Newfoundland & Labrador's Liberal government joined Quebec in refusing to allow sales of REC vape products when they become legal nationwide on elsewhere in the country in just over a week on December 16.
Nova Scotia, also citing VAPI, moved to ban sales of "cannabis vaping products that have a scent or flavour other than cannabis noticeable before or during use."
Industry stressed the US vaping illnesses were caused by unregulated counterfeit products, which many believe bans encourage.
MJ Biz Daily
If New Brunswick's Conservative government finds a buyer for crown REC retailer Cannabis NB, that company will not be required to keep all 20 outlets open. That means as the rest of the country begs for more stores, New Brunswick may lose some.
MJ Biz Daily
Shoppers Drug Mart rolled out its MED portal nationwide, after first debuting it in Ontario and Alberta in the spring.
Winnipeg Free Press
The Medical Cannabis by Shoppers program offers patient resources, online telemedicine MED prescriptions (where allowed—so not in Quebec), and the opportunity to order from 12 different MED LPs. Shoppers outlets do not carry MED.
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Canopy entered the US market with hemp-derived CBD brand First & Free, which will be sold in the 31 states where CBD is legal.
Maltese regulators issued a "statement of non-compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice" against Zenabis after an inspection last December at Zenabis's production site found the company out of compliance with EU GMP standards. The company presented a plan for "corrective and preventive action," but failed to meet it.
In a marriage of two controversial companies, Namaste Technologies' MED platform CannMart inked an exclusive licensing agreement with unlicensed legacy operator Phyto Extractions to use its trademarks on products.
Ontario LP AgMedica Bioscience also applied for creditor protection. In its filing, there was a warning for the sector: "Many other licensed producers of cannabis in Canada face similar pressures due to capital market conditions that have challenged the cannabis industry in recent months."
MJ Biz Daily
Manitoba's RCMP succinctly summed up the appeal of illicit cannabis when it published a list of "Common signs to help identify an illegal online cannabis retailer," alongside helpful clip-art icons. They included:
Vice's Manisha Krishnan pointed out this list "[sounds] pretty great" compared with the comparatively small number of legal REC stores offering lower-quality product and multi-day shipping only in-province by Canada Post.
Winnipeg Free Press reporter Sol Israel noted there's good reason for the RCMP campaign, as many Canadians have bought from illicit online sellers believing they were buying legally.
Aleafia completed a $7.1M agreement to sell 2,840 kg of dry flower to an unnamed Canadian LP (at a price per gram of $2.50).
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Two weeks ago, BC LP Pasha laid off a dozen of its 50 employees, mainly in communications and client services, calling six of them back on a commission basis, as it shifted focus to producing pre-rolls.
The Deep Dive, MarketWatch
Ernst Young cannabis manager Ashley Chiu warned—of the sector in general—that "30-40% of these companies won’t be around in a year. It will come down to execution and whether these companies have a differentiated strategy and a road to profitability."
BC premier John Horgan acknowledged the quality of cannabis from that province's legacy market, saying "We have in B.C. a legendary quality product, and that’s not making its way to the legal market."
Simpson added, "Everybody talks about BC Bud and the reputation it has, so if we can build a craft industry that’s legal, that’s regulated appropriately, then that’s a good thing."
While the Liberal government estimated 10,000 Canadians with cannabis convictions were eligible for expedited pardons (out of some 500,000 with convictions that include other crimes), to date Public Safety Canada has only received 234 applications, and has given out only 118 pardons.
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