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  1. Hi Half of cannabis users have increased habit amid COVID-19 pandemic: Surveys TORONTO -- New data suggests half of cannabis users have increased their habit amid the pandemic, putting them at increased risk of addiction and other health problems. It's prompting experts at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to urge moderation among those who use, increased screening by clinicians and continued monitoring of cannabis use during and after the pandemic. Three online surveys involving three different groups of about 1,000 people revealed consistent increases last May and June. Senior author Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall, a scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH, says the concern is that people may be developing new routines that will persist throughout the pandemic and beyond. "A lot of people think that they're not at risk if they use cannabis but if you are using more frequently then it can impact your health," said Elton-Marshall, noting younger users are at greater risk of mental health concerns. "Now's the time to take a look at your cannabis use -- whether or not that has changed in response to the pandemic -- and would be the time to consider cutting back or not using cannabis." She pointed to stress, isolation, financial worries and boredom as likely factors in pushing some people to step up consumption. Among those who said they increased use, the average frequency was four days in the previous week. The survey did not capture how much more that was than pre-pandemic habits. The surveys were conducted in collaboration with the market research firm Delvinia and the findings were published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Leslie Buckley, CAMH Chief of Addictions, says people tend to rely on familiar coping mechanisms rather than create new ones when under stress. And since the surveys were conducted she notes the same stressors prevail today: "I do think it's getting harder for people." "We know that COVID-19 has really been difficult for all (substance users). It's a perfect storm for increased substance use," said Buckley. But while cannabis may alleviate anxiety and depression for some people, she says those effects are short-lived. "In the long-term we know that cannabis really increases your risk for anxiety and depression, and it can also increase your risk for psychosis, which a lot of people don't understand," she said, explaining that psychosis makes it hard to know what's real and not, and possibly hear voices. Groups at the greatest risk for increased cannabis use included those younger than age 50, people with lower rates of post-secondary education, residents of Ontario and people worried about the pandemic's impact on their finances. Guidelines issued in advance of legalization discourage cannabis use entirely. But if you do use cannabis, the guidelines discourage smoking it; products with lower THC percentages are recommended; and it's suggested frequency be limited to occasional use. Buckley says signs of a problem include daily use, concern from friends or family, a dip in job performance or job loss and if it's affecting romantic relationships. The first survey took place between May 8 and May 12, 2020 with 1,005 respondents; followed by another between May 29 and June 1, 2020 with 1,002 respondents; and between June 19 and June 23, 2020 with 1,005 respondents. All surveys were conducted in English. Researchers note cannabis use could be higher than suggested by the data, which relied on self-reports. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/surveys-suggest-half-of-cannabis-users-have-increased-habit-amid-covid-19-pandemic-1.1548108 Bongme
  2. Hi New cannabis stores coming to Barrhaven and Kanata Canopy Growth is opening two new locations of its Tokyo Smoke cannabis stores in Ottawa. One of the stores is located at 80 Marketplace Avenue in Barrhaven and opens on Monday, January 11. The other is at A18-300 Earl Grey Dr. in Kanata and opens on Wednesday, January 13. Via a press release: “With Canadian recreational cannabis sales increasing in 2020, the opening of these new stores will help address growing consumer demand as well as provide more local communities across the province with safe and convenient access to high quality, legal cannabis. The stores have been designed to provide Tokyo Smoke’s best-in-class guest experience while adhering to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including contactless touch points at each location, online e-commerce, same-day delivery, and curbside pick up.” https://ottawastart.com/new-cannabis-stores-coming-to-barrhaven-and-kanata/ Bongme
  3. hi Young Amherstburg child eats cookie with cannabis, prompts warning from police WINDSOR, ONT. -- Police are warning residents after a young child ate a piece of cookie containing cannabis in Amherstburg. Windsor police officers with the Amherstburg Detachment responded to a home for a medical call involving a child on Thursday. When officers arrived, it was reported that the child had consumed part of the cookie containing a cannabis product. Through investigation, police say they learned an adult caregiver gave the child a piece of cookie and they were unaware at the time that it contained a cannabis product. The caregiver also consumed a piece of the cookie and believed there was something wrong with the cookie after tasting it. Changes in the behaviour of the child caused concern. Police say the child was treated medically and did not suffer any life-threatening reactions. Police would like to remind the public the importance of keeping cannabis edibles away from children. “This is an unfortunate example of how easily and quickly a child or even an adult can unknowingly consume an edible cannabis product,” said a news release from police. “Cannabis products should be stored out of reach of children, in child-resistant containers, locked-up, and all cannabis products should be clearly labeled in their original packaging.” Police say no criminal charges are expected. Officers would also like to remind the community that recreational cannabis can only be legally purchased on-line through the Ontario Cannabis Store or at one of the licensed authorized Retail Stores located in Ontario. https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/young-amherstburg-child-eats-cookie-with-cannabis-prompts-warning-from-police-1.5259428 Bongme
  4. hi Health Canada concerned too much cannabis is being grown at home Canadian health regulator on Thursday raised concerns about the large quantity of medical marijuana people were growing at home, after its data showed a significant jump in daily average production permitted by health care practitioners. While the practitioners can allow registered patients to grow limited amounts at home for personal use, the regulator’s findings show that such authorizations rose to a staggering 36.2 grams by the end of March, compared with 25.2 grams in October 2018. Meanwhile, average purchases by registered patients, who can buy pot from licensed producers and federal medical sellers, have stayed as low as 2 to 2.1 grams every month, data showed. “An early review of the data signals to me a striking difference in the average amounts prescribed per day in the two different channels,” said Deepak Anand, chief executive officer of Materia Ventures. With no concrete limits on personal production, Health Canada is facing rising pressure to tackle the perceived abuse of the home-grow program. “Health Canada is concerned that high daily authorized amounts are, in a few instances, leading to abuse of the access to cannabis for medical purposes framework and are undermining the integrity of the system,” the regulator said. CBC News reported in October that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) raided dozens of illegal cannabis grow operations between July and October, a majority of which had personal production authorization. “It remains unclear if we are dealing with systemic issues as opposed to targeted ones, as a result of the tremendous pressure the regulator has fallen under recently by provincial and municipal governments,” Anand said. Health Canada’s finding show 43,211 individuals were allowed to grow marijuana for their personal medical use by the end of September, and 377,024 clients were registered as patients. https://globalnews.ca/news/7530148/cannabis-home-grow-health-canada/ Bongme
  5. hi Cannabis customers have been complaining Ontario's pot is 'too dry' TORONTO -- More than two years after the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the majority of Ontarians consuming pot still buy it from the illegal market because they find it offers better quality, according to Ontario's auditor general. Bonnie Lysyk's annual report found that the underground market represent about 80 per cent of cannabis sales in Ontario during 2019 and 2020. Investigators for the auditor discovered that quality, not price, was the primary reason why cannabis consumers chose the illegal market over the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), or private pot shops operating with a provincial license. "In our discussions with cannabis store managers and AGCO staff, we heard that some people prefer illegal cannabis because it is more potent and the product is fresh," the auditor general's report stated. Private retailers have heard complains that OCS pot "subpar" with the primary gripe being that the weed was "too dry." Product shipped to private retailers from the OCS also do not have an expiry date, making it difficulty to assess the quality of the product. The auditor also found the Ontario Cannabis Store "closely monitors" illegal cannabis websites to "compare prices and products." While the government announced plans to increase the number of licenced pot shops by approving 10 stores per week, the auditor general warned that a lack of product oversight could lead to dangerous consequences. "As more stores open and competition increases among retailers, they will have an incentive to generate greater profit margins by selling illegal products that compromise consumer health," the report stated. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/cannabis-customers-have-been-complaining-ontario-s-pot-is-too-dry-1.5220170 Bongme
