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  1. Hi ‘Complete idiot’ cop gets high after stealing chocolate cannabis during pot shop raid ‘Weed is harmless’, advocates will eagerly tell you, but it certainly wasn’t for a Canadian police officer who has found himself jobless and branded an “idiot” after eating a marijuana-laced chocolate bar during a pot-shop raid. Vittorio Dominelli grabbed several cannabis oil infused snacks after his team raided an illegal marijuana shop in Toronto in January. While on surveillance duty following the operation the 36-year-old and his partner talked about how they had never tried the drug while discussing Canada’s then-looming pot legalization. One thing led to another and before long the two cops had wolfed down eight squares of one of the bars. On Friday, a Canadian court heard that after about 20 minutes the drugs hit Dominelli “like a ton of bricks.” He was sweating heavily and believed he was going to pass out,” Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter said, The Globe and Mail reports. Things quickly spiraled out of control and the court heard that Dominelli pleaded with his partner to call for help because he thought he was going to die. When she refused he snatched the radio from her, ran up the street and breathlessly told the dispatcher to send an ambulance. According to CBC, Dominelli used the 10-33 police code, normally reserved for when an officer is in serious trouble. As his colleagues scrambled to get to the scene one of them slipped on ice and suffered a severe head injury, the court heard. The officer still hasn’t returned to work and has “significant difficulties with speech and vision.” Seven of the people who were charged in the raids had their charges dropped because of the evidence tampering. READ MORE: Canadian stoners go back to street dealers as government struggles to meet high demand Dominell’s lawyer, Peter Brauti, told the court his client is remorseful and that he offered to resign within weeks of the incident. I would say it was an act of utter stupidity, quite frankly. He has done everything he can to show remorse and make reparation for what he’s done," the lawyer said. Justice Mary Misener agreed with that analysis and branded Dominelli a “complete idiot” in the courtroom. She said that the evidence tampering was relatively minor but “From the point of view of public interest, the impact is profound. The conduct here you cannot describe as anything other than stupid. He was just a complete idiot." Dominelli resigned from the force this week as the case received widespread media coverage in Canada. https://www.rt.com/news/443641-canada-cop-cannabis-raid/ 11 comments Bongme
  2. Hi Lack of legal cannabis seeds fuels spike in black-market sales Some illegal cannabis seed vendors are reporting big spikes in sales since recreational cannabis was legalized last month, driven by the lack of legal seed supply outside the medical marijuana system. Among the legal changes that took place on Oct. 17, adults across Canada, with the exception of those in Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick, are now permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. The sales jump during a normally sluggish season – when seedlings are not planted outdoors – comes as several provinces confirm seeds are not yet being offered for sale by licensed vendors. In the absence of legal supply, business has been booming for unlicensed producers mopping up some of that demand. Adam, the owner of Ontario-based vendor Dr. Seeds, said gross sales in October – typically among the slowest sales periods of the year – were over $12,000, double his monthly average for the year. He began the website operation as a hobby business nearly four years ago. He then ramped it up about a year and a half ago and now sells a variety of strains in packages of five seeds for $50, or 10 seeds for $80. He declined to use his full name for publication due to the illegal nature of the business. Other vendors have also reported increased sales, including Vancouver Seed Bank owner, Rebecca Ambrose, who told the Vancouver Sun that October sales had at least tripled. Ms. Ambrose did not respond to inquiries from The Globe and Mail. The delay in the supply of legal seed inventory was not expected by some provincial distributors, who said they had put in requests for seeds from licensed producers so they would have stock available for sale when cannabis became legal. Others provinces decided to wait until there is greater clarity on inventories before moving. “We have not issued a purchase order for seeds at this time because there is currently not a source available,” said Beverley Ware, the communications adviser for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. (NSLC), in an e-mail. The NSLC handles cannabis sales in the province. The BC Liquor Stores; the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis agency; the Ontario Cannabis Store and the NSLC said they plan to add seeds to their store inventory as soon as they become available, but could not offer a timeline. The lack of seed supply affects private retailers as well, as every province that allows such retailers – except Saskatchewan – controls the distribution. This means private retailers must buy from the provincial government distributor and cannot source directly from federally-licensed producers. (Retailers in Saskatchewan do not have to purchase from the province.) Canopy Growth Corp., the world’s largest cannabis company by market capitalization and a key licensed supplier for provincial distributors, said its focus has been on supplying dried flower to provinces first. Just weeks after legalization, the legal cannabis market in Canada is already grappling with supply shortages. “It really is about launching seeds into the market at a time when people will be planting seeds,” said Jordan Sinclair, vice-president of communications at Canopy. “We are approaching winter in Canada. It just felt like it wasn’t the right time to put out something that people aren’t going to plant in their gardens. So for us, it will come closer to … late winter, early spring.” For suppliers like Canopy, the seed market also makes up a very small segment of the business. “If the medical market is any indication, we’re looking at a market that is less than 1 per cent. Probably less than one-tenth of 1 per cent of total sales,” said Mr. Sinclair. “There might be a nice opportunity for other businesses, but as we’ve observed it, at least in the medical market, it is quite a small segment.” Spring is also the busiest season for illegal seed vendors, who are hoping the current brisk business trend will continue into next year’s planting season, but it remains to be seen how the potential availability of legal seeds early next year will affect their sales. An accurate picture of the illegal seed market is difficult to assess, as operators remain secretive due to the illicit nature of their business. A search of archived pages of their websites show that some have taken down phone numbers or addresses from their websites in recent months, making them reachable only through online contact forms or generic customer support e-mails. Dr. Seeds owner Adam hopes to eventually legitimize his business, but said the licence he would need is not available yet. In the meantime, buyers eager to take advantage of the new laws may be unaware that possessing seeds from unlicensed vendors is still illegal in Canada, as is everything derived from those seeds. “In the Cannabis Act, seeds and seedlings are cannabis … so they are subject to all the restrictions on the sale, the propagation and the distribution of cannabis,” said Trina Fraser, a co-managing partner at Brazeau Seller Law, with a particular expertise in marijuana law. It is unclear what level of enforcement the public will see given the potentially complicated effort of proving a product’s provenance, but Ms. Fraser advises clients to keep cannabis products in their original packaging and carry proof of purchase. “If you grow plants [from illegally acquired sources] in your home, that’s still illegal, even if you’re doing no more than four plants,” said Fraser. “The mere fact that those seeds were not acquired from a legal source – you’re still committing an offence.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/cannabis/article-lack-of-legal-cannabis-seeds-fuels-spike-in-black-market-sales/ Bongme
  3. Hi Canada is nearly out of weed only two days after legalising cannabis Police have been called to deal with crowds as the new system is criticised for being poorly thought out Canada became the latest major country to roll out the legalisation of marijuana on Wednesday and it only took two days for the country to burn through its weed stocks. Eager smokers were being turned away from stores selling the drug in some major cities after a vast amount of business worth millions of dollars was processed, the number of orders reaching 38,000 in Ontario province and 42,000 in Quebec. "This volume of orders far exceeds the forecasts," said the Quebec government pot retailer on the shortages. "[It was] difficult to anticipate the volume of sales, given the lack of data from a sector that 48 hours ago was still illegal." Many had turned out to buy weed despite not being frequent users of the drug, wanting to be part of an iconic day in the nation's drug laws. Alexandre waited for seven hours in Montreal on Wednesday before being turned away due to stock shortages, with police also being called to disperse the peaceful crowd. “It was hell, it was cold,” he admitted. “But we had fun anyway, talking with people in the crowd and sharing joints. “Yesterday was the day that everyone was waiting for but I think that little by little the queue will decrease." The vast majority appear to have had fewer issues in making use of this new decriminalisation, even in the face of some eye-watering prices. In the province of Saskatchewan, a gram costs just over £11 ($18.99) per gram. And not everyone is fully in tune with how the law is working, with Winnipeg Police posting on Twitter a ticket handed out to a driver smoking weed while driving - which is still illegal - a mere hour after the legislation came into effect. https://www.joe.co.uk/news/canada-weed-cannabis-204839 Bongme
