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.
On Wednesday, Canopy announced in a press release that founding co-CEO Bruce Linton was "stepping down." Within hours, Linton clarified to CNBC that he was fired as co-CEO and member of the company's board. He said in a statement, "The board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over.”
Financial Post, CNBC
A Canaccord Genuity analyst suggested Constellation wants a CEO from a blue-chip company to replace Linton, while Toronto financial CEO Neil Selfe said, "The skillset that’s required to get a company off the ground is different than running a company in the long term."
Linton said he knew the Constellation deal might be the beginning of the end for him, "But we would have been fools not to bring in a $5-billion cash infusion just so we could keep our jobs."
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MarketWatch's Max Cherney wondered what will happen to Linton's plans to give employees options and to keep Canopy headquarted in Smith's Falls. He added, "Does Constellation have any idea how to run an early stage pot company? I mean Canopy can't even sell edibles or vapes yet."
The Ontario government announced it willthe Alcohol, Gaming and Gaming Commission of Ontario will hold a second lottery for 42 REC retail license, while the government itself will develop eight REC retailers in First Nations on a first-come, first-served basis. The combined 50 new REC retailers will begin opening in October. An infographic explains the timeline, while the rules are over here.
Ontario Gov, AGCO, National Post, The Star Twitter, AGCO
The lottery for 42 non–First Nations REC retail licences will be broken into five geographic segments.
Ontario's move to license eight REC stores in First Nations may the beginning of a broader attempt to limit unlicensed stores in those communities, though any aggressive move in that direction threatens complex jurisdictional challenges. First Nations have no governance relationship with provinces and some resist any intrusion from provincial governments, laws, and police.
Alberta, which has a population roughly a third of Ontario's, is on track to open 200 REC retailers by the end of the summer.
A judge found in favour of Allan Harris, a MED user prescribed 100 grams per day who complained the 150-gram public possession limit for MED users (the public possession limit for REC users is 30 grams) prevented him from being able to travel anywhere for more than a day. The next day the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer reiterated his party will not recriminalize cannabis if they win the October federal election. (Polls suggest the Conservatives are in the lead to at least win a minority government, if not a majority.)
Kelowna Capital News
Though Edmonton police reported last week the number of drivers they've charged with drug-impaired driving has increased since legalization, Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld said there's been no increase in such charges in Calgary, or in other sorts of infractions. "I don’t think it’s had the impact that we thought it would," Neufeld told the Calgary Herald. "A lot of people out there are being responsible with it."
The Calgary Stampede will not allow attendees to consume cannabis, but they will be allowed to smoke tobacco (and drink beer) on site. Attendees may carry cannabis with them, but they will have to leave to use it and re-enter.