  6. hi Scientists probe DNA to create game-changing strain of mildew resistant cannabis Grey mould — known in the industry as bud rot — can quickly devastate a cannabis crop. University of B.C. researchers are on the hunt for genes that protect cannabis from the destructive ravages of powdery mildew, which will be a game-changer for commercial growers. Loren Rieseberg and Marco Todesco are comparing the natural resistance with four mildew strains in about 500 different cannabis cultivars maintained by Aurora Cannabis. These are the strains of mildew that are commonly found in Canadian greenhouses,” said Rieseberg. Grey mould — known in the industry as bud rot — can quickly devastate a cannabis crop. Only a tiny fraction of infected plants will recover from an infection. Although the project will require massive computing power to sort through genetic information, finding candidate cultivars is relatively simple. “You just infect the plants by sprinkling them with mildew spores and see if they become diseased,” he said. Once the researchers identify the most resistant cannabis varieties, they will sequence the genomes of the best candidates and compare them with identified genes and genetic variants associated with resistance. The genetic variants that are strongly associated with broad resistance to mildew and specific resistance to the most damaging mildew strains can quickly be incorporated into Aurora’s breeding program. Article content continued “Cannabis is a terrible crop in the sense that it’s not particularly resistant to disease and insects,” said Rieseberg. The focus of breeders has always been to make cannabis a more potent intoxicant rather than making a resilient plant. As a result, the most highly prized strains of cannabis are relatively feeble plants, requiring strict control of light and humidity usually in a greenhouse-like environment. Better cannabis strains would greatly reduce losses due to disease, according to a statement from Genome B.C. The $4.2-million project — Fast-Track Breeding of Powdery Mildew-Resistant Cannabis — is jointly funded by Aurora, Genome B.C. and Genome Canada. Because cannabis is ingested or inhaled, commercial growers are forbidden from using most chemical pesticides, and testing for residues of those products is strict. “For something like powdery mildew, there is a strong incentive to develop really strong genetic resistance,” he said. Studies of illicit cannabis have found pesticide residues, heavy metals and microbes in products intended to be smoked or eaten. Commercial growers are reluctant to use genetic engineering to introduce desired traits into their crops, anticipating resistance to genetically modified organisms in their target markets, Rieseberg said. The genomic data from the project will be made public for other researchers to use. The same sequences used to find genes associated with mildew resistance could also be used to identify and enhance other traits. “I’ve been told by cultivators that different strains require different growing conditions, but obviously it would be more efficient if they could all be grown the same way,” he said. “The idea would be to make it into a crop more like tomatoes. “Right now we are focused on mildew, because that is the industry’s biggest problem, but once the genomic data is developed, you could apply it to any sort of trait you want to target,” he said. rshore@postmedia.com https://vancouversun.com/news/scientists-probe-dna-to-create-game-changing-strain-of-mildew-resistant-cannabis Bongme
  7. hi Canadian Medical Cannabis Patients Report Using Less Alcohol Does cannabis have the potential to combat alcohol use disorder? New Research in Canada reveals that many of those in a study who reportedly have used medical cannabis also claim that they’ve noticed a decrease in their drinking. The research was conducted by the Canadian Institute for Substance Abuse Research and the University of Victoria, School of Public Health and Social Policy. They talked to 1,000 medical cannabis patients in Canada and asked them about their habits, including their rates of alcohol consumption, and the results were positive for reducing alcohol use. “Evidence details how cannabis can influence the use of other psychoactive substances, including prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, but very little research has examined the factors associated with these changes in substance use patterns,” the study claims. “This paper explores the self-reported use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol among a Canadian medical cannabis patient population.” Of those polled, 44 percent claimed that they noticed a decrease in the frequency with which they consumed alcohol during the study, as they used medical cannabis. Eighty-five percent reported they reduced the number of drinks they consumed each week, and 18 percent claimed they refrained from consuming alcohol entirely during the study. The data came from a sampling of 2,102 people who were a part of the Canadian medical cannabis program. Each person answered based on their medical cannabis use during the study and how it impacted their alcohol intake. “We included 973 (44%) respondents who reported using alcohol on at least 10 occasions over a 12 month period prior to initiating medical cannabis, and then used retrospective data on the frequency and amount of alcohol use pre-and post medical cannabis initiation to determine which participant characteristics and other variables were associated with reductions and/or cessation of alcohol use,” the surveyors added. Alcohol Use Disorder and Cannabis According to Cannabis & Tech Today, as many as 107 million people in the world suffer from alcohol use disorder, a mental and physical addiction issue that’s quite common. Since so many people suffer from alcohol abuse, this is welcome news, as medical cannabis or cannabis use can help lessen alcohol use according to these findings. Also, the World Health Organization reports that alcoholism causes the death of 3 million people a year across the world, quite a staggering number, and that cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol, as it has proven not to be fatal. For all these reasons, these findings could be incredibly important. “Our findings suggest that medical cannabis initiation may be associated with self-reported reductions and cessation of alcohol use among medical cannabis patients. Since alcohol is the most prevalent recreational substance in North America, and its use results in significant rates of criminality, morbidity and mortality, these findings may result in improved health outcomes for medical cannabis patients, as well as overall improvements in public health and safety,” the study’s authors claim. This is just one study that analyzes the connection between medical cannabis and alcohol use, and it could lead to more research supporting cannabis as a way to stay away from alcohol. https://hightimes.com/news/canadian-medical-cannabis-patients-report-using-less-alcohol/ Bongme
  8. hi Kangaroos, zebras found as police seize $160m of cannabis in Canada Kangaroos and zebras were seized by police during raids which netted about $160 million worth allegedly illegal cannabis in Toronto, Canada. Project "Green Sweep" took place during Canada's recent mid-year summer months, with police raiding 15 cannabis grow operations throughout Toronto's York region. A total of 37 people were arrested and 67 charges laid. Police alleged that organised crime elements were exploiting Canada's medical cannabis legislation. Under the current law, designated growers can produce hundreds of plants and store hundreds of kilograms of cannabis for personal use. Police claimed all the cannabis seized during Operation Green Sweep was only destined for illicit use - with more than 1800kg of harvested cannabis and almost 29,000 plants confiscated. The cannabis had an estimated street value of CA$150 million ($160.85m). At one location, three kangaroos and two zebras were also found. "The illegal production of illicit cannabis is a growing problem in York Region and our citizens regularly call to report these large-scale indoor and outdoor grow operations," Chief of Police Jim MacSween said. "Organized crime continues to exploit an outdated Health Canada medical licensing system, which is generating tremendous profit that we know is resulting in violence and funding other criminal activity in our community." The investigation is ongoing. https://www.9news.com.au/world/kangaroos-seized-in-major-cannabis-raids-in-toronto-canada/bd963c9b-58b9-4f69-ac02-ec794afd3e6d Bongme
  9. hi Vast majority of Canadians believe B.C. has the best cannabis in the country: report But just over half of BCers don’t know where their marijuana is from It’s not shocking that most Canadians believe B.C. bud reigns supreme in the country. But you might be surprised to learn that many of this province’s cannabis consumers don’t actually know where their stuff is from. In a recent survey produced by Delta cannabis producer Pure Sunfarms with the Angus Reid Institute, 76 percent of Canadians said B.C. cannabis ranked among the top three in the nation (Ontario and Quebec were second and third, with 53 percent and 43 percent, respectively). Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents agreed that B.C. had Canada’s best reputation for cannabis growing. Among British Columbians, 98 percent thought you’d find the best cannabis in their home province. But only 55 percent of B.C. respondents knew where their pot comes from. That share was higher than in Alberta (44 percent) and Ontario (51 percent). Canadians also don’t have much of a handle on whether pesticides are being used in their weed, with 80 percent saying they’d prefer not but only 40 percent knowing for sure. That latter number was just 20 percent in B.C. “It’s clear that Canadians care about a lot more than just price and potency when they make their purchasing decisions, but they’re still getting up to speed,” Pure Sunfarms president and CEO Mandesh Dosanjh said in a release. “The fact that Canadians don’t have awareness of these issues shows me that this industry has more work to do to give Canadians the information they need.” The survey of 1,505 respondents across Canada took place from September 25 to 29, 2020. https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Vast-majority-of-Canadians-believe-BC-has-the-best-cannabis-in-the-country-report Bongme