  4. hi When will Big Tobacco enter the Canadian cannabis market? Liquor companies have already started positioning themselves in the Canadian cannabis sector, will Big Tobacco be the next one to join it? Tobacco companies will be ‘damned if they miss out’ on the colossal profits that the cannabis industry is promising to start making very soon. A study published by the health-policy journal Milbank Quarterly says that “tobacco companies have been interested in marijuana and marijuana legalization as both a potential and a rival product ever since the 1970’s”. Canopy Growth now has a market cap of $11.55 billion, after a significant investment on the side of Constellation Brands, the liquor company which is behind the like of Corona and Svedska Vodka. Two Canadian marijuana producers have already sold a controlling stake in their companies to a midsized US tobacco leaf trader— Alliance One. Alliance One International bought a 75% equity position in Canada’s Island Garden and an 80% stake in Goldleaf Pharm this January. Many thought that this marked the start of tobacco companies entering the cannabis market, however, they would have been wrong as none of the Big Tobacco companies have yet entered the market. Big Tobacco companies are still not in the cannabis sector It is important to make the distinction between Big Tobacco companies and midsized leaf merchants such as Alliance One International, which holds a different, but specific position in the US tobacco supply chain. Alliance One’s quarterly report says that the company had a revenue of $477.8 million US, while Big Tobacco companies such as Phillip Morris (2016 revenue: $75 billion) make much more in comparison. The prior has a much different role in the US tobacco sector, which just like in Canada is currently seeing a decline in the sales of tobacco. In 2017, about 249 billion cigarettes were sold in the United States—a 3.5% decrease from the 258 billion sold in 2016. Of those nearly 250 billion cigarettes, 4 companies made 92% of the sales, and those companies are Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American Inc., ITG Brands, and Liggett. There are strong reasons why the tobacco companies haven’t yet taken a chunk of the cannabis market in Canada for themselves. According to Shane MacGuill, head of tobacco research at Euromonitor International, Big Tobacco companies are still not ready to fully commit to cannabis as a legitimate business. MacGuill believes that the fact the legalization isn’t going to happen simultaneously worldwide is a big problem for the brand owners, and also one of the reasons why they aren’t getting involved with the Canadian market. The uncertainty about what’s going to happen in other countries is too much of a risk for such a large investment, according to MacGuill. He also added that he believes the investors are still waiting on the attitudes towards cannabis to change for the better. So, it would appear that Big Tobacco still hasn’t entered Canada’s cannabis market, and possibly won’t be doing so in the next few years. New industry means new competitors? It is still unclear whether the cannabis industry will be complementary to the alcohol and tobacco industries, or perhaps their fiercest competitor which will draw away customers from their products. On one hand, Canadian beer producers have already complained that the recreational marijuana market will cut into its profits and appealed to the government to raise the cannabis tax. On the other hand, there is scientific proof that cannabis use is associated with increased initiation of, persistence of, and relapse to cigarette smoking. There is definitely interest on the side of the investors that are currently working in big tobacco and liquor companies. A recent report by Ernst and Young surveyed senior executives and board members with licensed-cannabis producers across Canada. This report found out that these senior executives and board members believe that 75% of the “big players” will eventually move into the cannabis market. However, not everyone is interested in what these big companies and big producers have to offer. Craft cannabis growers who are tending to their buds in a more organic way, which they see as more fitting to the medical users, have been warning for a long time that the cannabis industry will be under attack by the likes of tobacco and alcohol companies. Sarah Campbell, director of the Craft Cannabis Association of B.C, says that the arrival of tobacco comapnies will not be a hard hit for B.C. growers. The reason why so many cannabis users disassociate cannabis use from smoking cigarettes is that of the difference in the products. While cigarettes are packed and pre-made in the factory, cannabis flower is ground and rolled on the spot. Also, the way that it is grown, treated and harvested is also hugely important. Indeed, cannabis users are always looking for a new experience, fun colors and exquisite taste and aroma coming from the bud, something that the mass-produced weed coming from the likes of Canopy Growth and other big brands will most likely never achieve unless they drastically change their growing process. This is one of the biggest reasons why the craft-growing scene has been working out so well in British Columbia. The growers there take extreme care of their plants and products. There is no saying how these industries will behave in Canada, however, one thing is certain — Big Tobacco is yet to make it’s first big move on the cannabis market, and it most likely won’t come before the public opinion changes. https://greencamp.com/big-tobacco-canadian-cannabis-market/ Bongme
  5. Hi Universities ready to roll with cannabis legalization The legalization of cannabis is around the corner and, as school gets underway in the coming weeks, New Brunswick universities say they're prepared to roll with it. Scott Duguay, associate vice-president of enrolment management at St. Thomas University, said he's unsure what type of reaction to expect from students when recreational cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17, but he doesn't expect things to go up in a blaze of smoke. He said the university's goal is to make sure students understand the effects of cannabis use and the rules and regulations around it. "We've never gone through this before," Duguay told Information Morning Fredericton. "We can't predict how our students or the general population will react to cannabis being legal. "But the idea about making sure that students are educated about the rules and regulations, the law, is important for us and also the impacts of indulging in cannabis will have on their studies." Duguay said that education starts on day one. "Welcome Week is already looking a little different," he said. "We usually do presentations on alcohol harms, for example. We now have slides in that presentation on the whole cannabis idea. "So the idea of what are the legislations around that, so we can educate our student prior to Oct. 17." Adjusting rules Duguay said there will be no smoking pot in residence. Students also will not be allowed to grow it in residence, although they are allowed to possess it. Edibles, which will not be legal immediately, won't be banned from residence, he said. "This is a substance that we can't pretend was completely unavailable in the past, so how people will react to it, if they decide to try it, if they haven't tried it before is one thing," Duguay said. "But we also have plenty of rules and regulations in place that will limit exposure." He cited the smoking policy at St. Thomas, which prohibits smoking on campus or in residence. In keeping with the New Brunswick-wide Cannabis Control Act, which prohibits smoking cannabis in public places, students will not be allowed to smoke on campus property. Duguay said if a student is caught high in class at St. Thomas, it will be reported to student services or security. A 'harms reduction educator' The University of New Brunswick and Mount Allison University have adopted a similar stance on the use of cannabis on their campuses as well. UNB told students and staff in a letter that smoking and growing cannabis on campus will be prohibited. "Resources will be made available in the coming months to educate and inform our community," the email said. The email also said non-smoked cannabis products may be consumed by people who are over 19 and "impairment or intoxication from adult-use cannabis in the workplace of the academic setting will be addressed through our internal policies and procedures." Mount Allison said on its website that its harms reduction strategy and programming will be expanded to include cannabis as well. Students will not be allowed to smoke cannabis on campus and growing cannabis in residence at Mount Allison is also prohibited. Mount Allison said it is hiring a harms reduction educator to work with the campus community. St. Thomas said it is still looking to hire someone to fill the research chair in cannabis that was created in May 2017. The chair would focus on researching policy development, socio-economic and health-related issues related to cannabis use. UNB has also developed a similar chair position, focusing on pharmacological sciences. Still learning With the legalization of cannabis on the horizon, Duguay said education will be the biggest challenge. "I think there's a learning for us as well in this. I think we'll lean heavily on staff and faculty to recognize the misuse of cannabis. "For example, in classrooms, you're not allowed to sit there and have a beer while participating in class and we wouldn't expect people to have edibles or smoke cannabis in class either. "I think new norms will be set." https://ca.news.yahoo.com/universities-ready-roll-cannabis-legalization-110000100.html Bongme
