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.
As of March, Health Canada reports LPs have 150,000 kgs of "unfinished inventory." After months of uncertainty about what this might refer to, BMO Capital Markets warned some portion of this stock might actually be worthless—too poor quality even for extraction biomass. As a result, there may be industry-wide write-downs.
High Street CEO Adrian Robinson told me, "A lot of companies have been saving their trim, their fan leaves or their sugar leaves, and people are building out these hundreds of thousands of square feet of greenhouse. You're not able to prune those plants like you are in a smaller thousand or two thousand square foot room—you end up with so much more biomass you harvest. So I think you'll continue to see the biomass increase although there isn't a differentiation between biomass and bud on the balance sheet."
A new challenge the Health Canada regs present beverage producers is what they will call their products. Those making cannabisbeverages will not be allowed to describe their wares with general words like "wine" and "beer" (or specific terms like "ale" or "IPA") that refer to existing classes of alcoholic beverages.
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As part of the new regulations released last week, Health Canada announced changes to its packaging regulations ahead of the legalization of edibles and beverages.
Canopy reported REC sales down slightly in Q3, compared with its sales in Q2, which ended just after legalizationose last two weeks were the first of legalization. At the same time, the company posted a net loss attributable to shareholders of $335.6M, up from $61.5M one year ago. The loss was three times greater than analysts had expected.
Over the first five months of legal REC, governments across Canada collected some $186M in excise taxes, federal Goods and Services Taxes, and Harmonized Sales Tax including provincial sales taxes.
Statistics Canada released an analysis of cannabis trends and related metrics.
Organigram will offer its products as part of Feather Company vapes this fall, making it likely the first LP to announce its vape-product plans. The Organigram/Feather vapes will come in three different systems: closed-system vapes (such as pod systems), disposable vape pens, and 510-thread compatible cartridges like those popular on the illicit market.
New Cannabis Ventures, Twitter—David-George Cosh
There are more dispensaries in Kanehsatake Mohawk Territory (pop. 1,350), 30 minutes northwest of Montreal, than there are legal SQDC REC stores in Quebec.
TVA Nouvelles—In French
During Health Canada's media call on new cannabis regulations last week, one reporter asked whether there was any possibility CBD might receive Natural Health Product (NHP) designation, making it possible for retailers outside the licensed cannabis sector to sell it. Health Canada officials said they would eventually be moving toward public consultations on the issue, but few expected such consultations would happen soon. To the suprise of many, they were announced this week. (They're open to online comment until September 3.)
Blackshire Capital executive VP Jean Lépine assessed the Ontario Cannabis Store as overrun with logistical problems and failing to generate as much tax revenue as it could.
The Growth Op