Another busy week in weed news at StratCann, with our coverage of Organigram challenging Health Canada’s ruling on edible extracts, OCS launching a Social Impact Fund, Cannabis NB expecting first private retail stores later this summer, some legislative changes for retailers in BC, research into a newly identified fungus affecting cannabis roots and our exclusive visit to the OCS distribution center.
Beyond that, there were several other interesting stories across Canada.
News from the Nordics! The first commercial cannabis grown in Northwest Territories is “weeks” from hitting shelves, CBC reports. They spoke to the people at Boreal Cannabisthe first licensed cannabis grower in the area to release their GasBanana cultivar soon.
In New Brunswick, Huddle ran a feature on Stewart Farms’ new farm gate location, the fifth cannabis farmgate store in Picture Province.
Global News had coverage of last weekend’s BC Cannabis Summit, where the potential for a cannabis tourism industry was seemingly the topic on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Susan Dupej, president of the Canadian Cannabis Tourism Alliance, was quoted as advocating for the market for cannabis-friendly tourism opportunities.
That First Nations Leadership Council says that BC The government must stop excluding First Nations from the benefits of the cannabis industry and is calling for changes to current laws, arguing that they have inherent rights to oversee, process, sell and consume cannabis within their territories.
There is an interesting case in court in Ontario where four Chinese-Canadian growers are facing charges under The Cannabis Act for an apparently illegal medicinal cannabis cultivation. Their attorney says the four “took steps they believed were necessary to run a legal marijuana-growing operation.”
Officers seized 1,654 cannabis plants, which was below the maximum 1,752 the four licensees were allowed to grow. The licenses allowed indoor cultivation, and police argued that the greenhouse systems used did not constitute an indoor operation. All four received conditional discharges. Local media reports that all four still have licenses to grow medical cannabis.
“Where they failed in this case was in the belief that a plastic greenhouse with a steel frame constituted a permanent structure,” said a lawyer for the four. “This has been proven wrong. This is not a permanent structure and that’s where they were in violation of the Cannabis Act.”
Two illegal shops were recently raided Moncton NB also.
Montreal police blew a lot of smoke with an announcement that they had broken up a “contraband cannabis ring” around some local high schools. Pot dealer? In a high school in Montreal? This is one for the detectives at Twenty one Jump Street.
They can start trading legally Center Wellington (a county north of Guelph, ON) soon, Guelph Today reports. A councilor in the city, Bronwynne Wilton, is putting forward a motion to reconsider their original decision to opt out of legal retail. “I think residents deserve to have access to a legal and regulated substance,” said another supportive councillor.
The pointer also covered some local reactions to Mississauga’s latest change to retail rules.
The Victoria Times-Colonist has produced a regular supply of cooling madnesspointed statements of late, including this latest one by Monique Keiran, who worries about how little we apparently knew when we legalized—though it takes a left turn seven paragraphs in, veering into a history of drug law stretching back to the 19th century.
The Globe and Mail ran a similar op-ed expressing concern over impaired drivers.
A sign of the times if ever there was one, Tilray has landed itself on a list of the largest … producers of craft beer in America, reports MJBizDaily. The company went on a beer buying spree in 2020, 2021 and 2022, and it appears to have worked, landing them ninth on the Brewers’ Association’s list of the largest craft brewers in the United States.
MJBizDaily also had an analysis suggesting that the size of the Australia’s the medical cannabis market may soon surpass the size of Canada’s. The medical market “continues to experience strong growth in patients and sales, and experts say the market may even outpace Canada’s medical sector this year,” they write. It sounds a bit like the massive rush seen in Canada’s market in the early days before legalization.
And finally, Ben and Jerry from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream become green. The couple has launched Ben’s Best Blnz, “a nonprofit cannabis line with a stated mission to help right the injustices of the war on drugs,” reports the Associated Press. Much to their credit, this is nothing new from Ben & Jerry’s — the company has long been an advocate for racial justice reform around cannabis.
Finally, H/T to Deepak Anand for giving us a call to Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuiperstweeted on April 22 about his recent visit to Canada to learn more about our cannabis industry and regulations. The government of the Netherlands is looking to establish more regulations around their own quasi-legal cannabis industry.