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1

And They're Off

https://www.flickr.com/photos/46104149@N07

The writ has dropped and the campaign for next month's federal election is on. The cannabis industry of course wants to know: what does this mean for us? Former Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton responded: Don't expect much.
CBC Politics, Yahoo Finance

  • Saying he spoke with "a fellow named Andrew" and "some people who report directly to a guy named Justin," Linton predicted political fears would prevent the leading Liberal party and second-place Conservative party from discussing cannabis much.
  • Though the Liberals created a legal industry that now employs 9,200 Canadians at 175 companies (up from 1,438 people at 37 companies in the 2016/17 fiscal year), Linton predicted the Liberal Party would shy away from anything that made Justin Trudeau, a former drama teacher, "look light, not serious."
    Statistics Canada
  • Linton added, "I don't think the Liberals want to look light and fun" as they face major challenges like Ethics Commisioner Mario Dion's conclusion that Trudeau broke conflict of interest laws in the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
    The Star
  • The Conservatives, meanwhile, aggressively opposed legalization. Linton said, "The Tories lost the last election in part because they tried to tell a majority of Canadian adults they are wrong. [Now they] don’t want to touch it."

Cannabis insiders took to Twitter with the issues they hope to see represented on the campaign trail. Among them:

2

US Vape Illness Strikes Cross-Border Terror

Image: The Clean Vape

The Canadian industry has watched carefully as concentrate-vaping-related illnesses in 36 US States (and one territory) have rapidly increased since July, leaving six dead. The illnesses are not biological, but related to chemical exposure.
CTV News

Many suspect the culprit is vitamin E oil (tocopheryl-acetate), used to dilute extracts in counterfeit vape products. New York State is focusing its investigations on vitamin E oil and two other states have identified it in vape products. When heated and inhaled, vitamin E leaves drops of oil in the lungs that cause pneumonia.
Leafly, CTV News

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3

Disqualified Retailers File for Review,
Stall New Stores

https://www.flickr.com/people/46114007@N00

Of the 12 REC retail lottery winners the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario disqualified last week, 11 jointly filed judicial review applications.
Bloomberg

The judge suspended the AGCO's review process of all licence applications for two weeks ahead of his ruling in the matter.
Bloomberg

Retail giant Fire and Flower said it won't partner with any winners of the second REC retail lottery, claiming some have made "outrageous" demands for multi-$M payouts.
Globe and Mail

The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (which operates the Ontario Cannabis Store) posted a $42M loss for the last fiscal year.
Bloomberg

4

AFN will Present Native
Cannabis Regime Plans by Spring

https://www.flickr.com/photos/148091582@N07

An Assembly of First Nations working group tasked with developing a separate cannabis regulatory regime for First Nations had its first meeting during the AFN's Cannabis Summit last week.
Globe and Mail

  • Building on the ideas First Nations consultants raised with Bill Blair two weeks ago, the working group said Blair asked the group to develop a proposal by April 1 of next year.
    CBC Indigenous
  • The group must resolve a number of challenges, including developing revenue sharing, respecting individual First Nations' cannabis laws and customs, and protecting the safety of cannabis products entering or leaving communities.
    Net News Ledger

Quick Hits

  1. Since the Liberal government launched its system of record suspensions, only 71 Canadians have taken them up on the opportunity—and only 44 have gotten their records suspended.
    Global News
  2. A report by Eight Capital predicts product differentiation will begin next year when the market reaches supply equilibrium, while sales will rise with the number of stores, and LPs will continue signing deals with Fortune 500 companies.
    Globe and Mail

5

Aurora Misses Own Adjusted Guidance

https://www.flickr.com/photos/58122391@N03

Earlier this year, Aurora predicted it would be profitable by EBITDA standards within the year. Last month, the company adjusted their statement to say they were "on track" to profitability. This week, posting a $11.7M EBIDTA loss, Aurora said, "The Company expects adjusted EBITDA to continue to improve."
MarketWatch, Twitter

CEO Terry Booth said the company is "laser focused" on the US CBD market.
MJ Biz Daily

Quick Hits

  1. 48North co-CEO Jeannette VanderMarel, who also co-founded the Green Organic Dutchman, stepped down from her position for personal reasons, and will stay on as a board director.
    Globe and Mail
  2. Both Aurora and Canopy Growth have developed secret formulas to predict when the US will either legalize REC or allow states to legalize.
    MarketWatch

