMERS MATTER MOST?

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Jesse Staniforth

New data from Colorado found the 27% of cannabis consumers who buy regularly make 82% of all cannabis purchases--which Canadian insiders indicate is an important factor for LPs and REC retail to bear in mind.
Twitter--@MJBizDaily

Consumers, meanwhile, can't really tell REC brands apart (no brand has more than 50% consumer recognition). Marketing experts say the number of competing brands has overwhelmed consumers.
BNN Bloomberg, GrowthOp, Investing News

Quick Hits

  1. Canadian MDs are applying for federal exemptions to allow them to test psychedelic mushrooms on themselves, while some advocating for psychedelics as medicine warn they're very different from cannabis.
    Inside the Jar
  2. Cronos and Tokyo Smoke co-founder Lorne Gertner followed Bruce Linton and other industry figures into the psychedelics business.
    Forbes

8 MISLABELED STRAINS AMONG CONSUMER CONCERNS

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Jesse Staniforth

Growers and reviewers have noted a number of legal REC products are mislabelled as being derived from the incorrect cultivar.
Twitter--@BeardedGreenly, @AdolfoGonzarlic, @Hermano_Works

Part of the problem is provincial wholesalers will accept a limited number of products with one strain name, but won't check to see whether a newly named strain has familiar genetics.
Twitter--@PhilHardyIsHere

Other Product Quality Issues:

Reviewers are forming ranks behind the metal "tuna can" REC container, which many say maintains relative humidity and preserves buds far better than plastic containers.
Twitter--@duce_7, @WhatsMyPot, @Cannadian1974

Extracts have barely appeared on the legal market.
Twitter--@C0URTLAND

9 FIRST NATIONS DISPENSARY FRICTION CONTINUES

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Jesse Staniforth

In First Nations communities across Canada, unlicensed--and licensed--dispensaries and production sites remain the flashpoint for debate.

The Sudbury Star acknowledged the complexity of questions about jurisdiction, rights, and taxes as it noted dispensary advocates and opponents are equally fired up about the issue.
Sudbury Star

10 OUTDOOR CROP GETS BIG

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Barbetorte / Wikimedia Commons

This year, LPs will quadruple their outdoor harvests in what Cannalyst Craig "GoBlueCdn" Wiggins called a "harvest tsunami," but that doesn't mean they'll be able to sell what they harvest. In a detailed note, Wiggins warned barriers in the Canadian sector will prevent the volume of outdoor product from flooding the market.
Globe and Mail, The Cannalysts (Requires Free Membership)

  • Outdoor crops are used largely for extraction into 2.0 products, but existing gluts of oil and flower, and LPs with extractors of their own, mean fewer buyers.
  • Though some producers will offer outdoor flower and prerolls, the lower-THC content of outdoor product will disappoint consumers who generally buy with high THC in mind.
  • In short, the outdoor growers who already have production/distribution deals are the safest.
    Twitter--@KypRowe