  10. hi London Police say since legalization, cannabis theft has become a citywide trend Police are encouraging people to report any incidents of pilfering by pot poachers A London man says after six months of lovingly tending to his first homegrown cannabis plant, someone stole it from right beneath his nose, something police say has recently become a citywide trend. Mark Kulmala said he doesn't even smoke cannabis, the plants were actually a gift from a friend who knew he had always wanted to try his hand at growing cannabis at home. "I've always kind of wanted to get into gardening and grow fruit and vegetables and stuff but I just thought it would be a funny thing to do now that you can grow it legally. I wanted to learn how to harvest it too and give it away to all my friends." "The one plant was the runt of the litter and ended up dying. It got to be about six inches tall and that was it. Then they gave me another one and it grew pretty big." So for six months he took care of it, carefully giving it all the water and attention it needed to grow big and tall. Then one day, he came home to discover someone had made off with it. "Normally I see the plant sitting there and I'll kind of look at it and see how it's doing and I got home and it was just a pot with the spikey stick." "They had just broken it right at the branch." Luckily, Kulmala isn't a cannabis aficionado, or a serious grower. "Honestly, I laughed. It looked really funny. It wasn't even ready to be harvested, so it's just such a waste for them to take it." As far as suspects go, Kulmala said it could be anybody. "I get a lot of characters coming through my yard," he said. "I have to kick them out of the yard and all that." "I don't know if it was someone who just walked by and happened to see it and broke it off and just walked around with this weed bouquet or if it was someone who waited and thought it was ready and just didn't know about it." Backyard bud becoming more popular According to Statistics Canada, growing cannabis in the backyard has become more common since legalization. Data from 2019 shows 14 per cent of cannabis users either grow their own or get their weed from someone who does. There are no official numbers on the amount of cannabis plants that are stolen from backyards each year, but reports of it happening are becoming increasingly common. Last month, a series of thefts were reported in nearby Waterloo Region and the OPP have recently had reports of cannabis stolen in Exeter, Mount Forest, Owen Sound and Norfolk County. In London, city police have been hearing about thefts since the first legal backyard plants matured in the fall of 2019. Police spokeswoman Const. Sandasha Bough said police received a number of reports of cannabis plants being stolen last fall and again this fall. The trouble is police have no exact data on how many. The reason, she explained, is because each plant is considered to be worth approximately $1,000, so when it gets filed in a police report as "theft under $5,000." She said while the police database can sort by alleged crime, it can't sort by what happened during that alleged crime. London Police offer tips on how to protect your plants Any budding green thumb looking to grow cannabis should also consider the fact the plant is highly prized by sticky-fingered thieves, who Bough noted only have to follow their nose. "Cannabis, just like any property in your yard, there are thieves who are looking to take advantage of easy access to these items." "The odour of the plant alone is a giveaway to anyone in the neighbourhood that the plants are growing nearby." Bough said if someone is looking to grow their own at home, police offer a number of tips to make one's budding backyard stash more secure: If you have a fence, ensure your gate is locked.. Install security cameras around your property as a deterrent to thieves and to assist police. If you see something, say something. Bough said the last point is the most important. She said police can't do anything about it unless they know about it, so she encourages anyone whose weed gets stolen to report the theft to police. She said that way, officers get a more accurate picture of which crimes are being committed in the city and can allocate their resources more efficiently. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/cannabis-theft-1.5775153 Bongme
  11. Hi Health Canada aims to cut emissions with virtual cannabis inspection pilot Canada’s federal cannabis industry regulator has launched a two-year pilot project exploring virtual inspections of marijuana production sites, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. That could ultimately lead to a greater number of cannabis inspections, according to a licensing expert. The project, called “Eagle Eye,” has received 151,753 Canadian dollars ($115,000) in funding over two years from the Canada’s Greening Government Fund. “If successful, the program’s carbon footprint will be reduced while still maintaining – and perhaps augmenting or enhancing – regulatory oversight,” a government summary noted about the pilot program. Virtual inspections have already been used by Ontario’s cannabis retail regulator, which conducted hundreds of remote inspections of marijuana stores this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Canada is still “in the early stages” of identifying exactly what types of inspections may be suitable for the project, department spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily. The program “could enhance existing approaches to virtual inspections or could be used in conjunction with conducting a physical inspection,” she continued. A virtual approach could bring other benefits on top of emissions reductions, Jarbeau added. “Conducting virtual inspections will not only reduce emissions but will potentially allow inspectors to safely observe higher-risk activities such as pesticide applications, material destructions and certain processing activities that may not be possible to observe at the time of a physical inspection.” The project will also inform future approaches to scheduled inspections despite bad weather or pandemic-related restrictions, according to Jarbeau. Heath Canada said it doesn’t know how much carbon has been emitted from physical inspections of regulated cannabis producers across the country in recent years. However, the department believes that a single inspection involving 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) of air travel and 200 kilometers of ground travel would generate 1,750 kilograms (3,858 pounds) of carbon emissions, on average. An average inspection relying only on ground travel would generate roughly 128 kilograms of carbon emissions based on a round trip of 350 kilometers. Those emissions have likely increased in recent years as Health Canada increased the pace of cannabis facility inspections. The department said annual on-site physical inspections of licensed cannabis producers totaled 257 in 2017, 264 in 2017 and 343 in 2019. Health Canada has occasionally conducted virtual inspections of cannabis and other regulated industries in the past, according to Sherry Boodram, CEO and co-founder of cannabis regulatory consultancy CannDelta and a former senior inspector with the federal agency. “It’s something that’s rare,” she said. “It doesn’t really happen often. “It’s usually not for a major, compliance-type issue.” Boodram said virtual cannabis inspections could ultimately open the door to more inspections, more often. “We’ve all seen that there’s such a large number of license holders now. There’s over 500,” she said. “And each regional (inspection) team obviously has a finite number of staff.” More inspections could be welcomed by some cannabis license holders, Boodram suggested. “A lot of them actually really do like having inspections, because it ensures that their company is moving forward in a compliant manner, before they get too far down the rabbit hole.” Canada’s current federal government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from government activities by 80% between 2005 levels and 2020. Solomon Israel can be reached at solomon.israel@mjbizdaily.com https://mjbizdaily.com/health-canada-aims-to-cut-emissions-with-virtual-cannabis-inspection-pilot/ Bongme
  12. i Council gives OK to Abbotsford’s first four cannabis outlets Three must still get provincial government approval & government-run stores have face delays A day short of two years after cannabis became legal in Canada, council gave their approval Monday to proposals for four retail stores in the city. Those cannabis stores won’t be open right away, though. Three must still go through a vetting process by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. A government-run BC Cannabis Store approved for HighStreet doesn’t need to jump through those hoops and could open soon, but it still needs a business licence and a building permit before it can open. Building permits related to signs are among the quickest for the city to process, with the city’s website saying sign-related applications are currently reviewed within about a week of submission. But opening dates will also be subject to the operator’s timelines – BC Cannabis Stores approved last winter in Mission and Port Coquitlam have yet to open. Last year, the city capped the number of initial stores at four and pre-zoned 10 sites for cannabis sales and setting the guidelines for a competitive application process. When the city finally started accepting applications this spring, eight proponents came forward. Seven made it to a public hearing stage, with one proposed for a site not zoned for cannabis sales. Council heard little opposition at the time, leaving staff to sift through the details of each proposal. On Monday, staff recommended which four applicants should get to open. After evaluating the proposals, planners found few major faults with any of the applications. Planner Ryan Beaudry told council Monday that all seven remaining applicants had a number of similarities and “all generally meet the policy, but meet it to different degrees.” Significantly, the city’s policy sought out a geographic balance of stores. And with four proposals clustered in Central Abbotsford and along South Fraser Way, that gave an edge to the three others sites spread around the rest of the city. All three of those were recommended by staff. Of those along the South Fraser Way corridor between Clearbrook Road and Ware Street, only one – Meta Cannabis Supply Co. – was allowed to proceed. The four applicants recommended to proceed are: This is Cannabis at Abbotsford Village Shopping Centre on Sumas Way Muse Cannabis Store at Parallel Marketplace on North Parallel Road BC Cannabis Store (government-run) at Highstreet Shopping Centre Meta Cannabis Supply Co. at Clearbrook Town Square. Failing in their applications were Sweed Cannabis Store at Sevenoaks, A Little Bud at West Oaks Mall, and Honeycomb Cannabis at Meadow Fair Plaza. Aside from a desire to avoid clustering, staff didn’t indicate what, particularly, tipped the scales in favour of Meta Cannabis in central Abbotsford. All four companies operate cannabis stores in other jurisdictions, although Meta Cannabis has the most outlets, with 35 licenced operations across Canada under several names. Beaudry did tell council that both Sweed and A Little Bud had previously operated unlicensed stores, although both have since closed those outlets. Regarding feedback from the public, the report says “Most of the comments were supportive and there were few comments of non-support. Staff would therefore not suggest excluding any of the seven applications on the basis of public input.” Council unanimously approved the recommended stores. They also alluded to a future increase of the number of stores in Abbotsford. “This is a first phase,” Coun. Sandy Blue Said. “We’re really want to take a look at what’s happening and will re-evaluate later.” Mayor Henry Braun said the experience with the first four applicants will influence the city’s approach if and when it welcomes new proposals in the future. https://www.abbynews.com/news/council-gives-ok-to-abbotsford-first-four-cannabis-outlets/ Bongme
