As part of the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, Ontario's Conservative Ford government announced its plan to make three updates to cannabis retail rules. (It did not release draft regulations or a timeline.)
Financial Post, Twitter—Trina Fraser
The Cannabis Council of Canada hailed the moves as "a strong signal to the legal cannabis industry in Ontario" (while also demanding the government announce a REC retail expansion timeline).
The Ontario government predicted the OCS would turn a $10M profit in fiscal 2019-20, followed by $75M in 2020-21, and $80M in 2021-22.
Citing concern about VAPI, Quebec government sources told La Presse the Société Québécoise Du Cannabis (SQDC) will be prevented from selling vapeable extract products such as vape pens, effectively banning them in the province.
La Presse—In French
The government will also delay the launch of edible products in the SQDC from December 16 to January 1, in order to sync the edibles launch with the new ban on cannabis consumption by adults 18 to 21. (The province banned sweetened edibles this summer along with the aforementioned extracts).
Montreal civil-rights lawyer Julius Grey plans to challenge the constitutionality of raising the REC age.
Interested in advertising in the WeedWeek newsletter, website, or podcast? Reach out to our advertising team so we can help you spark up a campaign.
Canopy announced it will give Toronto rapper Drake a 60% stake in the newly created company More Life Growth (named after Drake's 2017 More Life mixtape). The company will take over a licensed Toronto production facility licensed by Canopy, who will continue to operate it and distribute its products.
Financial Post, Drake
Canopy reportedly beat Aurora to a deal with Drake, thanks in part to negotiations the hip-hop star made with ousted Canopy co-founder and co-CEO Bruce Linton. Insiders hope Drake's entry into the Canadian market will revitalize consumer interest in legal REC while normalizing the sector for consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) companies.
Earlier in the week, Canopy made two moves positioning itself and its brands as luxury items. Teaming up with high-end department store chain Holt Renfrew, Canopy announced the partners would launch a line of holiday-themed cannabis accessories.
Holt Renfrew will sell these products alongside "a curated selection" of Tokyo Smoke's accessories in adults-only popup shops in their Vancouver and Toronto stores—but not their Art Deco former-headquarters in Montreal, where they might run afoul of strict Quebec law on sales of cannabis accessories.
Canopy also announced it was in talks to open a Tokyo Smoke store at One Bloor Street in Toronto, at the corner of Yonge—one of Canada's busiest intersections, in a tony shopping neighbourhood known as Mink Mile.
Also this week, Canopy announced it was laying off 15% of its Latin American workforce, another in a series of moves that suggest companies are acknowledging their subsidiaries are losing money and refocusing resources "on revenue generating markets."
MJ Biz Daily, Twitter—Matt Lamers
Ousted Canopy co-CEO and co-founder Bruce Linton joined US MSO Vireo Health International as executive chair. The company is a cannabis research and IP firm. Investors were pleased.
Bloomberg, MJ Biz Daily
LPs and extractors hold such huge stocks of unfinished inventory that some worry about a price crash.
A total of 13,000 kg of legal dry flower sold in August—making the presently held unfinished inventory equal to 30 times that month's sales.
The Canadian Cannabis LP Index fell 18.2% in October, the seventh consecutive month of decline, to a new 52-week low and a 31.6% decline year to date.
New Cannabis Ventures
An analyst at New York's Cantor Fitzgerald said the Canadian cannabis industry has hit its bottom and predicted good news over the next year.
As Ontario opens up the number of licenses it's willing to grant to REC retailers located on First Nations, one of the business-owners eligible for a license—Sherry Lee Ann Kohoko of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation in the Ottawa Valley—is presently operating an unlicensed dispensary, and doesn't intend to shut it down.
A University of British Columbia study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found MED "may contribute to reducing" the association between PTSD and severe depression or suicidal states. The authors argue MED shows potential as a PTSD treatment.
An arbitrator ordered Vancouver transit authority TransLink to stop randomly drug-screening an employee who tested positive for cannabis.
Employers say the provinces haven't done enough to educate them about cannabis in the workplace.
New Brunswick Crown monopoly REC retailer Cannabis NB won't make a profit until at least next year, according to new president Patrick Parent.
An interesting legal discussion followed CBC Windsor's profile of a local woman, Alicia Jimmerfield, who invested in a rosin press to offer a "squishing" service, inviting customers to bring in up to their legally allowable 30 grams of dry flower, out of which she would press the rosin. She'd complained she was considered ineligible for business grants from the Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre.
Since 2015, WeedWeek has been the best way to keep up with the Green Rush. Subscribe to our free newsletters today!