Quebec's Superior Court overturned the provincial ban on home growing. It was enacted by the previous Liberal government, but heartily supported by the sitting CAQ government.
Anti-cannabis Quebec premier François Legault said he found the decision "surprising," and justice minister Sonia LeBel called for "prudence" from Quebeckers while her government decides whether to appeal the judgment, rewrite the law, or let it stand.
Journal de Montréal—In French
Earlier in the week, the Cannabis Council of Canada sent a letter to the Quebec government protesting the proposed 30% cap on THC in extracts, which would ban products like vape pens and hashish. The CCC pointed out in a La Presse op-ed that Quebec's draconian regs on vape products and edibles will encourage the public to continue consuming those same products on the illicit market.
Twitter, La Presse--In French
This week, Donnell and Alex talk to Andrea Drummer, the chef behind Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, during a live recording at Weed Week Recharge, about how she went from a anti-drug counselor to a creative chef in the cannabis industry. They also discuss the biggest story in cannabis today: the vaping crisis -- beyond the headlines and the hype.
While the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario was busy disqualifying all lottery winners who applied using addresses affiliated with REC retailer HighLife Cannabis, an anonymous Reddit user discovered other ballot-stuffing practices.
Financial Post, Leafly
The Reddit user discovered 15 submissions to the lottery in the names of Friendly Stranger owner James Jesty and his family members, as well as 50 submissions related to the names of Green Acre Capital's Matt Shaloub and Albert Soberano and their apparent relatives.
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At the same time as CannTrust was laying off 180 employees this week, representing 20% of its workforce, Bloomberg received documents showing that throughout last year CannTrust was expanding its genetics by bringing in seeds purchased on the illicit market as it was struggling to meet supply agreements.
Financial Post, Bloomberg
Lawyer Trina Fraser noted that while such practices are breaches of regulation, given that Health Canada allowed illicit genetics to be brought into the legal MED market during its infancy "under s.10 declarations, you can’t argue that there is any health risk. Why shouldn’t existing licence holders be able to make this declaration as well?? It was a policy decision that feels arbitrary to me."
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I'm writing this week's newsletter from the press box of Toronto's MJ Biz Con international, where I've been all week.
Reputation expert Dave Scholz from market-research company Leger Marketing said the CannTrust scandal is affecting the entire Canadian industry.
MJ Biz Daily
The convention's keynote speaker was former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell, whose tenure lasted a scant few months between elections in 1993.
Health Canada isn't going to allow itself to be burned again a la CannTrust—recall reports this summer that HC inspectors walked past unlicensed rooms clearly full of plants that shouldn't have been there. Word on the floor of MJ Biz Con is HC inspectors will begin demanding facilities provide them physical maps on which licensed and unlicensed rooms are clearly marked so as to not repeat the CannTrust mistake.
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
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The banks remain gun shy about working with cannabis, and this week investors reported BMO ceased allowing cannabis stocks to be shorted.
Lawyer John Conroy, who has been involved in major Canadian cannabis legalization cases (including the Allard decision, which legalized non-dried forms of MED) said his next constitutional challenge will be the federal government's regulations on edibles, extracts, and topicals.
Canopy Growth's investment arm Canopy Rivers said the company has received 1,523 pitches for funding and has chosen to invest in only 18. The company sees a large opportunity in selling US brands in Canada—since these can be legally marketed on the internet in the US, meaning brands available in Canada can receive wide US-based internet marketing campaigns without breaking Health Canada regs.
Canopy's interim CEO Mark Zekulin did a series of media interviews in the hope of calming public nerves and soothing irate investors who've watched Canopy's stock decline 50% since April.
REC retail giant Fire & Flower keeps growing. This week it acquired eight more (as-yet unlicensed) REC retail locations in Alberta.
Cannabis use is way up among Canadian veterans—and opioid and tranquilizer use among vets is way down—but that comes at a price.
Last week, Bill Blair met with First Nations representatives to talk about resolving the absence of Indigenous jurisdiction, rights, and concerns in the Liberal legalization framework. This week, the Assembly of First Nations had their own discussions—the First Nations Cannabis Summit, in Vancouver.
CBC Indigenous, NewsWire
For the first time in 151 years, Vancouver Island's Cowichan Agricultural Exhibition and Fair hosted a judging of the best home-grown cannabis along with perennial ag-fair favourites like best apples, jams, pies, and butter sculptures of prime ministers past and present in large hunks of butter.
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