  13. hi Black market cannabis linked to organized crime being exported to U.S. from Canada: OPP As part of an Ontario Provincial Police enforcement project tracking black market cannabis, investigators say they have uncovered sophisticated operations connected to organized crime and the exportation of marijuana to the United States. “We see individuals coming in (and) buying up rich agricultural properties, properties with existing greenhouses, that make it easy for them to then turn them into these illegal cannabis production sites,” explained OPP Det.-Insp. Jim Walker, who is with the service’s organized crime enforcement bureau as well as the Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team (PJFCET). “It’s a profit-rich environment for organized crime to generate money and a revenue stream.” Police said PJFCET has been active for two years and is responsible for enforcing the cannabis laws and investigating criminal enterprises that are exploiting or abusing the legal cannabis market. Since May, the task force has been involved in dozens of cases which have resulted in the seizure of millions of dollars worth of product and equipment used to grow, cultivate and distribute marijuana. Despite closed borders, investigators said much of Canada’s illegal marijuana is being sent south and the proceeds then come back in the form of cash, firearms and other drugs. “This is organized crime benefiting from the ability to make huge revenue streams through this commodity,” said Walker. “What the public needs to know is when they are purchasing it from the illegal black market, their money is just facilitating other crimes.” Officers said criminals are utilizing the Health Canada medical cannabis regime by exploiting people with Health Canada registrations and selling the product on the black market. “What we’re seeing is more serious charges of marijuana possession or marijuana trafficking, large quantities and exporting of marijuana charges are coming through the courts system now, so what that means is people are sending marijuana overseas, into the U.S. and other counties,” explained Daniel Brown, the vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. “People who are selling and disturbing as if they have licences to sell marijuana when they simply don’t have that.” Police busted a $42-million large-scale production and distribution network in August through “Project Woolwich,” a year-long investigation that resulted in several arrests of people in the Niagara Region and the Greater Toronto Area. The investigation was multi-jurisdictional and identified people involved in the production, wholesale distribution and sale of illegal cannabis. There was an international component to the investigation as investigators seized shipments of illegal cannabis destined for the United States as well as two large shipments of U.S. currency destined for Canada. Investigators said they believe the accused people in this investigation were also responsible for large-volume shipments of illegal cannabis to Ontario from British Columbia. “Cross-border law enforcement collaboration between the United States and Canada is extremely vital to dismantling transnational criminal organizations exploiting our shared border to conduct their illicit smuggling activity,” said Michael Buckley, a homeland security investigations attaché with the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. “[The investigation] clearly highlights that the critical sharing of information can successfully lead to the dismantlement of criminal organizations in both countries.” In all, 15 people were charged with 135 offences under the Cannabis Act, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. The OPP is expected to release more information about the cases the specialized unit has been working on in the coming days. https://globalnews.ca/news/7403819/cannabis-organized-crime-exporting-opp/ Bongme
  14. hi COVID-19 pandemic a ‘boon’ for legal cannabis in Canada as marijuana industry turns two Canada’s legal marijuana industry is celebrating a jump in sales, more brick-and-mortar stores and competitive pricing as it celebrates two years in business. Since Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, 2018, legal sellers and producers have struggled to compete with the black market, but there have been recent gains in the licensed industry. The change? The coronavirus pandemic, says retail marketing expert David Soberman. “It’s been a boon for the legal industry,” said Soberman, a professor of marketing at the University of Toronto. In July, licensed marijuana stores sold more than $231 million in product — a 15-per cent increase from June’s sales — marking the biggest monthly jump since the country legalized cannabis. “Because people are spending more time at home, they’re perhaps more comfortable with consuming cannabis,” said Terry Kulaga, the founder of Weed Me, a legal cannabis production company based in Pickering, Ont. “As people work from home, they probably have more time to actually consume cannabis.” Canadians have been buying more pot, according to Statistics Canada, and where people are buying it is changing. The long-established black market has always had more business than the Canadian pot industry, but households have been spending more on the legal cannabis market and less on the illegal market. Statistics Canada data shows that compared to April-June 2019, people spent 74 per cent more money on licensed cannabis during the same period this year, which is just after the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic in March. The decrease in spending on the black market in the same time frame is less than five per cent. “There’s been a downturn in the black market because people are much more reluctant to go out and meet their regular cannabis dealer in the way that they were prior to the pandemic,” said Soberman. Another reason Canadians have been spending more on legal pot is Canada is seeing more licensed retail stores pop up. Ontario, which is Canada’s biggest market by population, opened zero brick-and-mortar stores come legalization day. Now, the province has more than 180 licensed cannabis stores and growing — the province recently greenlit opening 40 stores per month, which is double what it did before, says the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is responsible for regulating Ontario’s marijuana retail stores. “More and more people are having a shop open up locally where they can access a safe and reliable product,” said Kulaga, whose business provides cannabis to provinces across Canada. “Moreover, I’ll mention that inside of the stores themselves, the people selling the product are becoming more knowledgeable about the product and the suppliers.” Steven Fry runs Sessions Cannabis, a chain of five stores across Ontario, and he says he’ll have 35 more stores built and ready to open before the new year. It will take time for the legal market to completely overtake the illicit market, Fry says. “Legal cannabis is infinitely better than illegal cannabis,” said Fry. “It’s a healthy and safe product that’s approved by Health Canada … it is highly regulated. Tax money is going back to the community when we’re purchasing through the legal channels.“ The legal market can now boast cheaper prices. When Canada first legalized recreational marijuana, the average price per gram for legal pot was $10.25 while in the illegal market, it was around four dollars less. The Ontario Cannabis Store released a pricing comparison showing more recent prices: near the beginning of the year, the average price per gram for legal dried flower on its site was $7.05, including taxes, which is almost a whole dollar cheaper than the cost of cannabis on sale through illegal mail-order sites: $7.98. Soberman says the customers who’ve been loyal to the legal marijuana market throughout the pandemic will stick with it. “Even once the pandemic is over and we have a vaccine, you’re going to find that people have become accustomed to buying their pot legally. And it will be a while before the black market is able to recapture perhaps a larger fraction of what it used to sell.” https://globalnews.ca/news/7402001/canada-cannabis-industry-turns-two/ Bongme