  6. hi Canadian Cannabis Act Passes Second Reading in Senate The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) passed second reading in the Senate today by a vote of 44-29, paving the way for further study and third and final reading in June. In the days and hours before the vote, there was growing concern the bill would be voted down, forcing the Liberal government to restart the legislative process in the House of Commons — which would have thrown a wrench in the Trudeau government’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis by this summer. The Conservative senators, who generally vote in lockstep on legislation, were vocal in their opposition to the bill. Senator Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu went as far as calling the Cannabis Act “a piece of shit.” He said it wouldn’t protect people or “exclude organized crime.” He said the bill had been written “very badly” and added that it would be “a very good exercise” to rewrite it. Other Conservative senators dismissed the bill too, saying it would endanger young people, increase smoking rates, make policing difficult and do little to curb sales of cannabis on the black market. To prevent the bill from being defeated, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Independent and Liberal senators who were on the road to return for the vote. In the end, the measure passed handily. Important Milestone The bill’s passage was applauded by the Cannabis Canada Association. “We’re thrilled that the Senate has chosen the path of responsibility and regulation as opposed to the stigma and prohibition of past decades,” said acting executive director Allan Rewak. “Today represents another important milestone for our industry, for Canada, and for good public policy. “Prohibition has failed. Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis consumption in the world, and a significant number of our citizens are consuming products grown illegally, without any controls or oversight,” added Neil Closner, chairman of the Cannabis Canada Board. “Today’s vote is one step closer toward the creation of a regulated adult consumer use system that keeps cannabis away from kids and profits away from organized crime.” “We were confident the bill would pass second reading,” Andrew Wnek, CEO of Beleave, an Ontario-based licensed cannabis producer, told Leafly. “We feel that both the medical use of cannabis and the legalization of [recreational] cannabis is inevitable for Canada — and the world.” “Today is another milestone in Canada’s march towards pioneering a new approach to the sensible regulation of cannabis,” John Fowler, CEO of Supreme Cannabis, another Ontario producer, told Leafly. “Our government has shown a commitment not only to challenging traditional norms of drug regulation, but also to consult broadly with Canadian stakeholders.” “Canadians have made their desire to end prohibition clear, and today’s decision reflects that sentiment.,” Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Ontario-based producer Cronos, told Leafly. “Canada will continue to set the international gold standard for responsible cannabis regulation.” https://www.leafly.com/news/canada/canadian-cannabis-act-passes-second-reading-in-senate Bongme
  7. hi Rock legend and Kiss star Gene Simmons joins Invictus MD Strategies as it opens trade in Toron Gene Simmons was centre stage - this time on the trading floor. Cannabis company Invictus MD Strategies (CVE:GENE) had a rock legend on hand, when it opened trading at the TSX Venture Exchange. Gene Simmons, founder and co- lead singer of rock band Kiss, who is partnering with the firm to help grow the business, was centre stage again - this time on the trading floor. As chief evengelist officer, the 68-year -old will focus on helping the company forge its public awareness strategy as the Canadian pot industry blossoms and full legalisation is expected. He will attend its AGM, investor meetings, and trade shows, and will serve as media spokesperson. His appearance, appropriately, coincided with the company changing its share ticker from IMH to GENE. "As I learned more about the changing sentiment of the public and investors, I was enthusiastic to invest in the Cannabis space," said Simmons. "I did my due diligence with the available information on the top 10 Licensed Cannabis Producers in Canada, including a number of face-to-face interviews. "They have a leadership that has the potential to change that and a solid plan for growth." Rapidly growing Invictus, founded in 2014, operates two cannabis production sites under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) in Canada and has over 95,000 sq ft of cannabis production capacity at the licensed production sites The group expects to have 520,000 square feet of cannabis production capacity by the end of 2019. "With our footprint in Ontario and Alberta on track for full production over the next 12 months, and poised to help supply Canada's dynamic consumer marketplace with a wide variety of strains and extracts," said chairman and chief executive Dan Kriznic. http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/193579/rock-legend-and-kiss-star-gene-simmons-joins-invictus-md-strategies-as-it-opens-trade-in-toronto-193579.html Bongme
  8. Hi Big Pharma's first foray into cannabis arrives with Sandoz-Tilray deal Canadian subsidiary of Novartis, the world's fourth largest pharma company, signs partnership to sell non-combustible marijuana products TORONTO — Sandoz Canada Inc. is partnering with B.C. cannabis company Tilray to develop and distribute medical marijuana products, signalling the first deal between a major pharmaceutical company and a Canadian cannabis producer. The companies announced Sunday that they’ve signed a binding letter of intent to form a “strategic partnership.” This will see co-branded products, joint research and development, and Sandoz Canada’s sales team helping to get non-smokable Tilray products into pharmacies and hospitals across the country, pending regulatory approval. Sandoz Canada is a branch of Sandoz International GmbH, the generics-focused wing of Novartis International AG, the fourth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenue. Nanaimo, B.C.-based Tilray, a private company owned by Seattle cannabis investment firm Privateer Holdings, has considerable experience in the regulated cannabis space. It was the 10th company to secure an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations licence from Health Canada, back in 2014, and the first company to legally ship medical cannabis into the European Union. The financial details of the deal have not been released, although a Tilray spokesperson confirmed Sandoz has not taken a financial stake in Tilray. Nonetheless, the partnership marks a significant development in the medical marijuana market, suggesting that global pharmaceutical players are taking seriously the opportunities and disruptive potential of cannabis-based medicine. “We are thrilled to form a strategic alliance with Tilray to strengthen our portfolio,” said Michel Robidoux, president and general manager of Sandoz Canada, in a written statement. “We are committed to making every reasonable effort to respond to patients’ medical needs by increasing the number of high-quality, adequately dosed non-smokable, non-combustible medical cannabis products at the disposal of doctors.” For Tilray, the partnership confers a stamp of legitimacy at time when doctors are still reticent to prescribe marijuana and the role of pharmacies in Canada’s medical marijuana distribution scheme remains up in the air. “To have the Sandoz logo co-branded on some of our products will help establish trust with patients and pharmacists and physicians who are used to seeing that Sandoz brand on products that they consume and trust,” said Tilray chief executive Brendan Kennedy. The deal focuses on non-combustible products, which, to begin with in 2018, will include oils and gel caps. Longer term, products could include such items as sprays, creams and patches, if they become legal. “They know how to manufacture all different form factors that we are asked about regularly. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a patch or a gel cap, (Sandoz) is a company that produces, and has access to manufacturers that know how to manufacture, every different form factor of medicine,” said Kennedy. How the co-branded products will actually get to patients remains to be seen. Currently, all legal medical marijuana has to be shipped from licensed producers to patients, although some pharmacies are pushing to have a stake in that process, including in-store sales. Shoppers Drug Mart, for example, has applied for an ACMPR license, and has signed supply deals with four cannabis producers, including Tilray. Kennedy, for his part, said he’s confident that Canadian pharmacies will be allowed to sell Tilray products within a year. In-store distribution, however, is far from a sure thing, given disagreement between different provincial colleges of pharmacists. Some colleges of pharmacists, as in B.C. and Quebec, have argued for over-the-counter distribution of cannabis. But others, as in Alberta, have argued that pharmacies should not sell cannabis products until they receive Drug Identification Numbers following more robust scientific testing. Drug reps from powerful traditional pharmaceutical companies could start to shift the conversation in the medical community. Perhaps more importantly, partnerships like the one between Tilray and Sandoz Canada could mean more money for medical research. Tilray is already involved in six clinical trials, including one at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto looking at pediatric epilepsy and one at the University of British Columbia looking at post traumatic stress disorder, said Kennedy. “If you look at the top conditions and symptoms from the Tilray patient survey we do on an annual basis, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety top the list. But epilepsy, MS, HIV and cancer are also big patient populations,” said Kennedy. “The range of the conditions they’re researching is a little bit mind boggling.” http://ottawacitizen.com/cannabis/big-pharmas-first-foray-into-cannabis-arrives-with-sandoz-tilray-deal/wcm/08583c09-1091-495f-8513-4f69601fc3d8 Bongme
  9. hi Canada’s medical cannabis cultivation applications reach new highs, nearing 500 The number of applicants to cultivate medical cannabis in Canada has grown to a record number. But the number of “fully licensed” companies – those permitted to cultivate and sell dried cannabis, as well as produce and sell cannabis oils – remains very low. As of Feb. 1, the number of cultivation applicants in the pipeline stood at 476, according to data provided to Marijuana Business Daily by Health Canada, an increase from 463 last November. The increase in applications comes as marijuana companies prepare for the planned rollout of the nation’s recreational cannabis market later this summer. Most applicants are based in Ontario (167), followed by British Columbia (153), Alberta (58) and Quebec (50). While the number of applicants for cultivation and licensed producers have reached new highs, Russell Stanley, an analyst with Echelon Wealth Partners in Toronto, notes that currently only 21 production sites have sales licenses. “Mid- to long-term, between the number of cultivation licenses awarded and the extent to which those companies have fully financed their expansion plans, it will be very difficult for straight cultivation businesses to compete,” he said. Deepak Anand, vice president of government relations for Vancouver, British Columbia-based consultancy Cannabis Compliance, said: “In order to meet the demand post-legalization coming into force, it will be important to note how many LP’s hold sales licenses on day one on legalization.” Since November, four sales licenses have been issued for dried medical cannabis and two for oil. https://mjbizdaily.com/canadas-mmj-cultivation-applications-reach-new-highs-nearing-500/ Bongme