6

Quebec Warms to Weed

https://www.flickr.com/photos/87857621@N00

My home province, the most anti-cannabis in the country, has come a long way. A CROP poll commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees found public opinion of cannabis in Quebec has taken a surprising uptick since legalization.
Leafly, CUPE—In French

  • A pleasantly unexpected 55% of Quebeckers support legalization, while 45% do not. That's a distinct jump from the 2017 CROP poll which found 40% of Quebeckers were in favour of legalizing and 54% were opposed. (In the rest of Canada, which we Quebeckers call "the ROC," 58% supported legalization.)
    Leafly, CROP—In French
  • A strong majority (72%) of respondents said legalization had done little or nothing to disturb public order.
  • A quarter of Quebeckers have changed their opinions about cannabis since legalization: 8% feel more negatively, while 17% feel more positively.

Though 65% of respondents supported the government plan to raise the legal age from 18 to 21, an even greater number (68%) believed the law would have no impact on cannabis consumption by those between 18 and 21.

  • Most Quebeckers (72%) were pleased with the SQDC model, and 66% opposed the sale of cannabis through private retail.

7

Canna-Tourism Not Yet A Thing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95912351@N07

Federal and provincial regulations make it nearly impossible for a business to provide cannabis to customers without a license from Health Canada. As a result, hopes for Canadian cannabis tourism have largely been dashed, leaving only a handful of B&Bs that give free joints to guests.
CBC Windsor

  • Hoping to change that, a Windsor river cruise company planned to hold its first strictly BYOC "cannabis cruise" this month. That event was canceled as it violated the Smoke Free Ontario Act.
    CTV News

Quick Hits

  1. A not-quite-licensed Brampton company claims it has technology to create odourless cannabis.
    Yahoo Finance
  2. Health Canada data shows there may be an oversupply of cannabis oil.
    Leafly

8

MED Sales Dropped 25%
after Legalization

Between October 2018 and June of this year, MED sales declined by 25%. Though licensed MED client registrations had been steady for years, since October they've largely stalled.
MJ Biz Daily

  • Provinces with the greatest number of REC stores saw the greatest decline in MED sales.
  • The chief barrier to MED growth is excise tax, which increased the cost of MED by up to 30%, depending on province.
  • Materia CEO Deepak Anand called for governments to enable pharmacy sales of MED and to scrap the taxes.
    Twitter

Quick Hits

  1. Most LPs will be using recycled post-consumer resin (PCR) packaging by the middle of next year, while plans for "biodegradable" plastic packaging are questionable.
    Globe and Mail
  2. Intellectual property gets complicated in a sector where people have been innovating in secret for decades. That means it's hard to get patents on cannabis.
    Bloomberg

9

Lots of Licensed Sask. REC Stores Still Not Open

https://www.flickr.com/photos/67669458@N00

When the government of Saskatchewan selected 51 REC retail license-lottery winners last year, it gave them a caveat: they had to complete their license application within a year. With just over a month to go, 16 stores have yet to open.
CBC Saskatoon

  • The issue is largely bureaucratic. The Saskatchewan Lottery and Gaming Authority is in the process of screening applicants, many of whom worry the delay will cost them their chance to open a REC store.
  • Those who were runners-up in last year's lottery may yet get their chance to apply for REC retail licenses.

Quick Hits

  1. Chris "Equity Guru" Perry wrote an entertaining and profane rant about the difficulty of accessing legal cannabis in BC, "literally the worst system in Canada."
    Equity Guru
  2. New Brunswickers are enthusiastic about learning to grow cannabis at home, even if they're not buying many seeds from Cannabis NB.
    CBC New Brunswick

10

New Federal
REC Marketing Rules: Confusing

https://www.flickr.com/people/55635450@N04

Though Health Canada finalized its new regulations on advertising cannabis products in June, it didn't clarify them. That's leaving a lot of people with questions.
Edmonton Journal

  • New rules demand a promotional "brand element" be equal to or smaller than 300cm2, roughly equivalent to the surface area of a shoebox lid.
  • Though Health Canada said storefront signs are not considered promotional in nature, they would not specify what other things to which this new restriction applies.
  • Retailers say they've received no clarification or guidance from Health Canada, whom they say has not communicated with them about the changes.

Quick Hits

  1. Tim Hortons blocked wifi access to legal REC websites, but allowed access to some illicit Mail Order Marijuana sites.
    Leafly

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