  15. hi Per-capita cannabis sales led the nation The Yukon saw the highest per-capita cannabis sales in Canada last year, according to the federal bureau of statistics. The Yukon saw the highest per-capita cannabis sales in Canada last year, according to the federal bureau of statistics. “The Yukon has outperformed all other Canadian jurisdictions,” John Streicker, the minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corp., said on Thursday. Streicker tabled the corporation’s Annual Cannabis Report in the legislative assembly on Thursday. Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada. Cannabis sales in the Yukon doubled the N.W.T.’s and were nearly five times higher than Ontario’s, per capita, according to Statistics Canada. Cannabis sales totalled about $4.9 million in the Yukon’s 2019-20 fiscal year. The vast majority of cannabis sales this year was in the form of buds, or flower cannabis, totalling $4.3 million. Oils accounted for $461,153, while edibles and concentrates accounted for $84,394. The liquor corporation made a gross profit of $1.3 million from cannabis sales last year. Expenses, including salaries, totalled $1.5 million. A government grant of $195,000 and income from disposal of property resulted in a total comprehensive income of $171,000. Streicker said the corporation doesn’t intend cannabis sales to be a money-making venture. “Our target is a zero balance; we are not trying to earn any revenue for the government through cannabis,” Streicker told the legislature. “Our goal is for it to be revenue-neutral from a government perspective.” The corporation’s mission is to funnel profits into the private sector, the minister explained. Streicker said he believes that legalization has impacted the illicit cannabis market, because cannabis sales are rising while reported cannabis usage among Yukoners has stayed essentially the same. “Here in the Yukon, cannabis sales increased by almost $3 million over the past fiscal year,” Streicker said. Statistics Canada reported that the illegal cannabis market was at an all-time low last summer, with legal sales outpacing the street market. Yukon Party MLA Wade Istchenko questioned Streicker’s claim that the illicit market has been impacted by legalization. “We know that there is still a very robust black market in the Yukon,” Istchenko told the house. “We believe that the only way the black market will be substantially reduced in the Yukon is if the legal market can compete on price.” Istchenko claimed that government mark-ups are driving retail prices higher than street prices, and increasing availability of cheaper products is vital. Streicker responded that the liquor corporation won’t adopt a free-market mentality to help lower prices. “Our two chief goals here have been, all along, to displace the black market and to support the health and wellness of Yukoners,” Streicker said. “Like alcohol, it is a controlled substance, and we will continue to control it.” The 2019-20 fiscal year saw five private dispensaries open their doors. The government-run cannabis store off Industrial Road closed last October to make room for private retailers. Cannabis retailers were briefly permitted to sell products online under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) as an action against COVID-19. Streicker withdrew that ministerial order – killing online sales – on Sept. 9. Streicker told the house Thursday his department intends to enable online sales permanently, but didn’t want to continue under the ministerial order. Online sales resulted in $25,000 in sales over four months last year, contributing to less than 20 per cent of total cannabis sales. “It’s a very, very small portion,” Streicker said. “This has been to allow our remote communities – to make sure that they have access; that’s all.” He said the liquor corporation is working on permanent implementation of online cannabis sales outside of the CEMA. https://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/per-capita-cannabis-sales-led-the-nation 3 comments Bongme
  16. hi Ontario police see a spike in cannabis plants being stolen out of people's backyards A recent case in London, Ont., saw a thief hopping the fence, hacking down the plants, and then absconding, all in less than a minute. As Canadians start harvesting their homegrown cannabis, police are seeing a spike in reports of sticky-fingered bandits. That was the case recently for London’s Mike Nutt, whose backyard camera captured a thief hopping the fence, hacking down hi “He’s lucky I didn’t catch him,” Nutt told CTV London. According to Tanya Calvert, a corporate communications officer with the St. Thomas Police Service, last fall marked the services’ first report for cannabis theft. “We saw a trend begin and again this year we’ve seen another spike in theft of cannabis plants from backyard private grows,” she told CTV. To avoid having your plants stolen she suggests harvesting early, installing security cameras and staying home to keep an eye on your grow. It’s also a good idea to keep your plants off social media. Last month, a Chatham man took it upon himself to deter a potential thief, tackling the burglar and detaining him until police arrived. A similar strategy backfired for an Oshawa man last fall, however, who noticed his motion sensor lights go off and then confronted two pot pillagers in his backyard. The suspects stabbed the man before taking off with his plants. Retired master grower Pete Young also offered some tips to CTV, explaining that he used to tie flowers around his cannabis plants to give them the appearance of a rose bush. He also suggests bringing your plants in at night if possible or installing chain-link fencing if you’re growing outdoors. “Don’t do anything stupid like booby traps, but do anything you can to deter thieves and make them want to move onto the next yard,” he said. If your plants do get nabbed, take a look at your home insurance policy, as you may be eligible for some coverage. According to a blog from Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers, insurers are more likely to provide coverage for plants that are grown indoors, as outdoor plants are riskier and more prone to theft or damage. https://lfpress.com/cannabis-news/ontario-police-see-a-spike-in-cannabis-plants-being-stolen-out-of-peoples-backyards Photo Bongme
  17. hi Don’t call it budget bud. Canadian cannabis prices are normalizing The latest quarterly report from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) says that the legal industry has reached a turning point. “This quarter marks a milestone for the sector on the critical front of pricing,” Cheri Mara, chief commercial officer at the OCS, writes in the report’s introduction. For the first time, Mara notes, the price of weed from the OCS is less — at an average of $7.05 a gram — than the average price on the illicit market ($7.98 a gram). “The fact that consumers now have the choice to purchase regulated, tested, traceable product from Health Canada-Licensed Producers [LPs] for prices equal to or below what they are used to paying is a clear step forward,” she writes. A separate report, released yesterday by market research firm Brightfield Group, points out that the position in the legal market that “has truly surged in recent months is budget brands.” “Budget brands are well-positioned to compete with the illicit market as they are now comparable in price. The heavy economic impact of COVID will also make consumers more likely to look for cheap bud as opposed to treating themselves to luxury or novel items,” the report states, before highlighting a few licenced producers that are performing well with a budget-conscious approach. These include Aurora’s Daily Special, Hexo’s Original Stash, Canopy Growth’s Twd., and B.C-based Pure Sunfarms, which is owned by Village Farms, one of North America’s largest and longest-running greenhouse growers. Mandesh Dosanjh, president and CEO of Pure Sunfarms, disagrees with the “budget” characterization. “We’re not a value brand,” Dosanjh tells The GrowthOp. “Pure Sunfarms is about quality, B.C.-grown cannabis, at prices customers should demand and expect.” Dosanjh says the company doesn’t think about its products as value or budget offerings, but, instead, as reflective of a legal industry that is still finding its footing and going through a period of price normalization. “I don’t know how you sell people products at a price point vastly different than what they’re used to,” he says. “And I’m not sure why the other LPs did that.” As legal producers pushed out high-price pot and the legacy market continued to thrive, Dosanjh says there was an opportunity for Pure Sunfarms to compete at a price point that Canadians are used to. The company entered the recreational market in September 2019 with eight cannabis strains. Within two months, it was the top-selling brand by weight and dollar sales at the OCS. Three of the seven best-selling strains in the province were Pure Sunfarms strains, including White Rhino, Island Honey and the top-selling Afghan Kush, which currently retails at the OCS from $6.10 a gram. In March of this year, looking for another way to compete with the illicit market and offer Canadians a format they are used to, Pure Sunfarms released ounce-sized bags — indica, sativa and hybrid blends — for $117.60, taxes in. “We knew that there was a customer who wanted a large format at a really good price point,” Dosanjh says. “So we said, ‘Let’s service the market with these indica, sativa, hybrid packages, which are very aggressively priced.’” The timing also worked in the company’s favour. As customers began to stock up in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, the 28-gram bags became hot-ticket items. “We saw a huge uptake in that product segment,” Dosanjh says, noting that the company has started offering strain-specific, large-format products, including ounces of Pink Kush and Death Bubba, strains that it believes will resonate with legacy consumers. It’s not just about hitting notes that customers are already familiar with, however. Though the majority of consumers are still using THC percentage to guide their purchasing, Dosanjh believes that will change in the future and his company, which is in a state of perpetual harvest and grows its cannabis in two greenhouses in Delta, B.C., is always looking for new strains to trial. Previously, the company sold a strain with mid-levels of THC called Purple Sun God, which was bred to feature elevated levels of cannabigerol (CBG). Like CBD, CBG is a non-intoxicating compound, and early research suggests it could be beneficial in fighting inflammation, pain, depression and anxiety, as well as illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and glaucoma. Pure Sunfarms has paused production of Purple Sun God for now, but Dosanjh says the company will likely be bringing it back in the future. “I do believe that over time, there will be that customer that doesn’t necessarily want the high THC,” he says, pointing to trends in mature cannabis markets like California, Colorado and Oregon, where balanced cultivars and products that may offer specific therapeutic benefits are in high demand. With other producers catching on and more companies pushing out affordable bud — there are currently three pages of flower listed for under $5 a gram on the OCS — Purple Sunfarms is hoping its simple, streamlined approach will continue to resonate with Canadians. “We’ve kept things simple so customers remember us, and think about us, and know that they can depend on us for high quality, B.C.-grown products at the pricing that it should be,” Dosanjh says. https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/dont-call-it-budget-bud-canadian-cannabis-prices-are-normalizing Bongme