  10. Hi First Nations demanding a cut of cannabis tax after pot legalization 148-page pot bill silent on role Indigenous communities will play under proposed legal framework A leading voice on First Nations finances wants the federal government to surrender taxation powers over cannabis to band councils, arguing Indigenous peoples should get a cut of the billions of dollars in revenue expected from legalization. Manny Jules, chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission, is urging senators to amend Bill C-45, the government's pot bill, to hand taxing authority to First Nations governments so they can impose their own levy on cannabis manufactured and sold on reserves. The federal Liberal government reached a deal with the provinces to divide up the excise duty collected on the sale of cannabis — a 75-25 split in favour of the provinces, owing to the costs they will incur with legal pot. First Nations say their governments also will face new challenges from legal cannabis, but they stand to gain nothing from Ottawa's plan. Under Jules' proposal, Ottawa and the provinces would cede ground to First Nations to collect taxes and provide some much-needed revenue to their cash-strapped communities. The funds could be used to develop cannabis-related laws and regulations on reserve, fund campaigns to educate young people about the dangers of the drug or bolster First Nations police forces, Jules said. Jules said that despite the prime minister's talk of a new nation-to-nation approach with Indigenous peoples, very little consultation on revenue-sharing happened before the legislation was rolled out, leaving a legal "dog's breakfast" on reserves across the country. "I think that people are very disappointed that we weren't considered early on," said Jules, the former chief of a band near Kamloops, B.C. "The challenges [First Nations] face are even larger than those of the provincial governments." Through an "orderly approach," First Nations communities could avoid some of the pitfalls they've faced with the sale of tobacco, Jules told the Senate Aboriginal peoples committee. Many "grey marketeers" have used First Nations territory to process, manufacture and sell tobacco products tax-free, he said, which has led to the loss of billions of dollars in revenue for First Nations governments. 'You're going to have problems' "Where there's no law you're going to have problems," he said. "If the legislation proceeds as-is ... there are going to be immediate problems within our communities just over simple things, like the regulatory regimes on how cannabis retailers would operate on a reserve." Conservative Nunavut Sen. Dennis Patterson, currently on a cross-territorial tour soliciting feedback from Inuit on the push to legalize cannabis, said most members of the Senate's Aboriginal peoples committee are looking at Jules' proposal with "enthusiasm." "The general flavour is positive," he said in a phone interview with CBC News from Resolute Bay, Nunavut. "I can't speak for the committee as a whole, but I'm certainly going to be encouraging them [to make an amendment to the bill]. "I'm frankly amazed that a government committed to developing a new nation-to-nation relationship, and a new fiscal relationship specifically, with Indigenous peoples overlooked this obvious opportunity to reach out to First Nations who want to opt in." When asked about allegations of insufficient consultation, a Finance Canada spokesman said all stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, were invited to submit feedback on the proposed cannabis excise duty framework last fall. While they're not specific to the cannabis duty, the government has been in discussions about tax revenues more generally with the Assembly of First Nations and self-governing Indigenous communities, the spokesman said. "The government is considering the perspectives heard to date and is committed to ensuring that its policies in respect of tax arrangements with Indigenous governments are consistent with the principles underlying reconciliation and a renewed fiscal relationship," the spokesman said. Beyond the tax issue, the 148-page Bill C-45 is silent on the role Indigenous communities will play under the new legal framework. In fact, the word "Aboriginal" is mentioned only once in the "definitions" section of the bill. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor have said bureaucrats will consult with Indigenous communities when drafting regulations after the bill is passed — a promise that offers little comfort as legalization fast approaches. Independent Manitoba Sen. Mary Jane McCallum said she met with two grand chiefs in her home province recently and they're completely in the dark about how the legislation will apply to First Nations governments. "So why are we proposing to just jump into this mess and say, 'Okay, we can handle it when the time comes?'" she said. "You know what? We're already in crisis here, and that's what I'm concerned about." 'We're not ready for it' The Parliamentary Budget Officer has estimated the annual national retail market for recreational pot will be worth $5.5 to $5.8 billion. Independent Nova Scotia Sen. Dan Christmas — the first Mi'kmaw member of the Senate and a frequent critic of the "destructive" Indian Act — said the federal government should back any plan that allows "communities to generate their own revenue to meet their own needs." "It seems we're at a point in time where we're at a fork in the road here," he said. "One road that has been taken in the past is to simply ignore First Nations' revenue-generating abilities and their inherent jurisdiction to raise their own funds and just go down the path of the federal government providing endless transfers to First Nations or Indigenous organizations." Randall Phillips, chief of Oneida Nation of the Thames, near London, Ont., said many First Nations want to take the road that gives them a "slice of the pie." Phillips said First Nations want in on the cannabis market — not only to collect tax to pay for social services, but also to foster business development and provide jobs to their people. He said First Nations do not want to respond haphazardly to a massive legislative change such as the legalization of pot. "We're not ready for it," he said. "Unfortunately, this is just another example of us reacting instead of actually thinking it out." http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/first-nations-cannabis-excise-tax-1.4564121 Bongme
  11. Hi Audio On Link... Application process opens for Alberta cannabis store licences Albertans interested in selling cannabis when it is legalized later this year can now apply for a licence. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) started accepting applications Tuesday for cannabis store licences and a spokesperson said business was steady right out of the gate. “It’s about what we expected to be seeing.” Hynes-Dawson reminded applicants that there’s no deadline to get applications in and no cap on the number of licences that will be handed out so people shouldn’t feel rushed to get their forms in. https://globalnews.ca/news/4065874/alberta-cannabis-store-licences-application-aglc/ Audio On link Bongme
  12. Hi O Cannabis! New post-secondary courses for weed industry jobs Puff, puff, pass will take on a new meaning when recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada later this year. And not just in the way you might think. Some Canadian colleges and universities are preparing people for the thousands of potential new jobs expected to be created as the country’s booming weed industry — valued at $23 billion by accounting firm Deloitte — transitions from the black market to a legal one with an estimated 5 million existing customers across the country. “The growth will be exponential,” said Debbie Johnston, dean of the school of continuing education at Durham College in Oshawa. “It’s just like when prohibition was ended. This is an utterly unique opportunity in the market. These don’t come along very often.” As of last November, Durham College started offering a monthly weekend course (moving to twice monthly in April due to demand) called Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals, that can accommodate 30 students in the classroom and 30 remotely. (Cost: $399.95 plus tax for two seven-hour days.) “It gives them a background in the cannabis industry,” said Johnston. “We had an unbelievable range of people take the course. Everything from business people, investors, lots of health-care providers, holistic practitioners. We had a pharmacist from the U.S. We got a farmer. We got a chef. Every course has been totally booked. And we anticipate that’s going to continue because there’s a huge interest and there’s lots of job opportunities out there.” In addition to growing and selling marijuana, hemp and seeds, (Ontario plans to open 150 government-run pot shops), there will be grass-related work in government, accounting, law, PR, packaging, transportation, security, and tourism. Niagara College, meanwhile, at its Niagara-on-the-like campus is offering a year-long, two-semester Commercial Cannabis Production course this fall for the first time at a cost of $5,000 per semester (and eligible for the Ontario Students Assistance Program or OSAP). The first class will hold 24 students with an undergrad degree or diploma but demand is such that there will likely be additional classes accomodating 24 more students in each of the winter and spring semesters. “We’ve got substantial interest in the program,” said Alan Unwin, associate dean for the school of environmental and horticultural studies at Niagara College. “Last time I checked, we were closing in on 300 applicants for 24 openings with students understanding there’s a real possible career opportunity. The program was approved by the ministry of advanced education and development over the summer so in that regard it is the first academic program to receive that credential and that recognition in Canada. We were the first. I don’t think we’ll be the last.” The Niagara College course is geared towards its graduates working “within a licensed production facility in more senior