One week on and Ontario's REC retail lottery continues to disappoint. In an August 30 "Update on the Status of the Cannabis Allocation Lottery," the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario revealed that 12 of last week's 42 lottery winners did not submit required paperwork by the Wednesday deadline and were disqualified, while one applicant withdrew.
With the exception of one store in a suburb of Ottawa, the initial second Ontario REC retail lottery passed over all towns and cities east of Oshawa. Rural Ontario should get used to a long wait for REC retail.
CBC Ottawa. Globe and Mail
Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) president Smokey Thomas renewed his demand that crown alcohol monopoly the Liquor Control Board of Ontario be allowed to create LCBO-directed provincial REC stores that would compete with private enterprise. Due to LCBO collective agreements, such stores would be staffed by OPSEU members.
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Statistics Canada data on legal REC sales between October 2018 and June 2019 found Alberta sold the most legal REC in the country: $123.6M (roughly $28.70 per capita).
Alberta-based REC retailers Alcanna (owner of Nova Cannabis) and Fire and Flower agreed the supply shortage is over, saying inventory levels are so high they're going to keep opening stores until they hit the 15% cap on stores-per-single-owner (meaning 37 stores per company).
Lots of soul-searching in BC following the news BC consumers spend less on legal REC than any province outside PEI.
CTV News, The Star
REC retailers and growers accuse the BC government of making it too difficult to open legal REC businesses in the province. As in many places across Canada, growers in BC are also at odds with neighbouring residents who complain about cannabis odours.
CityNews, Penticton Western News
Wine, hard liquor, and coolers are setting sales records in the province.
CBC British Columbia
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Quebec's conservative CAQ government called last month for even tighter limits on edibles (max 5 mg per edible) than Health Canada's already strict dosage limits on ingestibles (max 10mg per package). Quebec's 18 regional public health directors argued this week the province must go further, and called for Quebec to ban cannabis-infused soft drinks, juices, and sweetened beverages.
Pax Labs' general manager for Canada predicted the Canadian vape market would be a $600M industry by 2021.
Statistics Canada released the pilot test results of its study on Wastewater-based estimates of cannabis and drug use in Canada. The yearlong pilot project between March of 2018 and February of 2019 tested municipal wastewater in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver (representing a combined 20% of the Canadian population) for traces of cannabis and other drugs.
The report concludes the variation on per-capita traces of cannabis and meth suggests individual "large cities within the same country may have distinct drug-use profiles."
Weeks ahead of dropping the writ for the October 21 federal election, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government began meeting with First Nations representatives about the cannabis industry in their territories.
Blair acknowledged the complexity of the problem, but said "The prime minister has been very clear that he wants this resolved in a nation-to-nation way."
Cannabis companies are making significant infrastructure investments as they pin their hopes on edibles and beverages, though it isn't clear how big a market those products will capture.
As LPs attempt to develop gummies that will appeal only to adults, they also have to figure out how to standardize potency to reflect labeled cannabinoid contents.
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