  18. hi Cannanaskis hopes to blaze a new trail with cannabis tourism through Kananaskis Country Cannanaskis steers pot-imbibing guests through the scenic foothills and mountains west of Calgary while regaling them with 12,000 years of marijuana history Dave Dormer admits to a tinge of reefer sadness in the reluctance of Alberta tourism promoters to embrace his dream. But his high hopes for a Kananaskis Country cannabis tour are nonetheless coming to fruition, and blazing what he insists is a new trail in the province’s tourism industry. The longtime local journalist has launched Cannanaskis, which steers pot-imbibing guests through the scenic foothills and mountains west of Calgary while regaling them with 12,000 years of marijuana history. “I believe I’ll be the first commercially licensed and insured cannabis tour in Alberta,” said Dormer. “People aren’t going to go to Calgary for the cannabis, but they will come here for the mountains and consume cannabis.” The five-hour trip begins at the FivePoint Cannabis store in Bridgeland where patrons can stock up — if they haven’t brought their own stash. With Dormer at the wheel of his “CannaVan,” guests are then transported up to Highway 68 in K-Country’s foothills landscape where they’ll make the first stop of the tour. “I’ve got a secret smoking spot . . . I’ve never seen anyone else there when I’ve visited,” he said. “I’ve got a bong people can use and I can teach people how to roll (joints) . . . people can sit and consume in a really cool natural environment while I do the driving.” The tour then buzzes along Highway 40, with an optional quick hike at Barrier Lake, and stops farther down a valley hemmed by sawtoothed peaks Dormer says make the perfect backdrop for the THC-touched. To ward off the munchies, there’s catered charcuterie for guests, who will be masked and limited in number for pandemic safety. But unlike some cannabis tours in the U.S., guests can’t legally smoke pot in Dormer’s van, an activity legally pursued in the fresh mountain air. In fact, says Dormer, Calgary’s ban on public cannabis consumption or the use of any cannabis by businesses or services could drive people to tours like his. That’s due to a stigma born of nearly a century of prohibition that’s also made tourism promoters leery of embracing cannabis tourism, he added. “They want nothing to do with cannabis, there’s zero support — Tourism Calgary was very polite in rejecting this,” said Dormer. Last year, Tourism Calgary and provincial tourism officials told Postmedia they had no interest in the genre, saying it holds little potential in a country where there’s no local monopoly on legalized cannabis. Dormer said he hopes to cut through the stigma surrounding pot with a tour guide’s tutorial on the drug’s benefits and the politics of pot prohibition dating to the 1920s, while also taking visitors back thousands of years when the plant was first treated as a medicine. Advertisement Article content continued “It’s how it went from a textile in the neolithic period to you guys on this tour,” he said. “I’ve spent 20 years researching it, it’s really fascinating and there’s a lot more to it than just stoners and Cheech and Chong.” Dormer’s likely on the ground floor of a lucrative business sector, especially if or when Canadian politicians further liberalize pot laws, said Nathan Mison, chairman of the Alberta Cannabis Council. “I’m glad he’s at the forefront of doing it — when the rules change, he’ll be ahead of the game,” said Mison. His group has lobbied Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis to allow cannabis use by vehicle passengers — as limos are currently licensed for liquor — and for consumption at events. “The illicit market is already doing that right now, so why not move it into the legal realm?” said Mison. In provinces such as B.C. and Ontario, there’s been a push to allow licensed producers to welcome samplers, “just like we have at wineries . . . (Dormer) could drive that bus and stop at those farm gates,” he said. More of that could become a reality, he said, when a review of Canada’s cannabis legalization legislation is completed next year. But an obstacle for businesses moving into cannabis tourism is the fact any American affiliates they have would face legal jeopardy in a U.S. where prohibition remains federally, said Mison. BKaufmann@postmedia.com https://calgaryherald.com/cannabis/cannabis-business/cannanaskis-hopes-to-blaze-a-new-trail-with-cannabis-tourism-through-kananaskis-country Photos Bongme
  19. hi Legal cannabis beats illegal We are at a significant milestone in Canadian cannabis history. Legal cannabis surpassed the black market for the first time. Statistics Canada data shows spending on legal weed (medical and recreational combined) was $803 million, while spending on illicit pot was $785 million in the second quarter of 2020. The scales are tipping. The black market has been losing turf on multiple fronts – fewer customers, brain drain, crackdown on unlicensed brick-and-mortar. Meanwhile, legal cannabis has been gaining ground – Cannabis 2.0, innovation, legitimacy. While there have been growing pains, the quality is up and cost is down; that’s what counts for customers. Kelowna Spiritleaf franchise owner Tarek Shbib said the shift is a huge deal. He said the massive amount of products now available on the market is incomparable to before, and the level of innovation on the legal side is tough to compete with. “From nano-emulsion being used in drinks for much faster THC delivery into the body, to state of the art facilities using large scale C02 extraction to create potent and safe products that consumers can feel confident in using,” Shbib said. It’s especially true as more concentrates come out into the market, including shatter, live rosin, caviar, as well as badder/budder. “Products like these are not easy to produce safely, and so our customers appreciate that when they come to our stores, they know the product they go home with is safe and has been tested and made in a facility approved by Health Canada,” he said. “I think it shows that the legal market has matured to a point where consumers now consider it the norm when looking to purchase cannabis products.” Here’s another interesting sign of our changing times. Some of the most stubborn black market growers are being wooed to legitimacy with lower-cost micro-licences and a one-time opportunity to bring their own cannabis genetics to legality, no questions asked. B.C.-based legacy grower Travis Lane is in the process of going legal. He told virtual attendees of The Growing Summit that the future of cannabis is in the legal space. Still, regulatory requirements are a barrier. “The fact of the matter is, it has been onerous to transfer from something where we didn’t have a lot of rules and regulations,” he said. “We didn’t have to do paperwork. I say this a lot, but back in the day, we didn’t do reporting because that was called evidence. If someone found, ‘hey, here’s your feeding schedule for your illegal drugs,’ then that could come back to bite you in court.” Lane doesn’t shy away from his past, yet he still received his security clearance after six to eight weeks. “One of the messages I often put out there for fellow growers is that I support anybody who wants to stay in the illicit market, and I support anyone who wants to convert over. It’s been a long fight just to get to legalization and no one should be condemned for continuing to break the law in my opinion; no one should go to jail for a plant. They shouldn’t have their life ruined for it.” What do you say? a) the black market b) the legacy market c) the illicit market d) other https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-309544-1138-.htm Bongme
  20. hi Beware of this cannabis company with a Metro Vancouver address, says BBB Consumers allege that they made purchases of cannabis and cannabis products through the company's website and either received something they did not order or nothing at all. The Better Business Bureau for Metro Vancouver has issued a warning about a cannabis company that uses a New Westminster address that is actually a salon. In April, the BBB says it started receiving several consumer inquiries and complaints about Canadian Hemp Co., an online cannabis retailer with a New Westminster address listed on its website. The consumers alleged that they made purchases of cannabis and cannabis products through the company's website and either received something they did not order or nothing at all. "I placed an order on their website, but I still haven't received it, so it's clear it was never shipped,” a consumer from Chelmsford, Ont. wrote to the BBC.“They walked away with $440 of my money. Every time I try to contact them, they just ignore me." The BBB said it conducted an investigation that revealed the following: Canadian Hemp Co. does not have a license for businesses operating Marijuana Sales and Services from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. The address listed on their website belongs to another unrelated business. BBB visited the location on Aug. 19, 2020 and found that a salon was based there. The City of New Westminster does not have any records for a business license belonging to Canadian Hemp Co. The website has grammar and punctuation errors and also encourages Canadian consumers to make payments via bitcoin. “The company has not responded to BBB's queries about their location, business model and competency license and has since received an F rating,” said the BBB in a statement. “An alert has also been added to their Business Profile to warn potential consumers.” For eligible consumers planning to purchase cannabis, BBB is offering the following tips: Protect yourself and your money. Since cannabis is so highly regulated, it is in the best interest of both your health and legal rights as a consumer, to purchase from licensed companies, as they are held accountable for the products you receive. Check the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branchto see if the cannabis retailer you are considering to purchase from is on the list of licensed retailers in the province. Consumers can also check OrgBook BC or the province's licensing mapto find legally registered non-medical cannabis stores, as well as legal public and private cannabis retail stores. Licensed private retailers may sell cannabis and cannabis accessories, however, they are required to display a valid licence where it is visible to the public. Know the advertiser. While some of the best deals are only available online, many sketchy online retailers advertise great deals that fail to measure up to the promotional hype. Before completing a transaction, especially if the retailer is located outside of Canada, research the company's name, address and contact information to determine its reliability and trustworthiness on bbb.org. Proceed with caution if the company has an F rating or if you cannot find a BBB Business Profile for them. Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections. It is easier to dispute charges that you did not approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards, cryptocurrency and gift cards do not have the same protections as a credit card. If you tried to cancel an order or you are unable to get a refund within 15 days, contact your credit card provider with the details of the transaction and request a reversal of the charges. https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/bc-news/beware-cannabis-company-metro-vancouver-address-bbb-2674871 Bongme
