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.
Health Canada announced its regulations for ingestibles/edibles, extracts, and topicals on Friday during a conference call with media. After four months of public consultations, the rules were scarcely different than the previous draft.
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Tilray inked an agreement to merge with American private equity company Privateer Holdings, which previously owned roughly 77% of Tilray (75M shares). Privateer will become a wholly owned Tilray subsidiary.
CBC Business, Financial Post
Roughly a dozen illicit dispensaries continue operating in Toronto, and they're fighting harder than ever against eviction efforts by city bylaw enforcers and police. In many cases, stores reopen after raids, sometimes even breaking sealed doors and windows to get inside. Then last Toronto figured out what seemed like a solution: last weekend they began blocking the fronts of illicit REC stores with stacks of giant concrete blocks.
CBC Toronto, Global News
Crown corporation the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) admitted to lawyer Trina Fraser they will not fund businesses "involved in the transformation, cultivation and production of cannabis," though they said they would "review [their] position over time based on industry developments."
At the SQDC outlet in Montreal's Rosemont neighbourhood, workers have voted for a strike mandate, saying they want better wages, paid holidays, and bonuses.
Two youths found unconscious in Milton, Ontario, after smoking what bystanders believed was cannabis were actually smoking synthetic cannabinoids—which they purchased from a head shop that had labelled them as the psychotropic herb salvia. (Both are illegal in Canada.)
Cannabis businesspeople argued Canadian regulations cost the country its chance at a major cannabis market. Instead, CBD is wildly popular across the US but is still difficult to buy legally in Canada, while legal REC is treated shamefully, "almost like you’re buying something dirty in brown paper bags. […] Like liquor in the ’60s.”
A Radio-Canada investigation found there are too few testing labs nationwide, and far too few labs testing only cannabis. As a result, delays on lab results range from weeks to months.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia say Canadian drug-impaired driving laws are too stringent.
Degrassi-star turned harm reduction scholar Rebecca Haines-Saah (who played mean-girl Kathleen Mead) is bringing weed to Degrassi—again! This weekend in Toronto, 25 original stars will join fans from all over at Degrassi Palooza, a three day fans convention in Toronto. On Sunday at 11:00, Haines-Saah (along with NICHE CEO Jenna Valleriani and writer Rachelle Gordon) will present a "Cannabis 101" educational panel.