WeedWeek
POLITICS
   

UBC Review:
Third of US Pregnant Women Think Cannabis is Safe to Consume

Getty Images

Reviewing six American studies, University of British Columbia researchers found a third of pregnant women believed cannabis is safe to consume while pregnant.
CBC British Columbia

  • Pregnant cannabis users were likely under 25, unemployed, single, and African-American, and were also likelier to suffer from anxiety or depression. Most used cannabis for morning sickness.
  • Lead author Hamideh Bayrampour said many of the women had read their doctors’ lack of warning about cannabis as tacit suggestion cannabis was safe.
    GrowthOp
  • Degrassi-star turned public health/sociology scholar Rebecca Haines-Saah praised the review but broke from its conclusions, arguing instead health-care providers “need to be open to a discussion that moves beyond the stigma of drug use in pregnancy.” She noted tobacco opponents know “fetal-centric” approaches to prevention are ineffective when compounded by poverty, trauma, and mental-health difficulties.
    Twitter—Rebecca Haines-Saah

CBD Still Illegal,
Despite What Everyone Thinks

Getty Images

Media attention and social-media discussions have increased the public’s interest in CBD, which many find a useful replacement for some pharmaceuticals.
CBC British Columbia

Boomers, Seniors Getting Stoned Again

Public Domain: Wikimedia

The growing popularity of both MED and REC among older consumers received attention from a variety of sources, including WeedWeek founder Alex Halperin’s Guardian column, the Financial Post, and the GrowthOp.
Guardian, GrowthOp

Quick Hits

  1. Cannabis is legal in many US states on the Canadian border, but Americans who bring small amounts of cannabis into Canada can be subject to up to 14 years in prison. The Canadian Border Services Agency is poised to introduce new lower penalties for small amounts of cannabis.
    CTV News
  2. In a peer-reviewed paper, MED LP Aleafia published research showing 45% of regular benzodiazepine users stopped taking the tranquilizers (including Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Rivitril) within six months of beginning a course of MED treatment.
    GrowthOp
  3. Cannabis can indeed improve sex, but mostly at low doses.
    Global News
  4. Journalist Deidre Olsen told the story of their own experiences with Emery as a teenager and explained their motivations for finally collecting the many stories of Emery’s misbehaviour together on Twitter to call him out.
    Leafly
  5. A team of international public health experts prepared guidelines for reducing risks associated with REC. These include using only a few times per week; choosing vaped cannabis or edibles ahead of smoking; and avoiding cannabis if you’re driving, pregnant, or have a family history of psychosis or addiction.
    CBC Radio, Public Health Policy
  6. Legalization hopes to shift MED users away from the illicit dispensary model, but many activists believe the physical dispensary is too important a therapeutic organizing centre to be allowed to disappear.
    BontaniQ
  7. The Globe’s wine critic covered a class at a cannabis sommelier school.
    Globe and Mail
  8. Counterfeit cannabis—illicit flower or oil packaged to appear an LP product—may become a problem.
    The Leaf
  9. “Smoke is smoke,” said a coordinator for the National Non-Smoking Week campaign that is focused this year on smoked cannabis.
    GrowthOp

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Editor Note

This week we published the first in our Challenges Ahead series, featuring Canadian insiders on the most pressing issues in cannabis.

Barinder Rasode

This week NICHE/BotaniQ/Grow Tech Labs' Barinder Rasode discusses the importance of good-faith discussions with cannabis opponents. On the WeedWeek website.

BUSINESS
   

Canadians Spent $54M
on legal REC in First Month

VaporVanity.com

In the first month of legal cannabis, Canadians bought $54M worth. Statistics Canada keeps track of monthly sales by province and territory.
Bloomberg

Green Growth Begins Bid for Aphria

Green Growth Brands filed its offer to purchase Aphria and began its takeover bid, offering 1.5714 of their own shares for every share of Aphria they can get. On Wednesday, GGB’s shares closed at $5.81, making the offer worth $9.13 per share. Aphria shares closed at $9.23.
NewsWire, CBC Business, Financial Post

Interim Bonify CEO:
"Other LPs Sell Illicit Product Too"

Public Domain

In an interview with Bloomberg, Raven BioQuest CEO and Bonify interim president and CEO George Robinson said the middleman who supplied now-fired Bonify executives with 210 kilograms of unauthorized cannabis—which Robinson described as containing mould, yeast, e-coli, pesticides, and herbicides—also supplied other licensed producers.

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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

PROVINCIAL
   

ALBERTA

Alberta’s 65 REC retailers represent 36% of all the 183 REC stores in Canada.
Calgary Herald

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Courtland Sandover-Sly, president of the BC Independent Cannabis Association, said in a Twitter thread that “BC has been the province least helped, and most hurt, by legalization,” which he called “an absolute gong show.”