level positions with a substantial focus of the curriculum on cultivation of the crop and then as well understanding the legal framework,” said Unwin. “We are hearing already from those licensed producers (of medicinal marijuana) that they’re really struggling to find highly-trained, well-skilled individuals to work in their facilities. That obviously will reasonably grow when recreational rules come into play.” One of Canada’s leading cannabis activists, Jodie Emery, who divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver with husband Marc Emery, applauds the emergence of post-secondary courses in Canada to help people find jobs in the nascent pot industry. “These (colleges) and universities that are offering courses, they’re getting ahead of the trend,” said Emery. “They’re doing what Gretzky said, they’re going where the puck is going. You know that in the future that (pot) is going to be around. But it’s still bold to do that because there’s a lot of opposition to pot still.” Emery also supports those working in the existing black market keeping their jobs once recreational pot becomes legal. “There’s this strange purgatory where everyone who’s been involved in pot until now has been doing it illegally,” said Emery. “If the (government) prohibit people with criminal records, those people already in the industry will still remain in the industry, they’re just going to be criminalized. And so we’re losing their expertise, we’re losing their ability to help the market grow, and excluding them prevents us from taxing and regulating their jobs like anyone else should be.” http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/o-cannibas-new-post-secondary-courses-for-weed-industry-jobs/wcm/b9c91a5b-efc4-49eb-ab4d-c28f2b11b589 Bongme
  13. Cannabis does more harm than good: Health officials warn doctors against prescribing the drug for ailments as the effects outweigh the minor benefits New medical guidelines have been issued in Canada, where cannabis is legal They warn the effects of the drug outweigh minor benefits for most conditions And for some, it states it most often is only marginally better than a placebo The new document will be distributed to 30,000 doctors in Canada Cannabis does more harm than good as a medical treatment, health officials have warned. New medical guidelines issued in Canada, where cannabis has been legal for medicinal use since 2001, warns that the effects of the drug outweigh any minor benefits for the vast majority of conditions. And in the few conditions where it can be helpful - for example as pain relief for multiple sclerosis - the impact is only marginally better than placebo. The document, published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, warns doctors to 'take a sober second thought' before prescribing the drug. New medical guidelines issued in Canada, where cannabis has been legal for medicinal use since 2001, warns that the effects of the drug outweigh any minor benefits for the vast majority of conditions New medical guidelines issued in Canada, where cannabis has been legal for medicinal use since 2001, warns that the effects of the drug outweigh any minor benefits for the vast majority of conditions Professor Mike Allan of the University of Alberta, who led the team writing the guidelines, said: 'While enthusiasm for medical marijuana is very strong among some people, good-quality research has not caught up.' The document, which will be distributed to 30,000 doctors in Canada, will come as a major blow to those seeking the legalisation of cannabis for medical use in Britain. Campaigners including MPs, peers and industrial leaders wants the Government to allow companies to be allowed to import or grow the drug for medical use. The movement – notably backed by former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and billionaire businessman George Soros – insist the current ban is irrational. But the Canadian guidance, for which all existing clinical evidence about medical cannabis was reviewed, found little evidence that cannabis could help many patients at all. The only robust evidence for its use was as pain relief for severe conditions such as cancer, nerve pain, and multiple sclerosis. For nerve pain, for example, just 39 per cent of patients saw a moderate improvement in pain while using medical cannabis - a tiny improvement on the 30 per cent who used a dummy placebo drug. For patients with muscle spasticity - a common symptom of MS or spinal cord injuries - cannabis saw a 35 per cent improvement in pain, compared to 25 per cent on placebo. DOES CANNABIS INCREASE THE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS? Going from being an occasional marijuana user to indulging every day increases the risk of psychosis by up to 159 percent, research revealed in July 2017. Marijuana is thought to cause psychosis-like experiences by increasing a user's risk of depression, a study found. The two mental health conditions have previously been linked. Frequently abusing the substance also significantly reduces a user's ability to resist socially unacceptable behavior when provoked, the research adds. Study author Josiane Bourque from the University of Montreal, said: 'Our findings confirm that becoming a more regular marijuana user during adolescence is, indeed, associated with a risk of psychotic symptoms. '[Psychosis symptoms] may be infrequent and thus not problematic for the adolescent, when these experiences are reported continuously, year after year, then there's an increased risk of a first psychotic episode or another psychiatric condition.' The researchers, from the University of Montreal, analyzed around 4,000 13-year-olds from 31 high schools in the surrounding area. Every year for four years, the study's participants completed questionnaires about any substance abuse and psychotic experiences. Psychotic symptoms included perceptual aberration - for example feeling that something external is part of their body - and thinking they have been unjustly badly treated. The participants also completed cognitive tasks that allowed the researchers to assess their IQ, memory and stimuli response. The best impact was for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Half of patients found medical cannabinoids helped their nausea and vomiting, compared to 13 per cent on placebo. Professor Allan said: 'Medical cannabinoids should normally only be considered in the small handful of conditions with adequate evidence and only after a patient has tried of number of standard therapies. 'Given the inconsistent nature of medical marijuana dosing and possible risks of smoking, we also recommend that pharmaceutical cannabinoids be tried first before smoked medical marijuana.' For other conditions - such as depression or anxiety - the researchers found very little evidence cannabis would help. Professor Allan said: 'For example, there are no studies for the treatment of depression. 'For anxiety, there is one study of 24 patients with social anxiety in which half received a single dose of cannabis derivative and scored their anxiety doing a simulated presentation. 'This is hardly adequate to determine if lifelong treatment of conditions like general anxiety disorders is reasonable.' About 11 per cent of patients were not able to tolerate medical cannabinoids at all, compared to 3 per cent of those taking placebo. Half suffered said they felt sedated, a third felt dizzy and one in 11 felt confused. The document said: 'We recommend against use of medical cannabinoids for most medical conditions owing to lack of evidence of benefit and known harms.' Professor Allan said it would probably be poorly received due to the power of the cannabis campaign lobby. 'This guideline may be unsatisfactory for some, particularly those with polarized views regarding medical cannabinoids,' he said. David Raynes of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, which opposes relaxation of the UK's drug laws, said last night: 'Cannabis in my view is being deliberately oversold as a medication, deliberately so by people whose primary objective is drug legalisation. 'Nations should be cautious and should not be seduced by extravagant and unscientific claims by noisy lobbyists.' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5396693/Cannabis-does-harm-good-health-officials-warn.html
  14. hi Canada sold $1.2B of pot outside the country, says Statistics Canada OTTAWA — A new, provisional estimate by Statistics Canada suggests $1.2 billion worth of cannabis produced in Canada last year was illegally sold outside the country. The federal agency is releasing fresh cannabis-related figures as it tries to assess the magnitude of the black market in preparation for Ottawa's expected plan to legalize recreational weed later this year. The report says about 20 per cent of the pot produced in Canada last year was sold outside the country. It says the vast majority of cannabis consumed in Canada is grown in the country — to the point that domestic production is comparable to the domestic production of tobacco, beer and wine combined. The agency says the consumption of domestically produced cannabis last year was $5.4 billion, while Canadians bought about $300 million worth of pot from abroad. The report warns that the numbers are provisional and subject to potentially large revisions because they rely heavily on assumptions. They are part of the agency's efforts to track the impacts of Canada's transition away from the black market and help inform governments as they make social and economic policy decisions related to marijuana. The agency is also launching an experimental, voluntary crowd-sourcing platform designed to gather anonymous consumption data from the public, such as usage habits and prices paid. It has also launched an online portal called the Cannabis Stats Hub, which enables the public to explore some of the data. The new tools arrive as Ottawa prepares to legalize recreational pot as early as July. The agency's latest report focuses on pot's economic significance. The report contained a new estimate suggesting Canadians spent a total of $5.7 billion on 770 metric tonnes of medical and non-medical cannabis last year. Nearly 94 per cent of cannabis spending in 2017 was for non-medical purposes, which is still illegal in Canada, the report found. The numbers also suggest that while much of the alcohol and tobacco consumed in the country is produced abroad, cannabis mostly remains a made-in-Canada product. It estimated the cannabis-producing industry was about $3.4 billion in 2014, while domestic tobacco production that year was $1 billion and alcohol production was $2.9 billion. https://www.thespec.com/news-story/8092972-canada-sold-1-2b-of-pot-outside-the-country-says-statistics-canada/ Bongme
