Ontario Lottery Winners Scramble

Public Domain

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.

Sexual Impropriety Allegations against "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery Mount

Marc Emery, 2007

Journalist Deidre Olsen continued digging up allegations of sexual harassment and coercion against Marc Emery, self-appointed “prince of pot.”

  • Olsen told me their decision to call Emery out began with a post he made defending the likes of Harvey Weinstein and celebrating what Olsen called “Brilliant men in many positions who had age-inappropriate relationships.” Olsen responded, they said, by saying, “That’s pretty rich considering you were describing your ballsack to me on Facebook messenger when I was 17 and you were 50.”
  • Olsen was prevented from working in the store by their mother, but says if they had worked there, they might well have been traumatized by it.
  • A onetime employee of Emery’s store, who was 15 when she worked there, said he shared MDMA with girls and women at his parties and talked often about sex with her.
    Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • An anonymous witness claims they witnessed Emery sexually harassing and assaulting female employees, often younger than 18 or 19, and named his estranged wife Jodie as complicit (though also described Marc slapping Jodie when she complained about his attentions to young women.) Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • A female photographer claims Emery told her he “had to fuck” her she offered photography services to cover legal fees for cannabis activists. Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • A woman claimed Emery bussed her across the country at age 17 to live with him and Jodie while starting work at Cannabis Culture. Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • Twitter user @PK1286 alleged Emery coerced a 16 or 17 year old girl into an “overtly sexual bong hit,” jamming his “bong into [his] crotch and [lighting] it while thrusting the mouthpiece.” User @SenStarfire, a former customer, claimed this was a common routine for Emery.
  • Allegations don’t just related to underaged women: one Twitter poster said Emery wrote a letter to her in 2003 titled “Grandmothers I Would Like To Fuck.” Emery flatly denied the allegation in a twitter response. Twitter—Judith Renaud
  • In a post to the Cannabis Culture messageboard forum from 2005 (now removed, screenshotted here), Emery described coercing women into anal sex in explicit terms. Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • Emery used to post regular “Show Your Tits” threads on Cannabis Culture’s messageboard, and said “I equate feminism with lesbianism, anti-sexualism, verbosity (that I’ll add now), Marxism, boredom, and a whole host of other labels.” Twitter—Deidre Olsen
  • Ahead of a media storm over the allegations (with Huffington Post, the Vancouver Sun, Global News, and Vice covering the story and some unearthing new allegations), Emery responded in a Facebook post. He framed the allegations in terms of how much they were hurting his estranged wife Jodie, claimed to have “never ever had sex with anyone under 19” (noting he had only had sex with three employees between as an employer between 1975 and 2009), and explained the many allegations were in response to “[his] exhibitionism.” He acknowledged giving backrubs to “some of my employees and probably customers.” Of his sexually-charged communications with Olsen when Olsen was 17, he claimed, “I don’t know what grooming was going on.” Facebook, The Straight Cannabis
  • Though the media attention has been overwhelming, Olsen told me, “I am so fucking sick of this, so angry. I’m even angrier listening to the experiences of other women with him that were much worse than mine. I’m telling the truth and I have evidence of what he’s said and done online. So I decided to make this thread—and it was successful. Finally, it’s in the news. It was a last resort, but it was 100% worth it. I have evidence to back up everything. I have the chat files. My mother and my high-school boyfriend can corroborate everything I said happened. If you’re reporting something that’s true, they can sue you, but you’ve got the defence of truth on your side.”
  • In a post to the Cannabis Culture messageboard forum from 2005 (now removed, screenshotted here), Emery described coercing women into anal sex in explicit terms.

Bill Blair: "Gaslighting the Cannabis Industry"?

Bill Blair in his previous position as Chief of Toronto Police

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

Quick Hits

  1. Liberal strategist Tiffany Gooch excoriated the federal Liberals for their “painstaking careful approach […] to avoid making commitments about amnesty,” and called on the government to develop a simplified expungement process for cannabis convictions. The Star
  2. Lawyer Trina Fraser joined patients and activists in demanding the government stop charging excise tax on MED. CTV Saskatoon, Hill Times—Paywall/Twitter—Trina Fraser
  3. Health Canada data showed MED buyers moving toward oil and REC buyers moving toward dry flower.
  4. Cannabis research is now booming, but that wasn’t always the case. The drive toward legalization has shifted attitudes, said researcher Dr. Mark Ware, who studied cannabis for twenty years prior to joining Canopy.
  5. B.C. Cancer will lead national clinical trials (in multiple BC and Ontario cities, as well as Calgary and Winnipeg) on the use of cannabis extracts to relieve cancer symptoms like pain and nausea.
  6. LPs must denature and destroy all cannabis waste they produce, leading to a mountain of cannabis going into landfills.
  7. The Leaf’s Solomon Israel assailed New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s anti-cannabis book Tell Your Children, calling on a variety of clinical sources from the army of those who have already disowned Berenson’s report as unscientific and sensationalistic.
  8. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association released a Q&A about their approach to cannabis products for pets.
  9. In this week’s WeedWeek (USA) newsletter, Alex Halperin has a must-read discussion of US Attorney General nominee William Barr and his views on the state-legal cannabis industry.

