A total of 17,320 applicants joined the lottery for rights to apply for Ontario’s 25 REC retail licenses. Each applicant could apply in each of the five regions set out by the province, so there were a total of 59,069 bids, each paying $75 to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Journalist Deidre Olsen continued digging up allegations of sexual harassment and coercion against Marc Emery, self-appointed “prince of pot.”
Bill Blair encouraged Canadians to hold on as supply-chain issues are ironed out. He dismissed suggestions of a national supply shortage with stats showing greater inventories than retail purchases.
Hill Times—Paywall, Twitter—David Brown
I spent last weekend in Vancouver at the Lift & Co convention. Somehow I managed to miss seeing two couples get engaged there (including a mid-panel proposal), but I had the pleasure of speaking with ten experts from across the sector about the issues they considered most pressing and least addressed. We’ll be releasing stories about many of those conversations over the next couple of weeks. Watch our site and the @WeedWeekNews Twitter account.
Craft growers have made fewer than 30 micro-cultivation applications to Health Canada since October. One major stumbling block is municipal zoning restrictions. Another is that growers must have their facility fully built in order to become eligible.
MJ Biz Daily
Tilray invested up to $250M in a revenue-sharing agreement with marketing powerhouse Authentic Brands Group, parent to brands like Juicy Couture and Nine West, to pair ABG’s brands with cannabis products, sold subject to regulation.
Aphria co-founder Cole Cacciavillani joins CEO Vic Neufeld in announcing plans to leave the company at an unspeno precise date. Leadership will shift to Aphria’s current president Jakob Ripshtein, along with Irwin Simon, who took over as board chair from Neufeld in December.
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Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
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US cannabis analysts claimed Alberta’s moratorium on new stores was disastrous and fed the illicit market.
During last weekend’s Lift & Co convention in Vancouver, someone left samples of edibles on car windshields near the convention site, drawing alarm from the Liberal MLA for the area.
CTV News, Vancouver Sun
Victoria City Council refused to hear an appeal for a cannabis lounge business license, ending the application for a members-only, 19+ space for consumption of cannabis that would not be sold or stored on site.
MJBiz Daily’s Matt Lamers went through provincial numbers and found the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation originally secured a $150M loan agreement at an interest rate of 1.785% on March 31 last year to set up its initial 40 planned provincially-run Ontario Cannabis Stores. This predated the Ford Government’s decision to privatize the market.
The outgoing Liberal government’s plan to open 100 more stores would cost an additional $375, leaving the province with 140 REC retailers, which Lamers notes was a number “generally viewed at [sic] insufficient.”
The dispensaries of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory are pleased nearby Kingston won’t be getting REC retailers for the time being.
The owner of the dispensary in Wahnapitae First Nation raided last week by community police with support from the Ontario Provincial Police said, “We were robbed by the police, not raided.” He believes First Nations residents have the right to create their own economic sustainability—particularly because his community has not yet held a referendum on cannabis in their territory. He also noted members of the Wahnapitae band council have expressed support for his business.
Windsor may not get a REC retailer.
A defense lawyer argued the combination of supply shortages and dispensary crackdowns have encouraged an increase in cannabis delivery services.
Hamilton police invited local media to accompany them on a dispensary raid, the first in which Hamilton police used new powers under the Ontario Cannabis Act allowing them to seize the property and change its locks. Police charged four.
Global News, The Star
Hamilton’s City Council deadlocked on opting out of REC retail, and accordingly opted in.
The Timiskaming Algonquin First Nation will hold a referendum February 9 on whether to support a dispensary within their community.
Quebec’s Psychosocial Research and Intervention Group launched the bilingual cannabis educational initiative VoxCann in Quebec, with a plan to create an evidence-based program building on students’ experiences with and knowledge of cannabis to lead them to ask more sophisticated questions. The program is aimed at both educators and youth.
Employees at one Montreal SQDC store have begun collective bargaining, supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers (TUAC), a division of the Quebec Workers’ Federation (FTQ).
La Presse—In French
A third of Saskatchewan REC retailers are now open.
The Yukon updated its Cannabis Control and Regulation Act, introducing two types of license regulation systems for private REC retailers. The amendment will allow for cannabis to be sold at separate stores located within existing stores, ideally allowing smaller communities with less infrastructure to support private REC retail.
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