  15. hi Aurora Cannabis gets go-ahead to grow pot in Pointe-Claire The first legal cannabis production facility in Montreal — the second one in Quebec — is set to start growing. On Oct. 27, Aurora Cannabis received a Health Canada licence to cultivate at a Pointe-Claire facility, and the company expects to start growing there before the end of the month, said Cam Battley, Aurora’s executive vice-president. This will be Aurora’s second facility. The company, with headquarters in Vancouver, has been growing cannabis at a facility in Alberta, about 100 kilometres northwest of Calgary, since early 2015. It’s also developing a facility near the Edmonton airport, which will be the largest cannabis production facility in the world. The 40,000-square-foot facility in Pointe-Claire, called Aurora Vie, will grow cannabis for the Quebec market as well as for export. It was acquired for $7 million in the spring from another medical cannabis company, Peloton Pharmaceuticals, which entered bankruptcy protection. Battley said Aurora has completed construction on the facility, which was about 80 per cent complete when it was acquired, and upgraded it so that it meets European pharmaceutical manufacturing standards. “We intend very much to turn Aurora Vie into a source for exports into the European markets initially, and then, eventually, around the world,” he said. In May, Aurora acquired the largest medical cannabis distributor in the European Union, Berlin-based Pedanios. That allows it to sell directly to pharmacies in Germany. There’s a lot of opportunity in Germany, Battley said. The country has a population of 82 million, and patients can get reimbursed for medical cannabis through public health insurance plans. Other European countries are following suit, and Canadian producers are well-placed to expand into that market, Battley said. But the Pointe-Claire plant, which is expected to employ between 40 and 50 people, won’t just be focused on exports. “We know that there is significant opportunity to expand the medical cannabis market, appropriately, in the province, because Quebec, just like the rest of Canada, has the same issues to deal with,” he said. Medical cannabis can help patients manage the symptoms of a large number of health conditions, particularly moderate and chronic pain, Battley said. That type of pain is often treated with opioids, which are more dangerous than cannabis and have a higher rate of dependency, he added. Once the company obtains a licence to sell the cannabis grown at the Pointe-Claire facility (Health Canada will have to inspect the facility again after the first crop is grown), it plans to offer same-day delivery to patients in the Montreal area. “We’re not inventing a market for cannabis. What we’re doing is we’re replacing the illicit, unregulated and, in some cases, unsafe market with a legal, regulated and safe one. There are already millions of Canadians who are using cannabis,” he said. The company is also preparing for the legalization of recreational cannabis, which is scheduled to happen on July 1, 2018. In Quebec, legal cannabis will be sold through a Crown corporation. “We’ll operate under whatever rules provinces establish,” Battley said. But he expects the rules may change over time. “We need to be able to compete with the black market, and the black market in cannabis is extremely sophisticated,” he said. “My suspicion is we will need to harness the power of free markets in order to effectively replace that black market.” http://montrealgazette.com/business/aurora-cannabis-gets-go-ahead-to-grow-pot-in-pointe-claire Bongme
  16. hi CONSTELLATION BUYS 10% STAKE IN CANADIAN CANNABIS COMPANY Drinks giant Constellation Brands has bought a 9.9% stake in Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth Corp for £141 million and plans to make cannabis-infused drinks. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Canopy Growth is the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company with a market value of £1.3 billion. Constellation, which owns Kim Crawford and Charles Smith Wines and distributes Corona beer in the US, is keen to be early to the cannabis drinks party. Chief executive Rob Sands believes cannabis will eventually be made legal for recreational use in all American states. “We’re obviously trying to get first-mover advantage,” he said in an interview. Rather than developing cannabis wine or marijuana beer, according to the WSJ Sands plans to make alcohol free cannabis drinks like sodas, coffees and fruit –based drinks. The company, which posted a 13% increase in beer sales in its latest quarter, won’t release any cannabis-based drinks in the US until it is legalised nationwide. Cannabis drinks are expected to be made legal in Canada as early as 2019. Medical use of marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. According to Euromonitor, next year the legal marijuana market will be US$7.5 billion in Canada and $10.2 billion in the US. Both wine and beer makers in the US have expressed concern that cannabis may begin to encroach on their turf as people swap their after work glass of wine or can of beer for a joint. “Could it be a threat? Yes, I guess it could be. We’re not going to stand around twiddling our thumbs,” Sands said. Recreational use of cannabis is legal in eight American states, while it is allowed for medical purposes in 20 states. Ontario-based Canopy Growth plans to use the capital from the Constellation collaboration to expand its production and storage facilities throughout Canada. As part of the deal Constellation has the option to increase its stale of Canopy Growth to just under 20%. Recreational use of cannabis will be made legal in California on 1 January 2018. Northern California’s Emerald Triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties produces some of the world’s most sought-after marijuana. A number of wineries in Napa and Sonoma fear that vineyards will be grubbed up and replaced with cannabis as growers can make more money from weed cultivation. An acre of vineyards in Sonoma is currently worth around $365,000 in Napa, while, according to industry estimates, an acre of cannabis in Napa could be worth up to $1.1 million. This April Bay Area marijuana firm Flow Kana bought 80 acres of land in Redwood Valley that once belonged to Fetzer Vineyards for $3.5 million. The company plans to convert the land into a regional marijuana processing, packaging and shipping facility that will ready products from local cannabis farmers for distribution to California retailers. https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2017/10/constellation-buys-10-stake-in-canadian-cannabis-company/ Bongme
  17. hi Don't say 'marijuana' – it is a racist word, Canadian politician claims A Canadian politician has urged people to stop using the term 'marijuana' in reference to the drug cannabis branding it 'racist'. Halifax councillor Shawn Cleary took to twitter to warn against "demonising" Latin Americans. The liberal politician claimed that a police officer had alerted him to the racially sensitive history of the word, most commonly used to refer to the psychoactive substance. After conducting his own research, he concluded that it was a prejudicial term. His argument rests on the history of cannabis criminalisation in the US, which took place in the early part of the 20th century. The demonisation of the drug and its ensuing prohibition was borne out of a desire to marginalise new arrivals from Latin America, who liked to smoke "maiguana". The resulting legislation referred to cannabis as "marijuana" in a bid to emphasise that it was an intrinsically Latin recreational substance. "Marijuana was used to demonise Mexicans," Cleary said in a tweet. "Given US political climate, let's do what we can to not perpetuate racism." He added: "I'm learning lots now as Chair of the Municipal Working Group on Cannabis or what I refer to as the Weed Committee [winky face emoji]." Cleary's proposals met with scorn from some on social media. Fellow councillor Matt Whitman said: "Only in Canada could you smoke it but not say it." Cannabis is currently illegal in the Commonwealth nation but prime minister Justin Trudeau has launched a task force to explore the possibility of reversing the classification. The drug is increasingly being sold over the counter in parts of the US. n an interview with CBC on 26 October, Cleary stressed the importance of the words used to describe cannabis, saying: "We need to actually have conversations, have dialogue, and talk about these things. By doing that we're actually increasing the amount of understanding and interest in history. "These are teaching moments. They are opportunities for us to go and learn stuff and to find out more about the history of the world around us." Is 'marijuana' a racist term? The US National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators passed a resolution calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis earlier this year. They also delved into the history of the term 'marijuana'. The resolution read: "During the 1920s and 1930s, when it was first penalised in various states, cannabis use was portrayed as a cultural vice of Mexican immigrants to the United States, and racist and xenophobic politicians and government officials used cannabis prohibition specifically to target and criminalise Mexican-American culture and incarcerate Mexican-Americans," the document stated. "The racist politicians who first criminalised cannabis used the term 'marijuana' ... to refer to it precisely because they wanted to underscore that it was a Latino, particularly Mexican, 'vice'." http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/dont-say-marijuana-it-racist-word-canadian-politician-claims-1644854 Nice weed vid on link Bongme
