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Unhappy Anniversary

Public Domain

Thursday will mark one year of legal REC in Canada, and this week's most striking figure is that Canadians only bought $1.1B worth of legal cannabis (REC and MED) in that time. That represents roughly 105,000 kg of an estimated 924,000 kg of dry flower consumed across the country annually.

Retail is working best in Alberta, which cracked 300 REC stores this week, one for every 14,571 residents. Newfoundland follows with one license per 20,862. Quebec, meanwhile, has one license per 404,046, and Ontario has one per 606,039 Ontarians.
Twitter—Sol Isreal

Fewer than 10% of users burned through two thirds of all cannabis consumed in Canada in 2018. The group is largely composed of men aged 15 to 34, which mirrors patterns of excess alcohol consumption.
Prince George Citizen, Vancouver Sun


Reasons for Optimism

Public Domain

The as-yet untested ingestibles and extracts markets are a source of hope. Edibles and beverages producers are confident their products will appeal even to new REC consumers and extractors expect to be busy for some time filling orders for companies making ingestibles, vape pens, and topicals.
Business in Vancouver

Quick Hits

  1. Grower and Levity Cannabis principal Travis Lane had an interesting Twitter thread about the challenges ahead for outdoor growers in the sector, and deciding whether to produce profitable high-THC flower over less profitable high-terpene, mid-THC craft product.
    Twitter—Travis Lane
  2. Insurers warn that failures of industrial systems supporting LP grow facilities leading to plant die-offs could lead to enormous insurance claims.
    Canadian Underwriter

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Prices Finally Dropping, but Low Illicit Prices Dropping Faster

Roger McLassus

The average gram of legal dry flower cost $10.23 in Q3 2019, down 3.9% from Q2—the first time legal REC prices have declined since legalization. Yet during the same period, an average gram of illicit flower dropped 5.9% to $5.59. Since legalization, legal REC prices have increased by 4.9%, as illicit cannabis prices have dropped 12%.
CTV, Bloomberg

Quick Hits

  1. Even if the US federally legalized cannabis, they'd likely still ban you if you admitted using it before it was legal up here.
    Global News
  2. Leafly informed an unspecified number of its customers that it had suffered a data breach of user records including email addresses, usernames, and encrypted passwords.


Downgraded Hexo Abandons 2020 Guidance

Stahlkocher / Wikimedia Commons

Hexo, one of the principal suppliers to the Sociéte Québécoise du Cannabis, abandoned its guidance on fiscal 2020 and warned investors its Q4 revenue—which it originally projected to be twice Q3's $13M—would likely only reach between $14.5M and $16.5M.

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TGOD Fails to Secure Capital, Target Price Sinks to $0.70

The Green Organic Dutchman entered a slide after announcing it could not secure capital to pay for the completion of two facilities.

Quick Hits

  1. Constellation Brands CFO David Klein became Canopy's new chair, while former BC premier Christy Clark took a seat on the board.
    Straight Cannabis, Cannabis Investing News
  2. In the midst of a dispute over 1,115 lost acres of hemp production, US producer Go Farm Hemp filed a USD$1.9M federal lawsuit claiming Canopy had not made payments the company had agreed to make. Canopy countersued, accusing Go Farm Hemp of fraud in a plan to cheat Canopy.
    The Deep Dive


Quebec Appeals Judgment Quashing Homegrow Ban

Quebec's CAQ government is appealing a Superior Court ruling from early September tstruck down two sections of Quebec's Cannabis Regulation Act prohibiting home cannabis cultivation.
CanLii, CBC Montreal

  • The appeal will likely challenge Justice Manon Lavoie's contention the provincial ban on home cultivation made home-growing a matter of criminal law, which is the sole jurisdiction of the federal government.
  • In explaining the decision to appeal, health minister Lionel Carmant argued, "developing [growing] at home, that normalizes" cannabis consumption. He noted the "distinct character" of Quebec society and argued the province should be allowed to take different tactics than the rest of Canada in approaching legalization.
    TVA Nouvelles—In French, Le Devoir—In French

The Quebec government's REC retail monopoly, meanwhile, seems healthy if tentative. SQDC president and director Jean-François Bergeron announced plans to double the number of SQDC retail outlets by March.
Montreal Gazette

Quick Hits

  1. The Globe's Jameson Berkow continued touring the Canadian cannabis industry, this week travelling from Saskatchewan through to Quebec.
    Globe and Mail
  2. Aleafia will move to cancel a five-year, 175,000-kilogram supply agreement with Aphria, saying Aphria has been a "consistent failure" at meeting the terms of their agreement to supply Aleafia subsidiary Emblem.
    MJ Biz Daily, Bloomberg


Hope for the Canadian Vape Sector?

Canadian LPs who've pegged their fortunes on vape extracts are cautiously optimistic that the US vape-illness crisis won't hit the soon-to-be-launched Canadian industry as hard as some worry it might.

Quick Hits

  1. Fluent Beverage Company, a joint venture between Tilray and Budweiser parent Anheuser-Busch InBev, will launch a line of CBD beverages in Canada as early as December. Fluent intends to eventually introduce THC beverages, but requires more time to research how best to make products in which THC will not degrade over time.
    The Star
  2. Aurora launched its Oral Dissolve Strips. The announcement was met with protests from MED users who argued that in order to achieve the doses many medical patients desire, the strips (which each contain only 4.7mg of THC) would be unaffordable.
    NewsWire, Twitter—Ashley Keenan, Dan Goulet


Banks turn Hostile to Cannabiz Again, Cancel Accounts

Public Domain

The Newfoundland REC retailer with a strong claim to having sold the first legal REC in Canada last year announced that on Wednesday, the Royal Bank of Canada deemed his account "high risk" and cancelled it. Proprietor Thomas H. Clarke said he has been forced to go cash-only.
Maclean's, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, VOCM

Quick Hits

  1. The Conservative Party of Canada, playing into established anti-cannabis sentiments among Chinese immigrant communities, ran an ad in Chinese falsely warning "Trudeau has already legalized marijuana, he now plans to legalize hard drugs!" atop an image of lines of white powder.
    Vancouver Sun
  2. One hope for protecting the traditional craft-cannabis infrastructure that brought us all BC Bud might be the BC Craft Farmers Co-Op, which launched this week after spending the summer in public consultation.


Manitoba Bans Public Edibles Consumption
Guess Who Rock Legend/Winnipeg Restauranteur Burton Cummings

Winnipeg premier Brian Pallister announced it would be illegal to consume cannabis edibles in public in Manitoba after they become legal.
CBC Manitoba

Quick Hits

  1. REC retail conglomerates decried limits on the number of REC stores a single company may open in BC. BC Independent Cannabis Association president Courtland Sandover-Sly noted the rule was designed precisely to keep major corporations like those from dominating the market.
    Business in Vancouver, Twitter—Courtland Sandover-Sly
  2. The second in a series of Telegraph features on Atlantic Canada after legalization focused on microcultivators, the use of MED in combatting addictions to other drugs, and the variety of companies waiting for edibles to become legal.
    St. John's Telegraph


More Quality-Assurance Failures

A customer at an NSLC Cannabis store in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was handed a one-gram package of Canopy's Tweed Houndstooth cultivar on which the seal was broken, and the package contained nuts and bolts along with dry bud.
CTV News

One self-described "seasoned" cannabis user complained to the Ontario Cannabis Store after the cannabis she purchased caused her to have a "bad trip," but the OCS said "the dizziness and disorientation she felt was a common side effect of using cannabis." They refused to give her a refund.
CTV News

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