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Editor Note

Jesse Staniforth
Your WeedWeek Canada Editor

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.

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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.
Financial Post

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.
Financial Post

  • Aphria shares rose on the news of the departures.
    Financial Post
  • SOL Global Investments, which short-sellers accused of being an Aphria insider corporation that benefited from the self-dealing they alleged in December, said it might still do business with Aphria, even as its board formed a special committee to review allegations against it related to previous Aphria deals.
  • Haywood Securities provided a valuation of the Latin American properties Aphria purchased, which short-sellers used as the core of their attack on the company. They released a report full of photo evidence in order to prove the properties were, they said, “broadly in line with expectations. [… With] operations ongoing with the assets at varying levels of development.”
    Financial Post

Aurora moved to acquire Whistler Medical Cannabis Corporation, in a $175M all-share deal.

Organigram said it was surprised at the demand for oil and pre-rolls.
CBC New Brunswick

Quick Hits

  1. Canadians spent $1.6B on legal cannabis in 2018, doubling the $755M spent on legal MED in 2017. By 2022, MED spending is expected to account for $1.4B of $7.8B in legal cannabis sales. Vice
  2. Canadian cannabis companies raised $12B in 2018, compared to US$600M for cannabis companies outside North America. Twitter—Matt Lamers
  3. Seeds are selling out at $15 each. Global News
  4. The most-searched cultivars since legalization have been Gorilla Glue, Pink Kush, and Blue Dream.
  5. National Access Cannabis’s VP Marketing Matt Ryan noted that customers are shopping by strain rather than brand, which he says shows they are informed consumers. Twitter—CannaBiz Magazine
  6. Canopy received a license to grow hemp in New York State and plans to begin commercial operations in the US. NewsWire
  7. Cannabis shares had their longest week of gains since August.
  8. When PotashCorp surrenders its POT stock ticker at the end of the month, the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange, the TSX Venture Exchange, and the Aequitas Exchange plan to hold a randomized lottery to determine which LP will get to use it next. CBC Business
  9. LPs’ production sites are receiving odour complaints from neighbouring residents. Leafly
  10. Chefs shared their favourite ways to cook with cannabis. Leafly
  11. Delta 9 has attracted interest from other LPs because of its cannabis grow-pods, shipping containers converted into controlled miniature grow-rooms. CBC Winnipeg
  12. The US Distilled Spirits Council says legal REC hasn’t affected alcohol sales, and prior estimations neglected on-premise consumption sites like bars. Twitter—Nick Pateras
  13. Real estate professionals debated whether cannabis properties should be assessed as “agriculture” or “industry.” RenX
  14. 14. There appear to be more leadership opportunities for women in the cannabis industry than traditional businesses. Globe and Mail—Paywall
Editor Note

Thank you to WeedWeek's Patreon Supporters! Sam Cornwall
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HelloMD: The largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers
HelloMD on InstagramFacebookSpencer Vodnoy CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise! criticalmindinc.com

Spencer Vodnoy
CEO, Critical Mind Inc. Adelanto, CA
Affiliations: CA State Bar; Board Member, Adelanto Growers Association
Critical Mind, Inc. is a Medical Cannabis Cultivation and Manufacturing Facility located in Adelanto, CA. Providing the highest quality Cannabis products. Compliance without Compromise!

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US cannabis analysts claimed Alberta’s moratorium on new stores was disastrous and fed the illicit market.
Calgary Herald


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

  • The gummies were labelled as Earth’s Edibles, but that company’s owner said he didn’t distribute the candies, which were not Earth’s Edibles products. Packaging and design on the windshield-edibles was different from that shown on Earth’s Edibles’ website. Some suggested they were the work of a rival or competitor.

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.
Global News

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.
CBC Sudbury

Windsor may not get a REC retailer.
CBC Windsor

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.
Global News


Quebec’s illicit and “grey market” are thriving, but despite a continual struggle with shortages the SQDC doesn’t expect to lay employees off.
Le Devoir—In French, Montreal Gazette

The Timiskaming Algonquin First Nation will hold a referendum February 9 on whether to support a dispensary within their community.
Radio-Canada—In French

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.
Press Release

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.
CBC Saskatoon


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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