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.
Ontario saw sales double in the first month of REC retail. Even with only 22 REC stores in the province, it's seems clear the public wants to buy legal REC in physical stores rather than online.
MJ Biz Daily
The OCS, according to the Ontario Ombudsman, is "the single most complained-about government organization of the fiscal year ending March 31."
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The Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program said between September and December of last year, there were 16 cases of "serious adverse events" in children and teenagers caused by REC. All cases required critical care, though the data was split between 10 children who accidentally consumed cannabis-infused products, and six cases of "intentional exposure" in which teenagers consuming cannabis had too much. Globe and Mail, CBC Health
"While the numbers may be higher, to understand if we are now seeing an elevated risk of poisonings post-legalization this needs to be calculated as a population-level risk, not just 'there are more than there were before,'" Haines-Saah argued. "For example, in Colorado there were reports that peds poisonings 'increased 5 fold' post-legalization. Yet this was an increase of 38 cases over 6 years FOR THE ENTIRE STATE. Again, a significant number, but is this meaningful at the population level? Or for health services?" Twitter
Canopy received a Health Canada license to grow outdoors and began planting in a 160-acre site in Saskatchewan—despite a longstanding opposition by the company and its CEO Bruce Linton to outdoor cultivation. In May of last year, Linton joined Allan Rewak of the Cannabis Council of Canada in asking the Senate to ban outdoor cultivation. Linton said then growing outdoors "may have a future sometime, but I don't think it's today."
In May of last year, Linton joined Allan Rewak of the Cannabis Council of Canada in asking the Senate to ban outdoor cultivation. Linton said then, growing outdoors "may have a future sometime, but I don't think it's today."
RavenQuest BioMed CEO George Robinson courted controversy when he boasted on Twitter that after harvest, his company was yielding "55 grams per plant. Every RQB is exceeding our expectations." He enclosed a photo of harvested bud, and growers were quick to comment it looked harvested too early and that 55 grams per plant was not an impressive yield.
If even 15% of BC's illicit growers join the legal market, it would mean $3B in legal REC sales, according to a report from Grow Tech Labs. However , Grow Tech CEO Barinder Rasode argued the cost for craft growers to go legit is too great while production caps are too low.
A joint task force of police forces investigating illicit CBD from Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, and Hanover Ontario announced they had used Cannabis Act search warrants to raid three sites, charging four with selling unlicensed CBD products. Charges include "unlawfully selling cannabis, unlawfully possessing cannabis for the purpose of selling it, unlawfully possessing cannabis for the purpose of distributing it and possessing property obtained by crime under $5,000."
Owen Sound Sun Times
Namaste announced major changes to its web-based model. Previously, the company bought wholesale stock from LPs and resold their product, competing with them. Now, they will charge a fee to LPs who will now be able to sell their products directly through Namaste's CannMart MED e-platform. The goal of the program will be to encourage repeat purchases.
Licensed REC retailers in Saskatchewan complained of illicit cannabis being sold with Health Canada–compliant packaging and warning labels, though without Health Canada–compliant lot numbers and percentage of cannabinoids.