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Cannabis Use Increasing
Since Legalization


Statistics Canada released the latest National Cannabis Survey, finding 18% of Canadians older than 15 (5.4M people) used cannabis in the first quarter of the year—up from 14 per cent last year. Here’s Stats Can’s cannabis infographic.
The Leaf, Twitter—Statistics Canada

Opposition Fears Liberals Will
Abandon Pardons Bill

Public Domain

Both Conservative and NDP members of parliament believe the Liberals will run out the clock on Bill C-93, offering pardons for possession convictions, and enter summer vacation before tabling it. That would mean it will be delayed past the October election.

  • NDP MP Matthew Dubé said, “The fact that this half-measure arrives so late in the parliamentary session, when legalization has been one of the government’s flagship projects, it’s a pity to consider how this was left to the last minute and it’s possible we won’t have a resolution.”
    Le Devoir—In French
  • Long-time expungement advocate Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said his own party’s record-suspension bill (Bill C-93) did not address the historical racism of prohibition.
    Now! Toronto
  • NDP MP Murray Rankin’s private member’s Bill C-415 to expunge cannabis possession convictions was defeated 225 to 61. Four Liberal MPs, all 9 Bloc Québécois MPs, 11 Conservative MPs, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May voted with the NDP for the bill, and mostly Liberal and Conservatives voted to defeat it.
  • Advocates at a meeting of the Public Safety and National Security committee discussing the Liberals’ record-suspension Bill C-93 said the government needs to offer complete expungement or, at very least, provide official documents proving to border guards or job interviewers the charges have been suspended.
    The Straight

Countdown to Edibles & Extracts


With summer approaching, the industry’s focus turns to edibles legalization. The Globe and Mail breaks down a variety of factors that will be decided by Health Canada’s final regulations.

  • Edibles producers can’t wait, but of course they’ll have to, until at least October.
    Vancouver Courier
  • The prohibitionist-leaning Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse argued the proposed dosage limit of 10mg should be lowered to 5mg cap, though they also suggested that as research expands, they would support higher dosage limits.
    CHCH News

Quick Hits

  1. On May 1, new taxes on cannabis oil based on THC percentage (these will also apply to extracts and edibles) came into force.
    Ici Radio-Canada—In French
  2. Bill Blair told the Manitoba legislature it’s up to provincial and local police to crack down on illicit online sellers (known as MOMs, or Mail Order Marijuana), and acknowledged police are following “a number of those organizations.” However grower Travis Lane argued many or most online cannabis sellers are located in BC, where there is little motivation to prosecute cannabis distributors.
    The Leaf
  3. In order for legal sellers to overwhelm the illicit market, consumers need ease of access to legal REC and low prices—neither of which describes the present Canadian market. Some public health experts argue rather than liberalizing cannabis advertising, we should restrict alcohol advertising.
    CBC Business
  4. The federal government launched another horrifying PSA against driving high, a sequel to the government’s last PSA from 2017, which ended with teenagers getting high and crashing their car. The new video picks up right where the last left off, as first responders arrive on the scene of the accident and fail to save the life of one of the kids, while the other gets sent to hospital. Bill Blair claimed the campaign was partly responsible for the lack of increase in cannabis-impaired driving.
    The Leaf
  5. A UBC study, published in Harm Reduction, found teenagers pay little attention to zero-tolerance or “just-say-no” messaging on drugs and alcohol.
    Vancouver Sun
  6. Seth Rogen told Stephen Colbert about his Canopy cultivar Houseplant, stressing he was proud to provide a cannabis product to Canadians, and adding “I smoke weed all day, every day of my life.”
    CTV News

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REC Sales Down Again

Nationwide legal REC sales declined in February for the second month running, selling roughly $49.9M—down from $57.3M in December and $53.7M in November.
Statistics Canada, Business in Vancouver

Moosehead Enters Cannabev Fray


New Brunswick’s Moosehead Breweries, the largest Canadian-owned beer producer, joined the cannabeverage movement in a partnership with Sproutly Canada to develop “rapid onset and offset” cannabis drinks.
CBC Business

More Oversight &
Options For Capital Markets

The BC Securities Commission joined the Ontario Securities Commission in overseeing the Canadian Securities Exchange, the market on which most Canadians small-cap cannabis companies trade.
The Straight

Hilary Black: Cannabis Outlaw
Turned Cannabis Executive

Bloomberg profiled Canopy Growth Chief Advocacy Officer Hilary Black, outlaw-activist founder of the BC Compassion Club Society. The profile discussed the hostility many in the legacy-cannabis world express toward Black, who risked serious jail time for years to defiantly and openly deliver MED to the sick and suffering. For Black, the move to Canopy isn’t about “selling out,” as her many detractors have accused her, but about widening her advocacy nationwide and beyond the Vancouver area.
Financial Post,

Concerns for the Industry

Library of Congress

Grow Tech Labs asked for Twitter users for their “#1 concern[s] about the Cannabis industry in Canada today?”

