City of Port Alberni approves marijuana dispensary regulations
By Katya Slepian on Jan. 31, 2016
Medical marijuana dispensaries are officially allowed within the City of Port Alberni--at least as far as the municipal government is concerned.
The votes remained the same as they have since the issue was first raised after WeeMedical opened its doors at the end October 2015 despite the public hearing preceding the council meeting. Mayor Mike Ruttan and Coun. Denis Sauve voted against regulating dispensaries and the other five councillors voted for regulations.
Medical pot producers seek advertising regulation changes ahead of legalization
By Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press on Jan. 31, 2016
OTTAWA—Some of Canada’s biggest producers of medical marijuana want Ottawa to implement advertising regulations similar to those that govern the sale of alcohol, as they await the Liberal government’s long-promised legal recreational market.
A concerted policy push is underway from Tweed Inc., Mettrum Ltd. and Bedrocan Canada Inc. — three licensed producers that operate under Health Canada’s medical marijuana program.
Ontario public health unit issues resolution on legalizing marijuana
By CBC News Staff on January 28, 2016
An Ontario public health unit is getting ahead of federal promises to legalize marijuana by issuing resolutions on how to regulate the drug.
Officials from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit outlined their concerns in a report last week.
Licensed cannabis oil is both scarce and expensive for medical users
By Mike Hager on January 27, 2016
... Mr. Skidmore, a cannabis advocate for several years, says he can’t afford the cannabis oil sold by a handful of Canada’s licensed commercial producers, and every patient he knows buys their oil from illegal dispensaries or small-scale producers such as himself.
Using marijuana he grows with a licence under the old federal medical marijuana system, the material in each batch costs him about $100, which he says works out to an overall cost of about $5 to $10 per gram of oil, depending on how the process goes. That’s much cheaper than the $25 to $50 per gram at Vancouver’s dispensaries, or the $90 charged by one licensed producer, Mettrum, for one 40-millilitre bottle of oil, the cheapest rate offered through Health Canada’s system...
Unlicensed medical marijuana sellers must still pay tax, appeal court rules
By Mike Hager on January 26, 2016
Canadians selling medical marijuana outside the licensed mail-order system must still watch out for the taxman, according to a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that reasserts Ottawa’s right to collect sales taxes on any and all pot that is sold.
In a unanimous decision released Monday, judges dismissed an appeal by Gabriola Island grower Gerry Hedges to stop the clawback of almost $15,000 in GST for marijuana he sold over several years to the Vancouver-based B.C. Compassion Club Society, Canada’s oldest dispensary.
14 marijuana-dispensary firms pass zoning hurdle
By Dan Fumano on January 25, 2016
Out of the 176 applicants seeking to operate marijuana dispensaries under Vancouver’s new licensing regime, the city has weeded out 14 businesses to move one step closer for a licence.
Fourteen pot-dispensary businesses have been deemed to be in compliance with zoning rules, allowing them to apply for development permits, said Vancouver’s director of licensing and inspections Andreea Toma.
Medical marijuana producer Bedrocan lowers its prices to $5 a gram
By Peter Koven on January 25, 2016
Canopy Growth Corp. has slashed prices for several of its medical marijuana products as it hopes to seize market share from rivals.
Canopy, Canada’s largest medical pot company, announced Monday that prices for all six products in its Bedrocan Canada brand have been slashed to five dollars a gram, well below the average market price of about $7.50. Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Canopy bought the Bedrocan product line last year.
Perfect pot? U of Guelph researchers working to grow marijuana optimally
By Rob O'Flanagan on January 22, 2016
— Marijuana has been grown in a clandestine manner by a great many growers for a long time.
Despite that, an optimal way of cultivating the plant to boost its medicinal properties has not be found, says a University of Guelph plant scientist who is leading the charge to perfect pot growing.
Mike Dixon and his research team in the University of Guelph's controlled environmental system research facility and program, has received $210,000 from Ontario Centres of Excellence. The money will fund the application of new irrigation technology to medical cannabis growing. It's a process by which small sensors are strapped to the stem of a plant and hooked up to a wireless data logger that measures the water status of the plant every 15 minutes.
When will Legalization actually happen in Canada? Late 2016 or 2017?