  • Sandover-Sly said the province squandered its “absolute advantage” in cannabis production and was now on the “‘have-not’ side of the equation.”
GoToVan

Grower and instructor Travis Lane, a partner with Sandover-Sly’s in Groundwork Consulting, argued in a separate Twitter thread that the illegal market created the foundation of the existing cannabis infrastructure.

ONTARIO

As the window closed for Ontario’s REC retail lottery winners to get their fees and applications into the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, cash offers from major retailers hoping to partner with solitary lottery winners got serious. I reported late last week that sums as high as $5M were being discussed (for an application license entrants paid $75 on), but as the week ended, the numbers got even higher.

  • Starbuds president Dave Martyn said, “We dropped out of the bidding after I was told I was not competitive at $10.5-million.”
  • The AGCO sent out questionnaires to lottery winners about what kind of “third-party involvement” they have arranged. Applicants can be disqualified if they change their ownership or corporate structure, so Ontario is watching carefully how they partner with outside companies. Globe and Mail—Paywall, Bloomberg

The deadline to opt out of REC retail arrived on Tuesday, with 337 communities approving cannabis retail and 77 opting out, for various reasons.
The Star, CTV News

Paul Sableman

The province opened a tender for same-day cannabis delivery services. This will replace Canada Post—whose rotating strikes last fall hampered an already struggling REC retail rollout—as the only cannabis delivery option in Ontario.
Globe and Mail—Paywall

The reviews of the Ontario Cannabis Store on Leafly are not gentle.

After hiring a private investigator to track down the location of Ontario’s cannabis warehouse, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has begun a drive to unionize the operation, which is privately run by Domain Logistics.
The Star

Ontarians began increasing their cannabis consumption long before legalization, jumping from 15.7% in 2016 to 19.4% in 2017, with the most notable increases for users over 50 and women.
GrowthOp

Ontario police are writing an average of 21 cannabis tickets per day, largely for having open cannabis accessible in a vehicle. Lawyer Jack Lloyd points out drivers can be charged even if the cannabis isn’t immediately consumable (appearing as dried or milled flower). Those who possess cannabis need to either drive with it in the trunk or in a still-sealed container.
Global News

Hamilton police continued to pursue dispensaries with a raid on all four locations of unlicensed seller Georgia Peach. They charged 25.
Hamilton Spectator

Niagara Falls head shops are facing increasing numbers of unhappy American tourists unaware there are no REC stores.
The Star

QUEBEC

Jesse Staniforth
SQDC Counter

Quebec has bought 35% of Canada’s legal REC, and the Société Québécoise du Cannabis has made $40M in sales (selling an estimated 5.7 tonnes of cannabis in the three months since legalization, but it is not yet profitable. Between the supply shortage and Quebec premier François Legault’s cannabis-hostile CAQ government, the SQDC does not plan to race into opening new REC stores.
La Presse—In French, CBC Montreal, Radio-Canada—In French

An unlicensed Montreal dispensary presenting itself as a cannabis clinic mistakenly gave a patient THC pills in place of CBD, causing her to believe she was having a heart attack during a business meeting. When she called the clinic, they told her they’d had “several calls” about mislabelled pills, and encouraged her to drink some orange juice, which they said was a “natural antidote.” (It’s not.)
La Presse—In French

MARITIMES

Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said REC legalization was “a grand experiment” and called for the government to keep close track of data and outcomes.
Halifax Today

Employees at Cannabis NB’s Campbellton and Miramichi locations have moved to unionize.
CBC New Brunswick

New Brunswickers spent more than $8M on legal REC from Cannabis NB stores in the first quarter of legalization, though sales were half of what the Crown corporation expected and were the lowest of the Atlantic Provinces.
Global News, CBC New Brunswick

Supply shortages have kept New Brunswick buying from illicit dispensaries.
CBC New Brunswick

After months of delays, O’Leary, PEI (population 815) finally got the single REC retailer for which they cancelled plans to build a strip mall last spring.
CBC PEI

PRAIRIES

A Saskatoon MED user is suing the province, demanding they pay for her MED backdated to March 2011, for a total of $63,000. She believes the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program should include her MED as part of the monthly “special food items.”
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

THE NORTH

Nunavut has sold $4.2 kilograms of cannabis (in 1,147 sales) through its Tweed online store, which offers only four cultivars of dry flower with no oils, and no high-CBD products. The territory hopes for more supply agreements and is considering allowing physical stores to open.
Nunatsiaq News

The Northwest Territories launched a cannabis-education initiative based in a series of comics warning users about potential negative effects of cannabis use. Viewers immediately took note of the character Creepy Baby, a fetus formed out of the Northern Lights who warns a potential cannabis user not to do so while pregnant. There’s also Stoney, the talking Inukshuk, who tells people to start low and go slow, and Roach the Raven, a haggard-looking corvid in a toque, denim vest, and tie-died tank-top, who warns potential users not to mix alcohol and cannabis, “Unless you feel like puking and freaking out.”
CBC North

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