Bill Blair stood by his previous statements about the cannabis supply shortage being over, claiming, “The data is clear: there remains sufficient supply and demand [sic] to meet and exceed existing demand.”
Bill Blair admitted that while edibles, concentrates, and topicals will be “permitted for legal sale” no later than October 17, as the law requires, they may not actually be available for sale at that time.
Ian McKay, former national director for the Liberal Party of Canada turned inaugural head of the foreign-investment-promotions agency Invest In Canada, resigned from the board of cannabis private-equity firm Nesta Holdings after Conflict of Interest Commissioner Mario Dion accused him of not fully informing Ottawa of his business activities in the 60 days following his being named CEO.
Health Canada: “MED in Pharmacies? That Could Happen.”
Health Canada is open to selling MED at pharmacies, but it would require individual provinces and pharmacy regulators to all sign on in support.
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.
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Hiku Brands’ CEO Alan Gertner became Canopy’s Chief Retail Officer when Canopy bought Tokyo Smoke parent company Hiku last July. Gertner surprised colleagues last week by announcing he was leaving his post after less than six months for a sabbatical and time with his family.
Half the country’s ACMPR growers had not begun shifting to the new Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System by the end of 2018. While 409 have begun the transition, 430 have not, and run the risk of having their licenses put “on hold.”
Organigram’s Q1 net revenue was up to $12.4M over last year’s Q1 $2.4M, representing a 419% increase—but these figures also reflect the haggard shape the company was in after they were forced to make a recall in 2016 and faced a class-action suit in 2017.
Financial Post, Motley Fool
Kelowna, BC luxury-REC LP Flowr expects there will be significant demand for clones, and the company is preparing with a grow room devoted to producing clones for home growers, craft growers, and LPs in need of genetics.
Bloomberg, Global News
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Owners of some of Alberta’s existing REC stores are criticizing the province for its decision to issue 10 new REC retail licenses. They say they’re barely able to restock with orders down by as much as 50% in the last month.
Allegations of sexual impropriety by self-appointed “prince of pot” Marc Emery continued to emerge.
Last week I profiled Surrey, BC communicator, educator, and politician Barinder Rasode and her call for good-faith discussions with cannabis opponents. This week, news broke she would be CEO of the newly announced BC Small Cannabis Producer and Processor Co-op, a partnership between her cannabis accelerator Grow Tech Labs and Vancouver AI/blockchain company Victory Square Technologies. The co-op hopes to “help maintain the province’s historic position as a global cannabis leader.”
A public meeting in BC’s North Okanagan region was overwhelmed by more than 100 locals angry over the plan to build a 100,000 square-foot cannabis production facility in a rural area.
Vernon Morning Star
The Vancouver Courier profiled Evergreen Cannabis, the city’s first legal REC retailer. Vancouver Courier
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario released a FAQ for aspiring REC store owners. It answered questions like “Do we need a separate age-verification room?” (no), and “Can I allow customers to order cannabis products online but require they pick it up in store?” (definitely not—online is the domain of the province alone).
The Ontario Cannabis Store announced a public tender for insurance and risk-management services.
MJ Biz Daily
An analyst and a research fellow from free-market thinktank the C. D. Howe Institute called for the Ontario government to either hold a second-round lottery or give additional retail go-aheads to those on the wait-list following the last lottery.
Globe and Mail—Paywall
Metrolinx, the GTA’s regional transportation agency responsible for GO Trains, banned all workers in “safety sensitive positions” from using REC even in off hours. The president of the Amalgamated Transit Union called the policy an overreach into workers’ private lives and said they were considering suing Metrolinx.
Many mid-sized Ontario municipalities—including Kitchener, London, and Windsor—are likely to be shut out of REC retail following the provincial lottery. Brock Professor Michael Armstrong argued the province’s LPs should be able to open farm-gate retail sites in their production facilities throughout the region, since this would not place them in conflict with lottery winners.
London Free Press
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson called for more federal pot tax revenues to go directly to municipalities rather than federal and provincial governments.
Tamara Hirsh, owner of a now-closed illicit dispensary chain in the Hamilton area and a MED chain in Jamaica, says Ontario REC retail lottery winners should band together to create a national brand, which would allow them to share expenses.
Having briefly reopened in a new location after its four locations were raided and 25 staff charged, Hamilton dispensary Georgia Peach announced its physical locations would remain closed, but its online and delivery services would continue operating.
CBC Hamilton, Global News
Wiarton held its first curling-and-cannabis bongspiel, with curlers ducking out to a tent across the street to enjoy their stashes. The event was a success, with no complaints from the community, and organizers are planning another one even as curling clubs throughout the region signal their interest in holding bongspiels of their own.
Quebec trade-union federation CSN failed in its attempt to unionize all SQDC workers not already engaged in union drives. Picking up where CSN left off, the Canadian Union of Public Employees has filed an application for national certification covering workers across multiple branches.
La Presse—In French
Quebec’s poison control centre said incidents of excessive-cannabis-intoxication have more than tripled since legalization, with 89 instances in October through December compared with 25 incidents in the same period the previous year.
On February 9, Temiskaming First Nation (eight hours northwest of Montreal) will hold a referendum to decide whether to allow a band-run dispensary in their territory. Ahead of their decision, nearby non-Indigenous town Notre-Dame-du-Nord signalled its discomfort with the prospect of an on-Reserve dispensary and argued the proposed location was too close to its municipal limits. The regional municipality said it supported the town.
A friend who lives in Montreal’s Parc Ex borough—a neighbourhood of immigrant communities—reported that since legalization, he’s begun seeing stickers reading “Smoking weed is haram [forbidden by the Koran]” around the neighbourhood and in local metro stations.
Newfoundland and Labrador cannabis authority NLC warned shortages will continue for another six months or more.
Newfoundland lost its first private REC retailer since legalization—only one of six private REC retailers in the territory, all supplied by seven of the country’s 147 LPs.
Despite having the country’s highest per-capita spending on cannabis, PEI has also increased its liquor sales since legalization.
Saskatoon police debuted their Draeger DrugTest 5000, the controversial saliva-testing device that does not indicate impairment or work in weather colder than 4 degrees. (Temperatures in Saskatoon are expected to drop below -36 on Tuesday.)
Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Global News
Over the 78 days cannabis was legally available in the last months of 2018, it was the third most popular legal intoxicant for sale in the Yukon, after beer and wine, beating out spirits.