  21. Hi Cannabis Canada: Legal pot spending in Q2 outpaced illicit market for first time, StatsCan says Legal pot spending beat black market for first time in Q2 in Canada It was a milestone day for the burgeoning cannabis industry in Canada as household spending on legal cannabis in the second quarter of 2020 outpaced the illicit market for the first time ever. Statistics Canada data released Friday shows that household spending on recreational cannabis reached $648 million in 2020’s Q2 while spending on medical pot came to $155 million. Comparatively, spending on illicit cannabis fell to a new low of $784 million. Taken together, the legal market now accounts for 50.5 per cent of all pot-related spending in Canada. George Smitherman, CEO at the Cannabis Council of Canada, told BNN Bloomberg the spending figures are even more impressive given the pricing pressure placed on dried flower products. Canopy Growth to open 10 new pot shops in Alberta amid crowded market Canopy Growth is westward bound, as the pot giant prepares to open 10 new cannabis stores in Alberta, the company announced on Friday. The Smiths Falls, Ont.-based company said 100 new jobs will be created from the outlets, which will operate under either the Tweed or Tokyo Smoke banners. Canopy will own and operate 50 cannabis stores across Canada once the new locations open. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Grant Caton, the company's Canada general manager, said he isn't worried about competition in what has been a crowded retail market. While Canopy's retail stores are expected to help better showcase the company's products, Caton doesn't expect price to be a big differentiator when it comes to competing with the other 500-odd retail stores in the province. Decibel Cannabis share rise 13% after reporting four-fold increase in Q2 revenue Calgary-based cannabis producer and retailer Decibel Cannabis said it lost $2.8 million in its second quarter, despite a four-fold increase in revenue. Decibel, which operates six pot stores across Canada, made $5.9 million in revenue in the quarter, up from $1.3 million a year earlier. Decibel attributed the loss to higher selling, general and administrative and other various operating costs. Decibel also said it harvested about 311 kilograms of cannabis in the quarter, a nearly-25-per-cent decline from last year as it introduced new unique and rare strains which take several months for yields to optimize. Shares of Decibel rose about 13 per cent on Friday following the company's results. Auxly shares hit all-time low after reporting $29.2M loss in Q2 Auxly Cannabis Group stock fell to an all-time low on Friday after the company said it lost $29.2 million in its second quarter as a result of higher staffing and operating costs. The company also took a $2.3-million goodwill write-down. Auxly said its Q2 revenue jumped 210 per cent to $8.6 million from a year earlier, but was down from the prior quarter. Auxly CEO Hugo Alves attributed the sales decline to COVID-19-related store closures as well as increased competition in the Cannabis 2.0 space. Desjardins analyst John Chu said in a report that despite the company’s weaker-than-expected adjusted EBITDA, its market share in the edibles and vapes categories remains "strong." He added that Auxly should see improving margins, especially once its Dosecann facility expansion is completed later this year. U.S. House to vote on cannabis decriminalization bill next month: Majority Whip The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a major cannabis legalization bill next month, Marijuana Moment reports. The cannabis news site reports that Majority Whip James Clyburn told Congressional Democrats to expect a vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act sometime next month. The MORE Act decriminalizes cannabis and lets states make a decision on whether they wish to legalize the drug for recreational use, a more palatable approach to legalization for some Republican legislators. The act will also help to expunge the records of those with prior marijuana convictions and impose a federal five-per-cent tax on sales, Marijuana Moment said. President Donald Trump has previously reportedly expressed support for some form of cannabis decriminalization. Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the ongoing growth of the Canadian recreational cannabis industry. Read more here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest news delivered directly to your inbox every day. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/cannabis-canada-legal-pot-spending-in-q2-outpaced-illicit-market-for-first-time-statscan-says-1.1486512 Bongme
  22. hi SpeakEasy is Five Weeks Away From Harvesting One of the Largest Single Outdoor Cannabis Crops in Canadian History VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 25, 2020 /CNW/ - SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd. (CSE: EASY) (Frankfurt: 39H) (the "Company" or "SpeakEasy") a holder of a federal licence to cultivate, process and sell cannabis under the Cannabis Act, is pleased to announce one of the largest single outdoor cannabis crop in Canadian history. Summer at Rock Creek, to date, has been warm and dry allowing the plants to enjoy an uninterrupted period of vigorous growth. With planting completed since mid-July, SpeakEasy has shifted its focus to preparations for harvest which is expected to begin in a few short weeks. Founder Marc Geen, states "I am happy to report that plants are looking very green and healthy. The team is busy preparing for the harvest this fall which we believe will be one of the largest single legal outdoor cannabis harvests in Canada ever, and the excitement around here is palpable." Summer 2020 in southern B.C. has lived up to its reputation so far, delivering long hot dry days with plenty of sunshine, a great combination for growing strong healthy plants. With our incredible genetics and perfect climate, SpeakEasy expects a bumper crop starting early this fall. Five Weeks Until Harvest Begins In approximately five weeks, the harvest will begin. Free from any ailments at this stage, the plants look beautiful and healthy. Bud production is in full swing and coming along on schedule. The use of three different cannabis varieties and three different planting styles will extend the duration of harvest, allowing us to have a manageable amount of daily harvest. Marc Geen states, "Bud development is progressing very well and the pungent aroma of spicy fruit is filling the air. For any farmer, the harvest season is always exciting, a year's worth of effort finally paying off and the worry of having a crop in the field finally coming in is a huge relief. The ten thousand things all having to happen and happen at the right time to have a successful crop is a daunting task looking at them from the beginning of the season but walking through the field, seeing the fruits of all our labour makes every long day, late night, struggle, frustration, bruise and blister all worth it. I wish everyone could experience a stroll through a blooming, sweet smelling cannabis field on a warm, late summers evening, it is truly magical." Outdoor Harvest Addresses a Changing Market With market conditions changing and growing as consumers become more discerning, the importance of SpeakEasy's outdoor crop becomes clearer. The bulk of the outdoor crop is perfect for creating concentrates and value-added products, a fast-growing segment in the Canadian market. "The high quality, cost effective input material we will have in a few short weeks is only possible because of our climate, genetics and knowledgeable growers that put it all together. We believe that this material will allow us to enter into any segment of the market with a price and quality advantage." stated Founder, Marc Geen. Cultivation Strategy is Positioned for Sales in a Mature Market The importance of securing sales contracts is paramount to any company in this sector and it is of high importance here at SpeakEasy. Quality, consistency, unique flower strains and products are what consumers are after in this ever more competitive industry and SpeakEasy has been addressing those demands from the beginning. As the industry matures, it becomes more clear why we have been on this path from day one, starting with a huge library of genetics, selecting growers with a track record of success, building facilities to those growers' specifications, bringing in extraction capabilities and experts to apply their trade and of course the massive outdoor operation. All of these things designed specifically to provide exactly what the consumer wants. Milestones SpeakEasy has several goals that we anticipate coming to fruition this year. Its first outdoor harvest, commencing in approximately 5 weeks, first sales of flower and concentrates, approval and licensing of our new buildings, commencement of additional indoor grow facilities bringing indoor production to over 1,000 kilograms per month, extraction and creation of concentrates and value added products, sales of those products and achieving our amended sales license. All of these things have been years in the making and all are expected to come to fruition later this year upon receiving the appropriate approvals and amendments from the relevant regulatory authorities. We here at SpeakEasy look