  • Mike “Infosec Dan Fielding” Zmuda said “the elephant in the room [is] how many municipalities and even some provinces don't want legalization, and […] that is eroding Canada's first mover advantage”
  • Damian Butler of Organic Bob Cannabis named licensing delays, explaining, “Hope is fading to get the first legal outdoor crop in the ground day by day, and a year or more of in-activity before production licence indoors is enough to scare off all but the most well financed.”
  • Micro grower Noah Taylor noted that a $2.50/gram processing fee from processors left margins low, saying, “[micro growers] need someone we trust to help us build our brand and that doesn't want to charge so much we can't make a profit.”
  • Unity Marguerite Whittaker of Village Bloomery stressed that cannabis consumption won’t be normalized until cannabis companies are as diverse in ethnicity, gender, and age as Canadian society.

Quick Hits

  1. Canada’s first cannabis nursery under the Cannabis Act received a Health Canada license. Analyst Deepak Anand said nurseries are a game-changer in an industry hungry for new and diversified genetics.
    Twitter—Michael Elkin, MJ Biz Daily
  2. Lab-testing firms are becoming increasingly desirable acquisitions for LPs expanding their internal R&D divisions.
    Business In Vancouver
  3. Testing firms say there isn’t enough restriction on cannabis batch sizes, which can be so large that part of the batch can meet minimum requirements for testing, while other parts may have yeast and mould contamination.
    Globe and Mail—Paywall
  4. Gene Simmons of Kiss is playing a more central role at Invictus, where he has expanded his original “Chief Evangelist Officer” role into a letter of intent to form a joint venture between Simmons and the company, under which they will produce CBD beverages.
    Business In Vancouver
  5. Organigram will list on Nasdaq. CEO Greg Engel said other companies that listed on major US exchanges increased their values.
  6. Canopy CEO Bruce Linton said, “Anybody who plays in the regulated space isn't competition really in that they're trying to do things by the book. Our biggest competition is the absence of good public policy, it's the illicit market.”
  7. Canopy will expand into Spain with the acquisition of industrial hemp startup Cafina, and also acquired Germany’s C3 Cannabinoid Compound Company for $340M in an all-cash deal.
    EU Startups
  8. Tilray recalled prerolls because of faulty THC labelling. The Globe’s Marcy Nicholson pointed out this was Alberta’s third voluntary recall since February due to incorrect packaging.
    Globe and Mail, Twitter—Marcy Nicholson
  9. Cronos CEO Mark Gorenstein dismissed cannabeverages and defended his company’s deal with Marlboro parent Altria as “focused on reducing risk and expanding choice.”
  10. Sunniva suspended development on its $125M Okanagan Falls, BC production/processing space. The LP also cancelled its agreement with the general contractor for the project, and sold part of the building.
    Summerland Review, Global
  11. US-based telehealth providers HelloMD will operate a dedicated live video-consultation portal on Shoppers Drug Mart’s Medical Cannabis by Shoppers website.
  12. Fire & Flower will acquire four of Prairie Sky Cannabis’s licensed REC retailers in Saskatchewan for $13M. The four properties will raise Fire & Flower’s store count to 17, spread across Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
    Regina Leader-Post
  13. The Leaf’s Solomon Israel said Canada’s most expensive REC flower was likely Whistler Cannabis’s Sour Jack, at $79.30 for 3.5 g (nearly $23 per gram!). Nonetheless, Ontario Cannabis Store stock-tweeter EntAlert reported the cultivar usually sells out in under two days.
  14. Deepak Anand said his key takeaways from Toronto’s UCannAcademy conference were that: processing licenses are required to package and label a finished product; microcultivators are only limited to the space in which they cultivate, not the weight of what they may produce; legacy-genetics declarations are not a ruse to find illegal grows but an opportunity to bring illicit genetics into the legal market.
    Deepak Anand—Twitter
  15. Cannabis tourism boosters remain optimistic that after we get through the first year of legalization, they’ll finally get their businesses up and thriving. Modern Farmer profiled five cannabis tourism companies.
    Toronto Sun, Modern Farmer
  16. In a memorable product review, Brad “PancakeNap420” Martin described Tweed’s Sunset cultivar by saying the cultivar has a “slow character, like a sloth voiced by James Earl Jones." He also published a complete summary of data derived from his reviews.

See through the haze of Cannabis Marketing.

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Editor Note

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Brad Bogus
VP Growth and Marketing, Confident Cannabis
Confident Cannabis is creating transparency in the cannabis industry.

Pamela Hadfield
Co-founder, HelloMD
HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers.

HelloMD on Instagram and Facebook

Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc., Adelanto California
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board member, Adelanto Growers Association

Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!




While retailers are overjoyed that Alberta is opening new licenses, others worry how it will affect the only recently stabilized supply.

Retailers who hoped to open a REC store in Calgary are paying a $3,000 monthly lease on a space without any indication from Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis when they will begin releasing new licenses. Though last week they opened 26 additional licenses, more than 600 retailers continue to wait.
Calgary Herald

The only REC store in northwest Calgary reports, “It’s insane for us. We get our order in Thursday and it’s gone by Sunday.”
Calgary Herald


Brad “PancakeNap420” Martin crunched data from the BC Cannabis Stores online site, finding the lowest per-gram price of $5.71 and a highest of $18, and an average of $9.33. There’s a lot more data in there as well. Fill your boots.

BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve is again the subject of argument over cannabis. A report from the advisory committee to agriculture minister Lana Popham last week suggested an immediate moratorium on all cannabis production sites not growing in soil.
Delta Optimist

Public Domain

Indigenous-owned LP Nations Cannabis plans to turn an abandoned wood mill in Burns Lake, BC into a production facility—bringing well-needed jobs back into a town suffering since the collapse of BC forestry.

Here’s a map of all LPs in BC.
The Province

An industrial park outside Sooke, BC, opened its doors to micro-cultivators seeking cultivation space.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/58609798@N00/ / https://www.flickr.com/people/47022937@N03

The Washington Post identified Ontario as a battleground in a new culture war between beer and cannabis. Donald Trump–emulating premier Doug Ford has pushed hard to liberalize laws relating to beer, while teary progressive Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau has made cannabis one of his key legacies.
Washington Post

Ontario finance minister Vic Fedeli claimed the province will allow hundreds of REC retailers to open, but for now is stuck to its limit of 25 stores because the federal government is “bungling” supply by not licensing producers fast enough.

The Ontario Cannabis Store canceled its tender for same-day delivery services. One reason may be the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s call for the province to legalize private cannabis delivery direct from LPs.
Financial Post


Deepak Anand called an OCS listing for Leafs By Snoop products “a blatant violation of the Cannabis Act by a provincial government” due to its clear reference to a celebrity, while lawyer Trina Fraser noted the question is whether the product name was “depiction of a person” and/or a “testimonial or endorsement.”
Yahoo Finance

The Ontario government raised $1.5M by charging all REC retail lottery entrants $75 and charging winners $10,000 for authorization fees. University of Toronto political science professor David Zarnett argued the province could have made as much as $200M had the government sold the licenses at market value.
The Star

A Toronto MED user launched a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario complaint against the Toronto Police Service, Doug Ford, and Attorney General Carolyn Mulroney. He argued the legal cannabis system discriminates against disabled people by not offering edible products, and by forcing him to buy from LPs that have minimum-order amounts he can’t reach.
The Leaf, CTV News

The Ontario College of Pharmacists set March 27 of next year as a deadline ahead of which all pharmacists must receive mandatory education in cannabis and their ethical, professional, and legal responsibilities. Though cannabis is not available through physical pharmacies, the OCP wants pharmacists to be able to answer patient questions about cannabis and its interactions with other medications.
CTV News

Toronto’s illicit dispensaries are proving far more tenacious than many expected.

Oshawa REC lottery winner Tripsetter Inc was fined a total $50,000 for not opening in the month of April.
The Star


The Quebec Statistics Institute (l’Institut de la Statistique du Québec) conducted 25 surveys in the province between 2009 and 2019—including surveys about cannabis—without consulting with any Indigenous communities. In Quebec, this can include First Nations Reserves, the James Bay Cree Lands (which are now municipalities, rather than Reserves), or Inuit communities in Nunavik.

Jesse Staniforth

The Société Québécoise du Cannabis will begin a pilot project of reopening its downtown Montreal store (picture above) seven days a week. Stores were initially scheduled to operate all week, but demand outpaced supply so dramatically that the SQDC announced within a week of legalization—with 90% shortages—that they were closing all stores Monday through Wednesday.
TVA Nouvelles—In French

In a report to Quebec’s National Assembly, SQDC CEO JF Bergeron said by March 2020 he aimed to have 43 outlets open, with between 100 and 150 in the future. In order to quash the illicit market, the SQDC aims to have stores open all over Quebec. The 300-person organization (with 20 at its headquarters, and 14 beneath the age of 21) believes it has so far captured 15% of the illicit market, and has a $4.9M deficit for the year.
Twitter—Annabelle Blais—In French


Cannabis NB reported unaudited year-end results showing the crown monopoly lost $11.7M on a year-end total of $18.6M in sales. In December, Cannabis NB’s former president said he hoped the 20 CNB stores would break even in their first year.
CTV News


A Moncton dispensary owner pled guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking, but explained to the court he was in love with an Australian woman with whom he’d had a child, and he wished to go to her country to ask her parents for permission to wed her. He asked the judge for lenience, “So I can keep my word and deliver the promise I made to this special lady, in the name of love.” The judge fined the man $3,000, sentenced him to probation and 100 hours of community service, and banned him from working in the cannabis sector. It was not clear whether he would be allowed to enter Australia.
The Supremes, CBC New Brunswick

Halifax police raided two dispensaries and charged ten.


Residents in a Winnipeg neighbourhood protested a licensed grow op in a private home, which they said smelled strongly. They worried it would attract crime.
Global News


The Northwest Territories began prescreening applicants for REC retail licenses. At the moment, cannabis is only for sale in government-monopoly stores.

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