Health Canada released draft regulations covering the sale of cannabis edibles and extracts. (Here, the new regs are laid out in a chart.) A 60-day period of public comment opened on Thursday.
Health Canada, CTV News, Twitter—Mike Hager
Following a recall I noted last week, Winnipeg LP Bonify has been accused of buying 200 kilograms of cannabis on the illicit market and selling it as legally produced.
Business editors and reporters voted REC legalization the Canadian Press business news story of the year.
Justin Trudeau said he expected supply shortages would be sorted out within a year.
Now that cannabis is legal, the fine details of legalization will have to be hammered out in legal cases across all areas of law in which cannabis could be a factor. These won’t just be individual cases such as impaired driving, fights over landlords’ rights to ban cannabis, or labour disputes in which a person claims to have been stigmatized as a cannabis user. The whole range of Canadian law will be affected.
Canadians have long associated duties with luxury items like liquor, cigarettes, and fine perfumes. For that reason, MED users receiving their products with “Duty Paid” stickers and their supporters are irate the government chose not to exempt them from paying excise duties.
Twitter, CBC Saskatchewan
1. Many Canadians are concerned that using their credit cards to buy cannabis may get them banned from the United States and other countries. The federal privacy commissioner issued guidelines for cannabis transactions this week suggesting worried buyers should use cash, which is only possible in physical stores—ruling out all Ontario buyers and most of British Columbians.
2. The Canadian Automobile Association released a PSA against driving high that was instantly mocked for its cartoonish depiction of people under the influence of cannabis.
3The Toronto Star editorial board assailed all three levels of government for making cannabis “harder to get than ever […] either through bureaucratic incompetence or actual design.”
4. Female-executives’ association the Boss Ladies of Cannabis are running a #MeToo survey for women in the cannabis sector to report their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.
Boss Ladies of Cannabis
5. Canadian Blood Services said cannabis users are welcome to donate blood, provided they are sober at the time.
6. A peer-reviewed paper concluded unbranded cannabis packaging with health-warning labels were the most likely to “reduce brand appeal and increase health knowledge among young adults.” The study subjects were all University of Calgary students.
BMC Public Health, The Leaf
7. According to a Lift & Co. survey, 10% of Canadians plan to give the gift of cannabis this Christmas—fewer in Quebec (8%), and more in Alberta and Manitoba (12%).
8. Illicit producers are now packaging their wares according to Health Canada regs, in order to appear legitimate.
9. Vice compared the USA’s legal edibles scene with Canada’s underground edibles.
10. Aggressive anti-cannabis internet servers are blocking users trying to access WeedsCanada.ca, a website categorizing farm weeds operated by a 93-year-old retired Agriculture Canada employee and weeds-enthusiast.
52. Buck Angel: From Porn Star to “Tranpa”
This week Alex and Donnell sit down with LGBTQ activist and cannabis entrepreneur Buck Angel to talk about the queer community's role in cannabis legalization, Buck's experience being the first trans man in LA to have hormone replacement therapy, and how he made his way from porn star to public figure. Plus, CBD is on the rise.
Tilray announced a joint venture with Labatt Breweries of Canada (a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer) to produce non-alcoholic cannabis beverages. Each partner will contribute C$67.5M.
Financial Post, Wall Street Journal—Paywall
Aleafia acquired Emblem, its products, and customer service/ecommerce platform in an $173.2M all-share transaction that will create the largest network of MED clinics in Canada out of two of Canada's most controversial MED companies. Emblem was founded by the former president of Purdue Pharma Canada, who presided over the company during the years it was, according to the US Justice Department, “fraudulently misbrand[ing] Oxycontin.” Aleafia has as its chairman longtime cannabis opponent and former Toronto Police Services chief Julian Fantino. I wrote about each company’s history for WeedWeek.
Press Release, Globe and Mail, CBC Toronto, WeedWeek Canada
Vancouver LP Ascent Industries appealed a Health Canada decision to strip its subsidiary Agrima Botanicals of its production and sales licenses for engaging in “unauthorized activities with cannabis.”
2. RBC Capital Markets—which was hesitant to deal with cannabis due to its US business—announced it will be advising on stock sales and arranging takeovers in the sector.