  18. hi Imperial Tobacco wants the government to treat cigarettes and cannabis equally Can I get "false equivalency" for $1,000, Alex? In a move that will surely have cannabis consumers fuming, Imperial Tobacco Canada is speaking out against the way Bill C-45 regulates the branding of cannabis products—by boldly comparing tobacco to weed. The corporation is seeking the attention of lawmakers in Ottawa with an advertisement it ran in the Hill Times on Monday, one that accuses the government of taking a "contradictory" approach to its intention of keeping harmful substances out of the hands of children. As the government proceeds with the Cannabis Act, it might be that the cigarette-manufacturing company—responsible for brands like Du Marier, John Players, and Peter Jackson—is afraid it will lose revenue when legal cannabis becomes an option for consumers, especially because the number of smokers in Canada has fallen each year since 1965. Back then, roughly half of Canadians used tobacco, but by 2015, that number had dropped to 13 percent. The ad highlights a measure of Bill S-5, or the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, and compares it to related measures in the Cannabis Act. It was first introduced in the Senate in November 2016 and was passed there in June. It is currently awaiting a second reading in the House of Commons. In addition to creating legislation around vaping products, the bill also introduces provisions to permit the implementation of plain-packaging requirements on tobacco products. That measure has raised the ire of tobacco manufacturers across the country, especially because the government already requires that 75 percent of a cigarette package's surface area must display health warnings for consumers. (Canada became the first country to mandate such warnings in 2001. The amount of space dedicated to warnings was raised from 50 percent to 75 percent in 2012.) "But Bill C-45 permits branding on marijuana packaging," the ad reads, "since the legal industry needs branding to differentiate their products from those of the black market." As it stands, the Cannabis Act currently permits "informational and brand-preference promotion", enabling consumers "to make informed decisions about consumption". Branding would be subject to restrictions so exposure to young people would be limited. This seems fair, based on the government's goals, but also based on the simple fact that cannabis doesn't even come close to touching the adverse health effects associated with smoking. While Imperial Tobacco might wonder why a government could favour looser restrictions for a substance that has been shown to have medical value over one that results in the death of thousands of Canadians each year, we think we've come up with a few good reasons. For one, cannabis use isn't the leading preventable cause of death in Canada. That would be tobacco, killing 37,000 people each year—six times the number of fatalities caused by car accidents, suicides, murders, and HIV-AIDS combined, according to Health Canada. And while most cannabis growers pride themselves on the purity of their pot, tobacco comes with 4,000 extra chemicals. Think tar, mercury, lead, carbon monoxide, acetone, hydrogen cyanide, and 63 other cancer-causing agents with every inhale. Beyond lung cancer, which leads the way for cancer deaths among Canadians, smoking has been linked to cancers of the kidney, mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, breast, and bladder. It has also been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Imperial Tobacco also seems to downplay the fact that cannabis isn't physically addictive, that most marijuana consumers don't light up as frequently as smokers, and that those who use cannabis might be vaping or ingesting it instead of smoking it. (Unlike chewing tobacco, edibles aren't known to cause mouth cancer.) While regular tobacco consumption can, ultimately, be lethal, the compounds within cannabis have been shown to have dozens—if not hundreds—of therapeutic and even preventive applications. Cannabis is currently being used to treat side effects associated with epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, kidney failure, eating disorders, and even sexual dysfunction. (A 2013 study published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors found that cannabidiol, or CBD, helped smokers cut down on cigarettes.) Though the classification of cannabis as a controlled substance in Canada and a Schedule 1 drug in the United States has made it challenging for researchers to study, stigma is being shed and health scientists are eager to highlight the therapeutic benefits of cannabis consumption. As new ground is broken daily in labs around the world, it is important that the data collected on these two very different substances is not conflated. (Heck, we've been saying this for years.) https://www.straight.com/cannabis/985821/imperial-tobacco-wants-government-treat-cigarettes-and-cannabis-equally Bongme
  19. hi See It: These Canadian Students Built A Better Marijuana Bong 'My mom has been using it as a flower vase,' says one co-creator. For most cannabis consumers, figuring out how to operate a bong is a rite of passage. It takes a little more technique than simply toking on a joint or passing around a pipe. The bong, or water pipe, requires a little practice and can be intimidating for the newbie. Enter BRBT Designs, a Canadian cannabis accessory brand founded by University of Alberta students in Edmonton. Simon Grigenas, co-founder and CEO, and his team decided to break the traditional bong design and revolutionize the experience. “BRNT provides a more sophisticated alternative to the various other smoking accessories that do not provide the benefits of precision engineering and airflow design,” said Grigenas. “With hundreds of varieties to choose from, consumers are not always aware of the availability of newer and better ways of administrating cannabis.” For Grigenas, his company’s innovation is mostly about function, but he is equally excited about the form of his new product. “We plan to give our customers these functional benefits in a product that is so aesthetically pleasing that you can proudly show it off on your coffee table at home.” So, what makes the design so unique? The device, dubbed the Hexagon, is made of a ceramic-glass blend. It is safe to put in the dishwasher and can be placed in the freezer for a smoother smoke. Other ceramic bongs are similar, but the Hexagon’s stylish design gives it an artistic aesthetic. “My mom has been using it as a flower vase,” Andrew Feltham, one of the co-creators of the bong, told CBC News. “It’s got a modern, minimal feel.” The company is funding its venture via the crowdfunding route and is scheduled to launch the campaign this week. The retail price for the high-end bong will be $188 in Canadian dollars (about $235 US). According to the company’s official website, the Hexagon is “professionally engineered while leveraging air flow dynamics. It hits perfectly every time, no exceptions. It’s a superior thermal insulator, leaving the bong cool to the touch.” https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/these-canadian-students-built-a-better-bong/ Vid O Link Bongme
  20. Hi Calgary cannabis community gives government resounding thumbs up on draft pot rules Members of Calgary's cannabis community are excited to see the proposed framework for Alberta's marijuana legislation, and they're giving it a resounding thumbs up despite many questions remaining unanswered. On Wednesday, the government released the draft rules, which reference a legal age limit of 18, as well as other details such as how much can be purchased at once — 30 grams — and where people will be permitted to smoke and vape. Jeff Mooij, owner of the 420 Clinic in Inglewood called the rules "the best framework for legalization" he had seen so far. "If it's about getting rid of the black market, the NDP and the province of Alberta just did a much better job than any other province," Mooij said. Where will the weed come from? Mooij has been involved in the consultation process to this point and the Alberta government has asked him to meet with representatives Thursday to hear more of his thoughts. While the government has left the possibility of government-run stores on the table in the framework, Mooij said he's confident they will opt for the private-run option. Mooij said it would be an economic boon for the city and province. He's also expressed interest is opening a chain of his stores to meet demand. But other questions remain aside from who will be in charge of selling the marijuana, namely supply. Steady supply a concern Come July 1, marijuana demand is expected to skyrocket as recreational use becomes legal. That has some on the medicinal side of things concerned. Kait Shane, the spokesperson for Natural Health Services, which has offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, said while they are thrilled with most aspects of the proposed framework, steady supply is an area of key concern. "It's amazing how many times we have patients come in and say how much cannabis has changed their lives," Shane said. "If that is yanked out from under them at this point, that does alarm us just a little bit. But we're really hoping that the powers that be will consider that when they're making whatever rules they're going to make around who gets what as far as distribution goes." Key questions in need of an answer Myles Leslie is an assistant professor with University of Calgary's School of Public Policy who focuses on health and social policy. He said he will be watching two issues most closely. First off, the proposed rules for limits on possession in public — set at 30 grams in the framework. Leslie said it makes little sense to quantify the legality of marijuana. "I don't understand how that's enforceable," he said. "You can have 12 bottles of wine, as long as they're not uncorked in a public place, you could have 500 of them because it's a legal substance." The second issue for him as well, is supply. He said Shane has good reason to be concerned regarding supply distribution to medical dispensaries because rules haven't been set out that would prioritize who will have orders filled by the federally monitored supply chain. And there certainly won't be enough to go around at first. "I don't know if the growers are going to be able to ramp up to demand and keep pricing where [the government] needs it to be, so that the black market can't continue to undercut," Leslie said. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/calgary-cannabis-community-gives-government-130000682.html 7 Comments at this time Bongme
