NDP MP Murray Rankin again demanded the Liberal government follow US jurisdictions that have completely expunged cannabis convictions, rather than the more cresort to the less reaching record-suspension program proposed in Bill 93.
In a letter to all cannabis sellers, Health Canada threatened those using age gates on their websites, saying gates “may be easily circumvented by youth.”
US law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is suing Customs and Border Protection for refusing to provide proof of its authority to ban workers in the Canadian cannabis industry for life. The plaintiffs, who work with many companies in the sector and see the bans as a threat to expanding their business, claim the practice is illegal.
Quebec-based LP Hexo will buy Newstrike Brands, (parent of Up Cannabis) in a $260M all-stock deal—supported by the Tragically hip. Hexo's partneship with Molson to brew REC beverages makes this perhaps the most Canadian of all the sector’s mergers and acquisitions to date.
Financial Post, Bloomberg
According to Health Canada’s Cannabis Demand and Supply – Initial Report, LPs’ January supply of “finished” dried cannabis is increasing while adult-use sales went down 4.5% between December and January.
MJ Biz Daily, Bloomberg
US billionaire Nelson Peltz, co-founder of Trian Fund Management and chairman of Wendy’s, joined Aurora as a strategic advisor, in exchange for the option to purchase roughly 20M Aurora shares at $10.24 apiece. Analysts said his presence increased the likelihood of strategic partnerships.
MJ Biz Daily
When it comes to insurance, micro-cultivation facilities face risks identical to those faced by LPs, just on a smaller scale.. Kevin Lea of Calgary’s Fuse Insurance said underwriters were less comfortable with micro sites and the “reduced security standards required,” compared to LPs, and it would take one or two significant claims before micro-cultivation insurance becomes easy to get.
In February, WeedWeek hosted its first event, Recharge, in Los Angeles. Click here to see the much praised keynote by Jeremy Plumb, Director of Production Science at Prūf Cultivar in Portland, Ore., and a brief talk by Danny Davis, founder of Convectium, one of the sponsors.
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Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis is looking to sign more supply agreements with LPs. The provincial body has signed agreements with 19 suppliers to date but reported it has received less stock from suppliers than expected, and doesn’t expect future shipments to arrive for some time.
British Columbians in the Okanagan area are at odds about whether to allow a cannabis production site to be developed on local Agricultural Reserve Land, with some believing it will benefit the area economically, and others arguing it will destroy the agricultural land and lower real-estate values.
CBC British Columbia
One of the people pushing for a BC Small Cannabis Producers and Processors Co-op is travelling around the province to pitch the idea to growers. The advantages of a co-op, he argues, comes on lower insurance prices, easier access to financing, and opportunities to buy as a group for lower prices.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cannabis mean it’s a much smellier crop than tomatoes (emitting 57 grams of VOCs per kilogram mass versus tomatoes’ 1.5 grams, and Christmas trees’ 11 grams). A city air-quality planner’s report given to Metro Vancouver’s climate action committee says it’s most important to control these emissions during flowering, harvesting, drying, and curing, as well as possibly during packaging.
Vancouver edibles chefs want to make their city a culinary destination.
“The sky has not fallen“ since legalization in Kamloops.
Though REC lottery winners are required to open on April 1 or face enormous fines, four in Toronto and the GTA have not yet announced their locations for 15-day public-comment periods. Another five stores have public comment periods ending March 19 and March 27. Accordingly many of the 25 REC lottery winners may not open on time. Ontario remains the only province or territory other than Nunavut without physical stores.
The Leaf discusses the stakes for Ontario ahead of its first REC stores.
Roughly 20 workers in the Ontario Cannabis Store voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, calling for job security, more hours, and better scheduling.
The Star, MJ Biz Daily
One of the province’s first licensed REC retailers will be called Hobo Recreational Cannabis, which drew complaint from homelessness advocates. The store is owned by Donnelly Group, which owns bars in Vancouver and Toronto. Donnelly VP Brand and Culture Harrison Stoker said the name “evokes a sense of wanderlust, and implies a passion for the journey over the actual, final destination [...] over a vagrant or homeless person.”
Donnelly VP Brand and Culture Harrison Stoker said the name “evokes a sense of wanderlust, and implies a passion for the journey over the actual, final destination [...] over a vagrant or homeless person.”
The group managing Ottawa’s ByWard Market asked the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to protect the ByWard Market brand by preventing REC retailers from using the Market’s name in their own.
Toronto’s Ontario Craft Beer Festival will partner with longtime stoner lounge Hotbox Café and cannabis marketing firm Detonate to mount a “Pot-io” at the festival—itself part of the massive annual Canadian National Exhibition in August—upon which attendees may smoke or vape.
Though they could have opted for North Bay, Thunder Bay, or Sault Ste. Marie, both winners of the REC retail lottery in the northern area of the province have opted to open in Sudbury, leaving those three other cities without a REC storefront. Sudbury, at least according to legend, can probably handle two stores.
CBC Sudbury, Stompin’ Tom
Six Nations, the most populous First Nation in Canada, passed its own cannabis-regulation law following long community consultations. The text of the law—not yet available online—explicitly states it aims to "prevent interference by external law enforcement into Six Nations domestic affairs," and that licenses issued by governments outside Six Nations “[have] no validity within Six Nations.”
Amid several weeks of tensions over raids of dispensaries in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory (and a series of other political issues in the community), locals associated with the disputed dispensaries say they’ve been detained by Canadian Border Services trying to cross through the Cornwall border checkpoint. Akwesasne contains land on both sides of the Canada-US border, requiring residents or visitors must pass through a checkpoint. The owner of one of the dispensaries in question claims he was beaten up by Border Services employees after being arrested related to outstanding charges laid by the Akwesasne Mohawk Police.
Slightly fewer than half of Quebeckers—48%—consider occasional cannabis consumption socially acceptable, according to a major government cannabis survey.
The province opened its 13th Société Québécoise du Cannabis store in Montreal suburb Brossard. Immediately trade union le Syndicat canadien de la function publique filed a request to represent its workers.
Global News, La Presse—In French
JUUL Labs called on the Quebec government to raise the age for e-cigarettes and other vaporized nicotine products—like those they sell—from 18 to 21 alongside cannabis. “Quebec's regulatory environment must both recognize and support the harm reduction potential of these products, while preventing young people from accessing them,” the company said in a press release.
Le Lézard—In French
Though it won’t cover smoked cannabis and the list of illnesses that qualify is short, New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation board became the first in the country to cover the costs of MED last year. The program has helped patients get off of opioids, but critics complained about a cumbersome application process and argue it should extend to smoked cannabis.
CBC New Brunswick
An amendment proposed by Manitoba’s governing Progressive Conservatives will make it illegal to possess more than 30 grams in a public place, or to possess any cannabis outside of its federally regulated packaging. The amended rule could be enforced by both police and taxation officials. The Progressive Conservatives have enough seats to pass the bill but may postpone or amend it.
CTV News, Winnipeg Sun
Manitoba’s minister of growth, enterprise, and trade said the government’s goal “remains for 90 per cent of the population to have access to retail (cannabis) within a 30-minute drive, within two years of legalization.” That will mean working with municipalities in small communities to find new locations, and find vendors in rural areas interested in opening REC retail stores for smaller population centres.
Saskatchewan police have laid seven cannabis-impaired driving charges since October 17, and 596 alcohol-impaired driving charges.
The entrepreneur behind Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories’ first cannabis cultivation facility hopes to break ground by the summer. He anticipates an 18 month process of getting licensed, but has the support of Yellowknife City Council.
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