WeedWeek
POLITICS
   

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Public Domain

Second-Building Requirement for Edibles May Cost a Fortune

One complaint from industry about the draft regulations on edibles is the demand, known as “the Second Building Requirement,” that cannabis foods and drinks be prepared in different facilities than those making non-cannabis products. This will certainly be opposed by beverage makers with existing facilities, like Labatt, and Steam Whistle, who have signed agreements with LPs to make cannabis beverages they planned to produce in their usual factories.
Victoria Times-Colonist, Twitter

  • Luckily for Molson Coors, the company broke ground in October on a new facility in Montreal suburb Longueil slated to open in 2021. That lead time will allow the company to set aside extra space for cannabis beverages made in partnership with HEXO.
    CTV News
  • Separating buildings is a food-production practice, Cannabis Compliance noted in a blog post, and cannabis isn’t really comparable to an allergen.
  • Cannabis Compliance suggested a dual-licensing approach that would allow existing sites to produce cannabis products without having to build new buildings.
  • While many industry figures have largely praised the draft regulations, lawyer Sarah Leamon called them “paternalistic and overly restrictive.” Straight Cannabis

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Roger McLassus
Hashish Shop in Kathmandu, 1973

Will Edibles Be Outpaced by Extracts?

Most of the discussion about the next wave of legalization focuses on edibles and beverages. However, concentrates—particularly vape pens, but also dabs/shatter/budder/wax/hashish—are more popular in the United States.
The Leaf

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
J. Smith

GeoTagged Ads Follow
Dispensary Customers' Phones

One way to advertise without running afoul of Health Canada regulations may be geo-targeting cellphone ads only to those who have been visited legal cannabis retailers.
Globe and Mail—Paywall

  • AdLoop, the company behind the idea, is already running geo-targeted cannabis ads to dispensary customers in the US, and hopes to expand into Canada.
  • Health Canada aggressively prevents cannabis businesses from advertising in any place where ads may be accessed by minors, so advertisers hope this will allow them to reach adult-use customers who have already indicated their interest in cannabis.
  • Other approaches to advertising involve striking the word “cannabis” from company names.
  • 43% of adults believe cannabis advertising should abide by the same (looser) rules as alcohol advertising, versus 37% a year ago.
  • Health Canada aggressively prevents cannabis businesses from advertising in any place where ads may be accessed by minors, so advertisers hope this will allow them to reach adult-use customers who have already indicated their interest in cannabis.
  • Other approaches to advertising involve striking the word “cannabis” from company names.
  • 43% of adults believe cannabis advertising should abide by the same (looser) rules as alcohol advertising, versus 37% a year ago.

Quick Hits

1. Canadians spent $5.7B on cannabis in 2018—of which $800M was purchased legally after REC legalization in October.
Globe and Mail—Paywall

2. There are a lot of reasons why it’s so hard for authorities to close down illegal dispensaries and keep them from reopening, but the most common is that the system isn’t designed to anticipate those who return immediately to breaking the law after having been raided.
Regina Leader-Post

3. Eight Canadian universities have Health Canada licenses to cultivate cannabis for research purposes.
CTV News

5. Mental health charity the Canadian Institute for Health Information warned there will be “significant increase[s]” in cannabis-induced psychosis (CIP) following legalization, pointing to pre-legalization figures showing the number of Canadians treated for CIP had nearly doubled from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017.
CTV News

4. MED advocates are concerned about the number of patients who are self-medicating without physician oversight, and they worry shortages only increase those numbers.
Regina Leader-Post

5. Illicit growers say legalization is helping them expand, rather than driving them out.
Calgary Herald

6. Do edibles and cannabis beverages need to be refrigerated? What are their shelf-lives? A plant chemistry professor from UBC Okanagan is researching these and other questions about how cannabis products will behave in storage.
The Ubyssey

7. WestJet encouraged passengers to pack cannabis in air-tight containers in their carry-on bags, though mysteriously suggested they allow for an additional 30 minutes for security screening as “local security, customs and immigration may have additional requirements.” Canadians are not allowed to leave the country carrying cannabis.
Twitter

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

New Podcast Episode

WeedWeek Podcast
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.

Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud

BUSINESS
   

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
InstaDose Pharma Website
Image of Building purported to be InstaDose Pharma's Congo facility

InstaDose's Huge Claims Assailed

Investments analyst Chris Parry of Equity Guru dug through last week’s announcement by InstaDose Pharma that the company had “[become] the world’s largest cannabis producer,” with hundreds of thousands of CBD oil produced from hemp in the Democratic Republic of Congo at 96.3% less the standard cost. Parry calls the announcement, a “scam so brazen that it becomes unintentional comedy” and investigates one clue after another:

  • An October press release on the company’s website, from two months before they claimed to have 200,000 farmers “harvesting cannabis” on 100,000 hectares, says InstaDose was only at the stage of speaking with the DRC’s Minister of Agriculture about producing pharmaceutical products;
  • Website pictures the company claims to show its Congolese buildings do not appear to match aerial shots of their property from a promotional video, and pictures in the video of farming equipment do not appear to be the right equipment for harvesting cannabis. Aerial photos also do not appear to show any farms or lab;
  • A photograph showing massive storage tanks implies they are full of CBD oil, but on closer inspection turns out to be of grain-storage tanks from a neighbouring farm; and
  • Though the company variously claims to operate in Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, it does not mention Nicaragua, where its CEO was wanted for marijuana cultivation in a scheme financed by an admitted cocaine dealer.
    Globe and Mail, CBC News