... Since winning power, though, the Liberals have not sent any clear signals about how fast they plan to move on marijuana. But at least one producer is expecting partial legalization a year from now, starting with British Columbia, the province that’s furthest along in stakeholder consultations. “We think that we will be able to have recreational marijuana on store shelves in liquor stores in British Columbia in early 2017,” said Sébastien St. Louis, CEO of Hydropothecary, a marijuana producer based in Gatineau, Que.
For that to happen, federal legislation could be tabled as early as this spring.
Medical marijuana growers lobby Ottawa to shut down pot dispensaries
By Daniel Leblanc on January 21, 2016
The biggest growers of medical marijuana in Canada want to be first in line when the market for recreational pot opens up, arguing that only they can guarantee a high-quality product that is securely distributed by mail.
The operators of the Canopy Growth Corp. and Tweed Marijuana Inc. want the federal government to shut down the pot dispensaries that are popping up around the country. Instead, they argue, the strictly regulated and licensed firms in the medical field should be the first ones allowed to provide marijuana to recreational users.
The new lobbying campaign is aimed at the top Liberal officials who will devise plans to legalize marijuana in Canada, mainly MP Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who is the Trudeau government’s point person on the file.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Legalization could put licensed pot shops in Vancouver out of business
By Mike Hager on January 21, 2016
Marijuana dispensaries that have gone through a rigorous vetting process to get a coveted licence from the City of Vancouver could find themselves out of business anyway when the federal government legalizes the drug.
Earlier this week, provincial Health Minister Terry Lake said he would prefer to see liquor stores – not cannabis shops – sell recreational pot once it’s legalized. That prompted Councillor Kerry Jang, Vision Vancouver’s lead on the marijuana file, to say Thursday that the city would owe nothing to those owners who went through the lengthy process of getting the new class of business licence to sell the illegal substance within city limits.
Fourteen Vancouver pot shops move one step closer to legitimacy
By Mike Hager on Jan. 20, 2016
Fourteen applicants are one step closer to running a licensed marijuana dispensary in Vancouver as the city attempts to impose some control on the illegal retail sale of cannabis.
The applicants include a current owner who acknowledges a past association with the Hells Angels, and the identity of those behind seven others remains unknown. Letters published on the city’s development services website had names missing or redacted.
Medical Marijuana Supplier Tweed Inc. endorses mail-order pot system
By Elianna Lev on January 19, 2016
While Ottawa navigates the steps it’ll take to legalize marijuana in Canada, the head of one of the country’s largest pot distributors supports the use of Canada Post as a convenient and immediate channel.
Mark Zekulin is the president of Tweed Inc., one of 27 licensed producers of medical marijuana in Canada. That means, the product they produce is highly regulated when it comes to security, labelling and traceability.
Federal pot legalization process needs to involve Toronto: councillor
Coun. Jim Karygiannis worries the proposed legalization of marijuana could lead to pot shops “growing like weeds” in Toronto neighbourhoods.
So, when newly-minted MP – and former Toronto police chief – Bill Blair and the rest of the Liberal government decide how to regulate the drug, the Karygiannis wants Toronto to have a seat at the table.
“We want to have a input right from the foundation,” he said, adding he’s heard reports of several unlicensed pot dispensaries across the city, and is concerned they could become legal and operational in inappropriate places.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
B.C. Health Minister to push for pot reforms, regulated sales outlets
By Mike Hager on January 18, 2016
British Columbia’s Health Minister says he will use meetings with his provincial and federal counterparts this week in Vancouver to push for recreational marijuana to be sold in locations that are strictly regulated and inspected, such as special kiosks at liquor stores.
Terry Lake also said the federal medical marijuana system should be reformed to include face-to-face sales in outlets such as pharmacies instead of limiting it to the current mail-order system, though he said dispensaries – which are flourishing in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto – should not be involved.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Canada Pot? How mail-order marijuana could help save the struggling post office
By John Ivison on January 17, 2016
Could Canada Post become Canada Pot? The Crown corporation is desperately seeking new revenue sources, as mail volumes drop five per cent a year.
At the same time, the federal government is equally frantic in its hunt for income, as the economy slows.
The suggestion from producers of medicinal marijuana is that Canada Post be the initial distribution network for recreational cannabis, after pot is legalized by the new government.
Friday, January 15, 2016
First marijuana shop licence expected in the spring
The City of Vancouver is still a few months away from making Canadian history by being the first municipality in this country to issue a business licence to an illegal marijuana dispensary, according to the city’s chief licence inspector.