forward to updating our shareholders on these and many other exiting developments that we are working on over the next few months. A Word From Our Founder Marc Geen states, "SpeakEasy has been extremely busy, diligently building this business for our shareholders for several years now, holding fast to our vision and goals with the belief that building a real business is the best way to serve our shareholders and the best path to success. SpeakEasy seems to be an enigma within this industry. It seems like our path should be a well beaten one, produce what the people want at a price they can afford, not a novel concept but a concept that seems very rare in the industry today. We have built the infrastructure, we have the genetics, we have the climate and the expertise to make it all perform. In short, we've taken a vision based on creating what people want and what they can pay for it, and built it, literally with our own hands, and now it's time for everyone to know about it. Thank you all for your undying, unwavering support of the SpeakEasy dream." About SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd. SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd. holds a cultivation, processing and sales licence issued by Health Canada under the Cannabis Act. SpeakEasy owns 290 acres of land in Rock Creek, British Columbia, and leverages five generations of farming experience in B.C. as well as its favorable location to grow and process high-quality cannabis products at low cost. SpeakEasy cultivates small batch, high quality craft cannabis at scale currently in its 10,000 square foot indoor facility and is approaching harvest of its 60-acre outdoor field. The Company's intention, upon receipt of an amendment to its current licence, is to include 53,000 square feet of additional indoor cultivation and process area. Total yearly production of cannabis flower and biomass is projected to be in excess of 80,000 kilograms per year. Forward Looking Statement This news release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements." Such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause SpeakEasy's actual results, performance or achievements, or developments in the industry to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "potential" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will," "would," "may," "could" or "should" occur. Forward-looking statements in this document include statements concerning SpeakEasy's expected harvest date, its expecatation of producing a bumper crop, its expectations concerning first sales of flower and concentrates, approval and licensing of new buildings and commencement of additional indoor grow facilities, its expectations concerning production volumes, its expectation that it will commence extraction and creation of concentrates and value added products, expectations regarding the sales of those products, expectations concerning obtaining an amended sales license and the timing thereof, and its intent to produce and sell high quality craft cannabis, and all other statements that are not statements of historical fact. Although SpeakEasy believes the forward-looking information contained in this news release is reasonable based on information available on the date hereof, by their nature forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. By their nature, these statements involve a variety of assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Examples of such assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, assumptions, risks and uncertainties associated with general economic conditions; COVID-19, adverse industry events; future legislative and regulatory developments involving cannabis; the Company's ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favorable terms; the cannabis and hemp industries and markets in Canada and generally; the demand for CBD distillate, cannabis and cannabis related products, the ability of SpeakEasy to implement its business strategies; competition; the ability of SpeakEasy to obtain and retain all applicable licences under the Cannabis Act and other assumptions, risks and uncertainties. THE FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS NEWS RELEASE REPRESENTS THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AS OF THE DATE OF THIS NEWS RELEASE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER SUCH DATE. READERS SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE IMPORTANCE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY UPON THIS INFORMATION AS OF ANY OTHER DATE. WHILE THE COMPANY MAY ELECT TO, IT DOES NOT UNDERTAKE TO UPDATE THIS INFORMATION AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME EXCEPT AS REQUIRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. SOURCE Speakeasy Cannabis Club Ltd. For further information: Malcolm Davidson, CEO, investor@speakeasygrowers.com, 1-604-218-9797 https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/speakeasy-is-five-weeks-away-from-harvesting-one-of-the-largest-single-outdoor-cannabis-crops-in-canadian-history-802891393.html Bongme
  23. Hi Legal cannabis sales are soaring in B.C. After selling about $4-million in legal weed in June 2019, the province sold more than $29-million worth of cannabis in June 2020 British Columbia has long been known as Canada’s cannabis capital, but following the lifting of prohibition, legal sales have been sluggish in Canada’s third most populous province. That appears to be changing, however, as the latest data from Statistics After selling about $4-million in legal weed in June 2019, the province sold more than $29-million worth of cannabis in June 2020. In fact, legal cannabis sales have been trending upwards all of 2020, with the province netting more than $20 million in sales every month since February. Price drops, cannabis 2.0 products — such as vapes, edibles, and beverages — and improved ordering options spurred on by the pandemic, such as online and telephone ordering and in-store pickup, have benefitted the sector across the country, but nowhere is this more apparent than in B.C. Cannabis sales nationwide have jumped from $91 million in June 2019, to more than $200 million in June 2020. B.C. has also benefitted from having more than 220 retail stores up and running, compared to just 130 in Ontario. Alberta continues to lead the nation, with more than 500 cannabis retail stores operating. The improved sales are still only a fraction of the market, however. According to StatsCan, legal cannabis accounts for only 46 per cent of Canada’s cannabis consumption. https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/legal-cannabis-sales-are-soaring-in-b-c Bongme
  24. hi How You Can Help Set Guidelines for Safe Cannabis Production Practices The demand for medical and recreational cannabis products is surging in Canada, as are the challenges with respect to the safety, security, and sustainability of buildings, premises, facilities, and growing operations handling cannabis. To help ease some of these concerns, the Standards Council of Canada is hosting an international workshop to develop guidelines in these areas. “Canada’s experience in addressing the unique considerations in cannabis production has led to a call by industry and regulators to ensure that best practices are leveraged to reduce health and safety risks to employees, emergency responders, and the general public,” says Chantal Guay, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada. “SCC is proud to partner with the advisory group UL to facilitate this international discussion and to develop guidance for the benefit of the global market.” “UL is pleased to work with SCC to support Canada and the global community in developing guidance for emerging industries such as legalized cannabis,” says Joseph Hosey, Vice President and General Manager for UL Canada. “To be successful in Canada and at the global level, companies need a replicable model to help them protect their employees, facilities, and consumers. We’ve spoken with key players who are building premium brands and the safety and security of their operations is paramount.” The workshop will kick off in November 2020 covering three distinct areas: safety of cannabis facilities, equipment, and oil extraction operations; secure handling of cannabis facilities, operations, and transportation; and good production practices for cannabis. The goal of the workshop is to publish guidelines to submit as seed documents for the creation of a Technical Committee on Cannabis. https://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/how-you-can-help-set-guidelines-for-safe-cannabis-production-practices/ Bongme
  25. hi Ladysmith’s first cannabis store now open to the public Jerry’s Cannabis opened May 11, 2020 becoming the first licensed cannabis store in Ladysmith Ladysmith’s first cannabis store, Jerry’s Cannabis, is now open for business. Owner, Steven Elkiw is happy to open up shop after spending nine months in the application process. “Now is when the real work starts. I got my official license on April 22. The day I got that, there was a million things to do.” After the license was approved, staff worked to put the finishing touches on the interior of the store. Staff also needed to be trained on point of sale systems, and regulations around the sale of retail cannabis. Elkiw then had to order all of his cannabis supply through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, (LDB). Jerry’s Cannabis won’t have every single cannabis product under the sun, but Elkiw said they’ll have more than enough supply to meet demand for both flower cannabis and edible products. “We’re going to have a mountain of chocolate to start. Certain things like gummies are incredibly popular so we’re going to have limited supply of those… We also have oils, tinctures you can take under the tongue, and capsules.” When Elkiw started the process nine months ago, there was no way to predict that he would be opening his business in the midst of a global pandemic. To maintain social distancing, only two customers can be in the store at one time. All high touch points will be sanitized after every transaction. On top of that, Elkiw said they will soon launch an online click and collect portal at jerryscannabis.ca where customers can place their orders ahead of time and pick them up in store. Jerry’s Cannabis is not permitted to do any home delivery sales. Doors open for the first time at 10:00 am, Thursday May 14. https://www.ladysmithchronicle.com/community/ladysmiths-first-cannabis-store-now-open-to-the-public/ Bongme