Green Growth Brands:
"We're Not Aphria"

Responding to short-seller Hindenburg Research’s claims that Green Growth Brands, vying for a hostile takeover of Aphria, is actually a related party, CEO Peter Horvath dismissed all allegations that his company was supported by Aphria.
The Star

Quick Hits

1. Canadian cannabis IPOs raised $490M last year.
Investing News

AWK WORDING Both the Ontario Cannabis Store and Alberta Cannabis now have seeds available, following on Newfoundland’s cannabis distributor, which made the first legal clones available before Christmas.
Twitter—David Brown

2. The 47 LPs licensed in 2017 were ten more than in the four previous years combined. In 2018, 56 LPs received licenses.
Twitter—Deepak Anand

3. Canopy is getting established in the UK after that country legalized MED in the fall.
The Telegraph

5. Smaller companies like Supreme and Flowr have elected to grow less and aim for higher quality, rather than aspiring to massive production numbers.
Financial Post

6. CannTrust is unable to continue expanding its facilities due to a local bylaw banning new cannabis permits for a year, complicating the company’s plans to produce 100,000 kilograms of product.
Financial Post

7. HEXO co-founder Adam Miron criticized Health Canada’s packaging restrictions.
Ottawa Citizen

8. CannStandard’s Brad Martin has launched a website reviewing LP flower. Some of the reviews are entertainingly negative (“Acreage Pharms’ flower is beginning to define the worst value available in legal cannabis”). However, Martin is willing to give credit where it’s due, such as in this review of ABCann/Fireside’s Spoetnik (Red): “Despite the Sativa tastes, the structure of Spoetnik flower looks [sic] Indica taxonomy. Buds are round, firm and somewhat squishy. The trim is close but not too close, leaving the fattened calyxes at the top of the buds intact. Overall, visual quality is quite good for this Spoetnik, very pleasing to the eye. My compliments to the chef.”

Editor Note

Thank you to WeedWeek's Patreon Supporters!

Sam Cornwall
Co-Founder/Photographer, Cannabis In Color Boutique Photo Service for the Industry, providing Custom and Stock Photos. 
Get Your Free Photo Packs
Find us at cannabisincolor.com and Instagram

Pamela Hadfield
Co-Founder, HelloMD HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebook

Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!
criticalmindinc.com

Hey man, don’t bogart that WeedWeek

Click here to share WeedWeek

PROVINCIAL
   

ALBERTA

Alberta Gaming Liquor Cannabis said cannabis supply was slowly increasing, though it is not yet strong enough for the AGLC to begin issuing new licenses.
Global News

Premier Rachel Notley celebrated Alberta’s 65 licensed stores and law enforcement reports of a peaceful legalization rollout, saying “We have more product and more access to the product in Alberta than in other parts of the country.”
CTV News

Sundial Growers were hit by an electrical fire in their growing facility north of Calgary, which required them to destroy all plants in four of the facility’s grow rooms. The company did not say how many plants they had lost. No one was hurt.
Calgary Herald

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Evergreen Cannabis Society, the first licensed REC retailer in Vancouver, was due to open last Saturday. At the last minute, they pushed their opening back a week to January 5.
Vancouver Sun

A second Vancouver REC retailer received a license—this time it’s a company that is concurrently operating an illicit dispensary.
Vancouver Sun

A Vancouver REC retailer forced to close four stores and and lay off 40 staff as it awaits proper licensing chastised Vancouver, the province, and local law enforcement for not cracking down on the city’s illicit retailers. A City of Vancouver spokesperson said illegal retailers are not operating with impunity, and will be subject to more than $3M in fines.
CTV News

Kelowna BC hopes to become a cannabis production centre, and hopes Flowr’s 85,000 square-foot hydroponic facility will be the first of many.
Kelowna Daily Courier

ONTARIO

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Graphoscanada

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario published its Expression of Interest Lottery Rules for those vying for one of the province’s REC retail licenses.
AGCO, Global News

The majority of Ottawa dispensary employees charged during raids have been spared criminal records, provided they plead guilty and accept a discharge.
Ottawa Citizen

QUEBEC

Quebec building owners have two weeks left to add bans on cannabis smoking and vaping to existing leases.
Montreal Gazette

MARITIMES

The variety of differing regulations about cannabis use in Nova Scotia—between communities that have passed anti-cannabis bylaws, versus those following provincial guidelines—has created uncertainty for those unsure of what law is in force across the province’s various regions.
CBC Nova Scotia

PRAIRIES

Since legalization, 11% of Manitobans have bought cannabis from a licensed retailer, 5% have bought from an illicit seller, and 15% have not yet bought cannabis but plan to.
CBC Manitoba

The Saskatoon RCMP and the Saskatoon Liquor and Gaming Authority will likely not investigate Bonify after revelations the Manitoba company sold unauthorized cannabis of unknown origin. Health Canada is investigating and will decide whether or not to strip the company of its licence.
CBC Saskatoon

Despite concern REC legalization would increase impaired driving, Manitoba police noted most impaired drivers caught during the holiday season were just drunk. Of those charged, 240 were charged for driving drunk, while only 4 were charged for driving stoned.
CBC Manitoba

THE NORTH

The Yukon (population 35,874) reported that by December 16, two months after legalization, the territory had spent $924,000 on cannabis.
Whitehorse Star