WeedWeek
POLITICS
   

Early data says legalization hasn't contributed to an increase in impaired driving. (The Star)

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Public Domain
Schoolyard in 1934

The 300-metre buffer between cannabis retailers and schools has become standard in many Canadian cities, starting with Vancouver. That city determined the distance by consulting with US jurisdictions, whose advice was based on American federal drug-sentencing guidelines that are harsher for drug dealers selling or producing drugs within 1,000 feet of schools. (Globe and Mail)

  • Cities in Alberta bucked the trend, determining 100 metres was a safe enough distance from schools.
  • Quebec's previous liberal government settled on 250 metres, though the newly elected and cannabis-hostile CAQ government has signalled its intention to increase that distance.
  • On Thursday, Ontario announced it would enforce a 150-metre buffer.

Continued protests from suffering patients unable to get MED leaves some wondering why there's no legal requirement for LPs to prioritize it above REC. (Globe and Mail--Paywall)

The perceived difference between indica and sativa is a "folk taxonomy" bordering on meaningless, according to a recent paper by cannabis researcher. (The Leaf) From the paper:

  • "Researchers have even determined that some purported 'pure sativa' and 'pure indica' strains are nearly identical from a genetic perspective."
  • "Reconciling the vernacular and formal nomenclatures: 'Sativa' is really indica, 'Indica' is actually afghanica, and 'Ruderalis' is usually sativa. All three are varieties of one species, C. sativa L."

Quick Hits

Illicit dispensaries are thriving. Asked what changed in the business after legalization, an employee in Ontario said, "We're just busier." (Financial Post)

Public Health activists called for cannabis to be used immediately to address the opioid crisis. (Vancouver Sun)

Chinese-Canadians are uneasy about cannabis legalization, which may lead to challenges for Liberal MPs in Chinese-Canadian ridings. (Hill Times)

The Federal government, Organigram, the University of Moncton, Genome Atlantic, Genome Canada, and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation will contribute a combined $1.1M to a project using genetic mapping to identify traits of specific strains. (Huddle)

BUSINESS
   

An outdoor growing facility outside Ottawa may be the first of its kind in Canada, which legalized outdoor growing as part of C-45. (CTV News)

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Gummy Bears

Edibles will represent the “second wave” of legalization, and LPs are developing a range of products they can release next October. Legal edibles open to door to many more product possibilities than the dried flower and oil which are already legal. (Yahoo News)

  • Edibles legalization will also be a boon for transport and logistics companies. At the moment, the weight of dried cannabis and oil is comparatively small for freight companies, but that will change when 5mg of THC arrives in a bottle of beer rather than a fraction of a gram of dried flower.
  • Edibles are already widely available in illegal dispensaries. Public health authorities want tighter rules due to rising numbers of children accidentally intoxicated by eating them. (Guardian)

Cannabis industry analysis BDS Analytics predicted the price of REC is going to plummet, though not as hard as it has in some US REC states because most Canadian REC is greenhouse-grown, which is easier to control and protect. (Bloomberg)

  • The price of legal REC is currently competitive with illicit product. (The Leaf)

Aurora announced it should have “sufficient supply next year to meet demand.” (MJ Biz Daily)

  • Aurora CEO Terry Booth said the federal government "shat the bed" on legalization during an appearance at MJ Biz Convention Vegas. "We knew it was going to be a shit show. The government sold us tax stamps that didn’t have glue and so our Plan B was getting a bunch of people with very wet tongues to start licking these stamps." (Vancouver Sun)
  • The company’s VP said Aurora would enter the US as soon as it becomes possible. (MJ Biz Daily)

Cannabis industry analysis BDS Analytics predicts the price of REC is going to plummet. (Bloomberg)

Activist short-seller Andrew Left of Citron Research said as US cannabis companies go public in the next few years, the Canadian market will be crushed. (Globe and Mail)

Aphria, in Leamington, ON, suffered a walkout of new local hires during sweltering summer cultivation season, and will turn to hiring temporary foreign workers. (Windsor Star)

Canada leads the world in cannabis trademarks, but that could change quickly if other countries legalize. (World Trademark Review—Paywall)

A former illegal grower who was arrested and imprisoned said it's a mistake to keep former growers with criminal records out of the legal industry.

  • He argued legalization would have been much smoother had those who knew the most about cannabis been planning it. (CBC Edmonton)


Quick Hits

Explaining the shortage of available product, Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said he suspected LPs exaggerated their capacities and their prospective yields. (MJ Biz Daily)

Newsweek predicted legal REC shortages could continue for years.