3. US-based companies represent 60% of all funds raised by cannabis companies on the CSE from January through October, while American investors are the second-largest source of funding (behind Ontario-based investors).
8. Boston-based cross-border cannabis infrastructure company TILT holdings—whose president I interviewed last week as the company listed the CSE—announced US$6.28M financing from Weston Capital.
9. CannTrust CEO Peter Aceto (formerly CEO of Tangerine Bank) said his company hired 300 workers this year, and encouraged job-seekers from other sectors with transferable skills to seek a place for themselves in the industry.
Globe and Mail
10. Cannabis At Work partnered with Global Governance Advisors to run a third annual cannabis industry compensation survey for 2019. The two organizations are collecting informationincludes base-salary data, benefits, incentives, and executive compensation for roles from ranging from executive to production and processing.
11. La Presse had erotic THC massage oil from HighOnLove laboratory tested and concluded it contained ten times less than the THC it was labelled to contain. They also had three women test the oil, and all three concluded the product delivered no results for them.
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Belgian-turned-Calgarian chocolatier Bernard Callebaut hopes the coming edibles market will help him rebuild his brand after losing his Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut business to creditors, and later declaring bankruptcy.
Alberta REC retailers are hiring a lot of middle-age budtenders.
An Edmonton REC retailer is fighting the provincial government to keep a “smoke-cloak” security system that fills the premises with smoke in order to thwart theft.
BC failed to grasp the extent of the demand for cannabis, Premier John Horgan, and the province will change its sales and distribution system in the new year.
The province released a factsheet on where British Columbians may use cannabis.
WorkSafe BC made health and safety in cannabis production the cover story on the November/December issue of its magazine.
Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart believes last week’s BC Supreme Court decision outlawing unlicensed dispensaries means the stores need either to join the legal regime or bow out.
Vancouver may approve its first REC retailers within a week, though they won’t be able to open for a few more months due to the time required to secure a municipal business license.
Chilliwack Search and Rescue reiterated that mixing cannabis and hiking is dangerous, and called an Ontario PR firm “irresponsible” for encouraging users to use certain strains while hiking specific mountains.
The Ford government’s about-face on REC retail, from promising unlimited licenses for stores across the province to allowing only 25, has aspiring retailers smarting. In Ottawa, an entrepreneur is stuck with two leases on stores, while other larger players may be stuck with many more leases. (Choom Holdings has 20.) Lawyer Trina Fraser noted the high stakes created by the small number of retailers will mean “If you don't have those very deep pockets of a large, corporate retail venture, you could be in a tough spot right now.”
Toronto mayor John Tory complained the province of Ontario has contributed virtually none of the funding the city needs to cover the costs of legalization.
Toronto cannabis activist Tracy Curley noted Ontario’s Ford government announced its 25-store REC retail limit the same day they announced their plan to allow corner stores to sell beer and wine.
The Mohawk territories of Kahnawake and Kanehsatake are both located just outside Montreal, but despite sharing a culture and language, the two territories take different approaches to cannabis. I broke down some of the differences earlier this week.
Some doctors in Quebec—especially in conservative areas like Quebec City—are not comfortable prescribing cannabis, and so have sent patients to the Société Québécoise du Cannabis, whose workers are neither trained nor allowed to discuss the use of their REC products for medical purposes.
Quebec addictions specialists decried the political and media fixation on cannabis, which they said dismissed or diminished discussion of the harms of alcohol, which are acute for young people.
The new director of the Montreal police said tracking those who consume cannabis in public will not be a priority for his department, particularly because if the CAQ succeeds in banning public consumption, the Montreal police will not have enough officers to enforce the law.
Le Devoir—In French
Newfoundland and Labrador (population 528,817) spent $6M on cannabis in the first six weeks of legalization. CBC Newfoundland
Conservative Manitoba premier Brian Pallister plans to demand his government enforce provincial “social responsibility” fees on First Nations REC retailers.
Manitoba is holding focus groups about edibles.
Regina police admitted legal REC isn’t as much of a problem as they expected it would be.
Not much happened in Northern cannabis news this week. Here’s a story about the two spruce trees in Iqaluit, a city where most vegetation gets killed by the cold. (Even the hardiest ruderalis strains would never survive there.)
Globe and Mail