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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grow Tech Labs asked for Twitter users for their “#1 concern[s] about the Cannabis industry in Canada today?”
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
An industrial park outside Sooke, BC, opened its doors to micro-cultivators seeking cultivation space.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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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