LP industry group the Cannabis Council of Canada said Health Canada needs to approve more licensed producers and production sites in order to meet the country’s enormous cannabis demands. (Calgary Herald)

Natural-health-product advocates want CBD to be declassified as a drug, while MED advocates say CBD users should consult physicians and have their treatment followed. (CBC Kitchener-Waterloo)

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Reagan and Mulroney, 1987

US-based Acreage Holdings--with which both former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and former anti-cannabis Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney are affiliated--went public in Canada. (Financial Post)

Cronos tripled its revenue over the last quarter, though they reported a net loss of $7M. (MarketWatch)

CannTrust confirmed both its president and head of production have left the company. CannTrust brought on former Tangerine Bank CEO Peter Aceto as its Chief Executive on October 3. (BNN)

Toronto investment firm LGC Capital acquired 47% of Italian company EasyJoint, which produces "cannabis light"--high-CBD, lower-THC products derived from hemp. (MJ Biz Daily)

Illegal cannabis seeds are selling well as a result of the legal-seed shortage. (Globe and Mail)

The Wayland Group entered the Colombian market by buying local company Colma Pharmaceutical. (Grizzle)

New Podcast Episode

WeedWeek Podcast
65. A Very Canadian Pot Scandal with Jesse Staniforth

Jesse Staniforth, Editor of WeedWeek Canada, updates Alex and Donnell on breaking Canadian stories. There is no lack of scandal: Cannabis giant Canopy Growth fired founder and CEO Bruce Linton and CannTrust, a major licensed producer, is estimated to lose C$350 Million for ignoring the law. New regulations limiting THC in edibles exacerbate the over-packaging crisis. The country continues to battle the illicit market which is now also available online and is known by the cool name "MOMS" (mail order marijuana sites). Plus, Alex and Donnell discuss Jay-Z's partnership with Caliva.

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PROVINCIAL
   


Alberta

With Calgary retailers still routinely running out of stock, the province replaced its first-come-first-served order system with one designed to "level the playing field" for retail owners. (MSN, CBC Calgary)


British Columbia

The BC Supreme Court case over Vancouver's MED dispensaries who refused to close after October 17 may affect the future of other retailers who want to remain in the MED stream. The dispensaries in question buy grey-market stock from MMAR growers, which is not sold through the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. (Kamloops Matters)

The BC Liquor Distribution Board said numerous LPs failed to supply expected stock, though not so drastically that it has been forced to close its one provincial store or curtail online sales. (Vancouver Sun)

While most cannabis tickets so far have involved open containers in vehicles, Vancouver DUI lawyer Kyla Lee noted in her blog there are some circumstances in which cannabis consumption is allowed in vehicles.


Ontario

The province announced its rules for retail. They include: (Ottawa Citizen)

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Canada Post Delivery Truck

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli claimed on Monday the Ontario Cannabis Store's backlog "has now been taken care of and we’re back to normal," meaning Ontario customers should expect delivery in one to three days. The OCS website still warns of a delivery of three to five days. (CityNews)

  • The OCS released a statement that it had cleared its backlog. (Twitter)
  • When NDP MPP Sara Singh asked Fedeli about the still-unnamed warehouse operator and how the company was selected, Fedeli responded, "I can appreciate very much that the NDP don’t quite understand how business works, but as the security of the OCS warehouse is a top priority, we will not be sharing further information on the day-to-day operation. That’s how business works. Idiot." (iPolitics)
  • Fedeli later issued a vague apology.

Though only one LP--TerrAscend--has taken responsibility for mislabelled product, the Ontario Cannabis Store claims other LPs' products were mislabelled contributing to delivery delays. They did not specify which LPs mislabelled products. (National Post)

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory cannabis activist Jordan Brant published a summary/analysis of perspectives on cannabis among Tyendinaga band members/residents. (Google Drive)


Quebec

Montreal borough Westmount banned smoking in parks and green spaces, adding itself to the patchwork map of neighbourhoods inside the city of Montreal where smoking is illegal. (CTV Montreal)

  • Santé Cannabis President Erin Prosk noted inhalation is the best mechanism of delivery for sufferers of acute symptoms like nausea and sudden pain, making bans on smoking and vaping a blow to patient rights.

Cannabis sold by the Société Québécoise du Cannabis is 40% cheaper than that sold in Ontario, and 52% cheaper than in New Brunswick. (Le Devoir—In French)

A survey completed in June 2018 found Quebec's heaviest REC consumers are 18 to 24 and mostly male. If the Legault CAQ government raises the age from 18 to 21, that may affect legal sales in the province. (Montreal Gazette, Daily Hive)

BC’s Self-appointed "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery tried and failed to get arrested in Montreal for selling merchandise emblazoned with cannabis images and slogans, which are now illegal under provincial law. (Montreal Gazette)


Maritimes

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey promised the province would provide municipalities funds for dealing with legalization soon. (Halifax Today)


The Prairies

Saskatchewan demanded the Muscowpetung First Nation close a cannabis store that opened on that territory for band members and non-Native MED patients last week without license from the province.

  • Chief Anthony Cappo released a letter on November 6 in which he argued, "Within the numbered treaties and inclusive of the treaty right to health (medicine chest), the elected leadership understand that as a sovereign treaty nation, Muscowpetung has the authority to regulate the use and sale of Cannabis/Hemp within our Nation."

The North

The mayor of Gjoa Haven, in western Nunavut, said the federal government should use cannabis revenues to build an addictions treatment centre in his community, which desperately needs to expand its available addictions and mental-health services. (Nunatsiaq News)

  • If the government were to do so, many other Northern communities with drastic shortages of addictions and mental health services (which are endemic across all cash-strapped Northern Indigenous communities) would be quick to want the same commitments for their populations.