Today being 420 (and a happy 420 to you, too!), cannabis sales are expected to double on the “St. Paddy’s Day of the cannabis world.” That’s provided stores don’t sell out under the weight of increased demand.
David Peel, Hickey, Bloomberg, Globe and Mail—Paywall
Global News’ reporter Patrick Cain argued age gates on cannabis-related websites do nothing to keep teenagers from accessing the sites, while Trina Fraser wondered what harm would come from teens seeing pictures of cannabis and its prices.
Cannabis consumers still report buying dry, hay-smelling REC from legal stores. The sense that legal cannabis is lower quality is yet another reason why buyers continue to support the illicit market. Shortages, lack of popular cultivars, and significantly higher prices for dried flower continue to deter illegal-market buyers from becoming legal-REC regulars.
The Guardian, MJ Biz Daily, Global News
First Nations are finding their way into the legal REC industry in a variety of ways.
Aphria’s posted net loss of $108.2M loss for Q3, with quarterly revenue of $73.6M, which fell short of the $83.5M analysts predicted. Last Q3, the company reported net revenues of $10.3M and net profits of $12.9M.
MJ Biz Daily, Bloomberg, CBC Business
Organigram more than doubled its sales to post net revenues of $26.9M (up from $12.9M last quarter, and beating the expected $23.77M) and gross revenues of $33.4M for Q2, noting its crops were yielding bigger harvests, and its all-in cultivation cost had declined to $0.85 per gram.
New Cannabis Ventures, MJ Biz Daily
Health Canada reported there is 19 times as much smokable cannabis as there is demand, but Brock University professor Michael J Armstrong says that number is misleading. “It certainly doesn’t mean what they claim it means, that there’s lots of supply. There is very little finished dry cannabis actually available for customers.”
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Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis announced it would issue 26 new REC retail licenses, bringing the number of Alberta REC stores to more than 100.
Globe and Mail—Paywall
BC public safety minister Mike Farnworth confirmed a 44-member enforcement team has begun to identify and close unlicensed cannabis stores.
British Columbians are generally happy with legalization so far.
North Shore News
Following the story that the Ontario Cannabis Store expects to lose $25M in its first full year, adding to last year’s $6.8M loss, MJ Biz Daily’s Matt Lamers noted the crown corporation’s $150M loan agreement with the Ontario Financing Authority is still in place. That money was originally intended to set up the Ontario Cannabis Store as a total monopoly in Ontario, and was to pay for opening 40 stores before the end of 2018. The Ontario Cannabis Store was downgraded to handling wholesale and distribution of cannabis for the province.
MJ Biz Daily, Twitter—Matt Lamers
A report by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on the first six months of REC legalization made 18 recommendations, principal among them allowing REC retailers to buy directly from LPs rather than from the province.
Ontario followed BC and Alberta in opening its share of federal-provincial agricultural grants to cannabis growers.
MJ Biz Daily
After months of watching Hamilton police shut down dispensaries and charge proprietors, Hamiltonians finally get their chance to go legal REC shopping with the first legal cannabis store opening today, just in time for 4-20.
While most provinces bought less cannabis in February, total daily sales rose by a fraction over the month—thanks to Quebec, where average daily sales increased by $45,000. Quebec cannabis is lower-priced than some provinces, and we’ve also had REC stores open since October 17.
Quebec LPs Great White North Growers, HEXO, MTL Cannabis, Neptune Wellness Solutions, Origine Nature, ROSE LifeScience, Terranueva, and Verdélite Sciences joined together to form the Quebec Cannabis Industry Association (AQIC), which will focus on advocating for LPs on provincial issues, while working with the Cannabis Council of Canada on federal issues.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador warned consumers not to expect their doctors to prescribe CBD products—which are so popular across Newfoundland (and the rest of the country) few REC retailers can keep them on the shelf. College registrar Dr. Linda Inkpen said patients will have to wait until the 60-some clinical trials on CBD taking place around the world begin to publish their results.
CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Authority shut down a plan for Halifax’s first cannabis pub crawl, in which organizers planned to give drinkers a pre-rolled joint before each of the tour’s first stops.
A Saskatoon door-to-door service already selling alcohol by delivery protested the provincial ban on selling cannabis by delivery.
A branch of the Saskatoon Public Library held a daylong cannabis event that included a joint-rolling workshop using tea leaves instead of actual flower.
Some Saskatchewan REC operators are happy with the government’s minimalist approach to supply-chain intervention. Unlike Ontario and many other provinces, Saskatchewan allows REC retailers to buy wholesale directly from LPs rather than through a government-monopoly distributor. Other REC operators, however, complained wholesale prices are still too high, and called on governments to lower taxes and LPs to lower wholesale prices.
Campers in Yukon’s territorial parks will be allowed to smoke cannabis, which many of them were already doing anyway.
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