  21. Hi 50 Percent Of Ontarians Want Cannabis Regulated Like Alcohol When it comes to cannabis regulation in Ontario there seems to be a lot of confusion. However, new ideas are afoot and some people are happy about it... According to a brand new poll out of Ontario, Canada, 50 percent of folks there want recreational cannabis to be regulated the same way as alcohol… While the poll was by no means the largest ever conducted, featuring just 801 participants, the results are compelling, and came as a shock to some. When it comes to cannabis regulation in Ontario there seems to be a lot of confusion. On the one hand there is a prevailing liberal attitude towards cannabis, although on the other side there are some conservative attitudes also there. For example, government in Ontario recently noted that they would limit cannabis sales to 150 stores. Forum president Lorne Bozinoff told reporters, “It seems the government’s marijuana plan may be on point.” And that seems to be the case. A third of those polled said they believe that cannabis should be regulated just as tobacco is, while around 18 percent of respondents said they ‘weren’t sure.’ Another issue in Ontario when it comes to cannabis is pricing, after officials there hinted that the price would be set at $10 a gram. Around 27 percent of those polled said they felt the price was reasonable, while 17 percent said it was too pricey. That sets a real challenge for officials, who want to stomp out the cannabis black market as effectively and quickly as possible. Within those polled were a group of 106 people who said they are “regular cannabis users.” They overwhelmingly felt that the price of $10 a gram is a good one, and very fair. It remains to be seen how things will pan out in Ontario. What is sure is that people there are ready for change, and seem interested in working out the best way to provide quality medical cannabis at the right price, for thousands of patients in need. http://www.cannatech.news/2017/10/03/50-percent-ontarians-want-cannabis-regulated-like-alcohol/ Bongme
  22. hi 11 Million Canadians Will Consume Cannabis Once Legalized The Canadian Cannabis Report conducted by Oracle Poll is by far the most detailed and comprehensive market research study that came out this year and looking at the numbers we were able to find several more than interesting stats. This report was created for industry stakeholders in the private and public sector to show the behavior and thoughts of Canadian consumers towards the cannabis market. Here are the most interesting stats that we pulled from the report: 26% of Canadians surveyed currently consume cannabis products. This equates to 7.67 million current Cannabis consumers in Canada; 39% of Canadians surveyed – potentially 11.42 million Canadians – will consume cannabis products once legalized; 53% of Canadians surveyed have a positive opinion of medical marijuana; 57% of Canadians surveyed support the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis; 63% of current and potential cannabis consumers would prefer to purchase cannabis products in a retail environment; 65% of all respondents believe licensed growers should be allowed to open their own retail store to the public once legalized. So, to shortly sum up the findings: a quarter of all Canadian residents smokes weed. Let that sink in for a second. If that’s not enough, over 11 million people plan on smoking, eating, drinking and living that weed life after it becomes fully legal in July. Over half of Canada’s population thinks that medicinal weed has made a positive impact on the nation, and even more people support the government in legalizing recreational cannabis. Another good thing to know is that most Canadians support the free market model of cannabis legalization. Almost two-thirds of Canadians are showing support for cannabis growers to open their own retail stores once legalization hits the streets. Having said that, it is important to keep in mind that recreational cannabis has not yet been legalized across the country, and will not be legal to sell, grow or distribute until July 1st. In the meantime, find out why dabbing could cause cancer and more, on Greencamp News. https://greencamp.com/11-million-canadians-will-consume-cannabis-legalized/ Bongme
  23. hi 'Kosher' Pot Certified by Canadian Rabbi in Time for Rosh Hashana Talk about the high holidays! A Canadian marijuana grower said Tuesday that its medical pot had been certified by an Ottawa rabbi — the first time in the country that ganja was ruled kosher, the Ottawa Citizen reported. The certification merges two key Jewish values, said Rabbi Levy Teitlebaum, director of Ottawa Vaad HaKashrut, who signed off on the kosher kief. "(It) shows the value placed on proper etiquette for kosher and for being able to care for people," he told the newspaper. "That is a beautiful harmony.” Sébastien St-Louis, the CEO of Hydropothecary, which grows and processes the medical marijuana, said kosher certification showed his company's commitment to "rigorous testing, independent third-party oversight and ... product innovations." It also shows a solid understanding of a good gimmick. As any first-year rabbinical student knows, plants are inherently kosher — but the equipment that processes the pot, the ingredients mixed into edibles like brownies, or even packaging like gel caps need to answer to a higher authority. And a rabbi has to inspect to make sure the plants aren't carrying any non-kashrut insects such as aphids. Still, getting a rabbi to hype the hemp is easier than blowing the shofar on Passover — and adds another marketing tool. Indeed, the Canadian cannabis company is not the only tokin' Jew in the medical pot business. As medical marijuana becomes more widespread — 29 states and climbing higher! — securing a kosher certification can help a company find a niche in the nearly $6-billion medical marijuana industry. “You’re seeing companies looking for creative ways to distinguish themselves, but also just interesting ways to appeal to different types of consumers,” Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told the Times last year. In New York State, for instance, medical marijuana cannot be smoked, but can be vaped or ingested as a tincture — which means a devout Jew would need a rabbi's blessing. "(But) if smoked or injected, most kosher concerns would not apply," Chabad.org wrote. The Jewish New Year begins Wednesday night, but more and more rabbis are saying pot is kosher all year long — even during the especially strict Passover holiday. Typically, pot would be trayf for some Jews during the eight-day celebration of the Exodus because it is considered part of the legume family, and therefore banned under Passover's dietary restrictions. But last year, a leading rabbi said pot was kosher, even during Passover, if it is used for medical purposes — prompting the Times of Israel to gleefully proclaim, "Getting baked on Passover not just for matzoh." And here's some more good news: Ruffles potato chips, Tostitos and many other snack foods are kosher, too. You know, for afterwards... https://uk.news.yahoo.com/apos-kosher-apos-pot-certified-030810770.html Bongme
  24. hi Published on 19 Sep 2017 Advocates push to make marijuana lounges legal in Toronto Bongme
  25. Hi Study: Just How Much Marijuana Are Canadians Using? About 7.5 million Canadians or 26 percent of the population currently consume cannabis. Nearly 11.5 million Canadians, or 39 percent of adult-age Canadians have admitted they will be cannabis consumers if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s legalization plans for 2018 come to bloom, and as a country, 57 percent of Canadians are supportive of the Prime Minister’s plan for changing the cannabis laws. This is according to a newly released market research survey that asked 5,000 Canadians (with person to person telephone calls) their views, acceptance and expected consumption of cannabis. The Canadian Cannabis Report: What’s the Buzz? was created in partnership by cannabis marketing consultant Colin Firth and Oraclepoll Research Ltd. and represents one of the most comprehensive consumer market research study ever performed for the emerging cannabis sector. The Canadian Cannabis Report: What’s The Buzz? is a valuable research tool created for industry stakeholders including licensed cannabis growers, license applicants, healthcare professionals, government officials, financial and legal service providers and law enforcement agencies to help plan and provide guidance for the road ahead. These 11.5 million potential Canadian cannabis consumers far exceeds any previous projections and, when translated into the volume of cannabis needed to supply their demand, nearly doubles the expected mid-range amount predicted by the Parliamentary Budget Office in November 2016. At a modest baseline consumption level of only 8 grams/month this translates to over 1,000,000 kilograms per year which bodes well for the Health Canada licensed producers that are ramping up for a massive influx of adult age recreational cannabis consumers with the anticipated legalization in mid 2018. “We recognized a significant lack of data for this emerging industry. To date, there has not been a study of this magnitude of the Canadian people’s thoughts of the cannabis industry — both on the medical and recreational fronts,” says survey co-creator Colin Firth. “We saw this not just as an opportunity to better understand the Canadian cannabis consumer, or Canadians as a whole, but to help ensure that as a country, we’re all prepared for 2018’s pending legalization. We’re convinced that this report is the single most important document to emerge in this industry since Bill C-45 was tabled.” Other findings from the 60 page report include: Currently, nearly 7.5 million Canadians or 26 percent of the population are admitted cannabis consumers. 34 percent of Canadians claim they have a friend or family member that currently use recreational cannabis. 78 percent of those surveyed are aware that medical marijuana can replace certain types of medication. 24 percent of current and potential users will replace alcohol with cannabis. 28 percent have an interest in cannabis edibles while 60 percent say they will choose smoking as their preferred method to consume cannabis 77 percent of current and potential cannabis users said they will purchase cannabis from a licensed grower. 63 percent of respondents favour the retail model for recreational cannabis purchases while 30 percent prefer online shopping. 72 percent of Canadians believe that the federal government should pardon and eliminate previous and current convictions for simple cannabis possession. Respondents were asked 75 questions and the data provides the most current and up to date information on the state of the cannabis industry in Canada. The Canadian Cannabis Report: What’s The Buzz? is a must-have report available for purchase by any cannabis industry stakeholders. https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/canadians-really-love-their-cannabis-study-shows/ Bomgme