That’s because city staff continues to sort through applications, collect feedback from neighbours of pot shops and wait for results of appeals by applicants initially rejected under the new regulations. Many dispensary operators are also looking for or found new locations for their businesses, said Andreaa Toma, who is overseeing the regulations brought in by city council in June 2015.- See more at: http://www.vancourier.com/news/first-marijuana-shop-licence-expected-in-the-spring-1.2151392#sthash.bTX4L2pD.dpuf
By Mike Howell on January 14, 2016
Vancouver Board of Variance to begin hearing appeals from rejected pot shop operators in February
The City of Vancouver is still a few months away from making Canadian history by being the first municipality in this country to issue a business licence to an illegal marijuana dispensary, according to the city’s chief licence inspector.
That’s because city staff continues to sort through applications, collect feedback from neighbours of pot shops and wait for results of appeals by applicants initially rejected under the new regulations. Many dispensary operators are also looking for or found new locations for their businesses, said Andreaa Toma, who is overseeing the regulations brought in by city council in June 2015.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Canada’s pot industry calling on Ottawa to stop rise of illegal stores
By Mike Hager on January 14, 2016
A trade group representing most of Canada’s licensed marijuana growers is calling on the federal government to curb the ongoing surge in illegal pot shops, which began in Vancouver and has now spread to Toronto.
Reacting to news that Canada’s largest city now has 40 dispensaries and could see more than 100 by this spring, the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association is asking Ottawa to stop the rise of illegal marijuana stores, which operate outside the strict regulations that its commercial-scale producers must respect.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Pot entrepreneur joins rush to open shops in hot Toronto market
By Mike Hager on January 13, 2016
Don Briere already runs the biggest chain of illegal marijuana dispensaries in the country, with 19 locations throughout B.C. Now, he’s expanding eastward, inking deals to open six pot-shop franchises in Toronto.
Sent to prison for once heading British Columbia’s biggest network of marijuana grow operations, Mr. Briere is just one of dozens of entrepreneurs rushing to take advantage of Toronto’s rapid rise as a centre for the illegal storefront sale of cannabis.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
CanniMed receives approval from Health Canada to sell marijuana oil
By Thomas Piller on January 12, 2016
SASKATOON – CanniMed Ltd. announces Tuesday that Health Canada has given it the go ahead to begin selling edible cannabis oil. Registered patients can already start placing orders.
The company, just east of Saskatoon, said it has successfully fulfilled all of Health Canada’s requirements and has been granted a licence under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Wynne 'encouraged' by Blair's comments supporting marijuana sales at liquor stores
By Chris Fox, CP24.com on January 11, 2016
“I am encouraged that he (Blair) has said as a preliminary approach that it might make sense to use the distribution network that is already in place but that is not a foregone conclusion,” Wynne said at Queen’s Park on Monday. “He has got a lot of people to talk to and he has got a lot of questions to ask and decisions to make over the coming months.”
In his interview with The Star, Blair stopped short of endorsing the sale of legalized pot at government-run liquor stores but he did say that the retail outlets represent a “model and framework” that can be built on.
Speaking with reporters, Wynne said she has “a lot of respect for Bill Blair” and is looking forward to the “opportunity to talk to him” about the legalization of marijuana.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Ex-colleague will lobby MP Bill Blair to restrict field of pot growers
By Daniel Leblanc on January 10, 2016
A former high-ranking colleague and friend of MP Bill Blair, the Liberal government’s point man on marijuana legalization, will lobby the ex-Toronto police chief in hopes of ensuring a tightly controlled system in which only licensed firms are allowed to grow the lucrative drug.
Kim Derry, a deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service under Mr. Blair, is a promoter of marijuana facility THC Meds Ontario Inc., along with George Smitherman, a former Ontario Liberal deputy premier. Mr. Blair, put in charge of the marijuana file last week, will play a key role in determining who gets to grow the product once it is legalized.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Medical marijuana growers call to expand mail order system for recreational use
By Christine Chubb on January 9, 2016
Medical marijuana growers say there’s a simple solution to fast-track selling recreational pot legally – mail it out.
Currently, medicinal marijuana can be sold by mail order to those with a prescription. Growers say a quick way to start selling it legally across the country would be to simply add recreational use to their distribution list.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Canopy Growth: Perfectly Positioned in Canada's Market
Watch an interview with Canopy Growth Corp. CEO Bruce Linton.
SEATTLE, WA / ACCESSWIRE / JANUARY 6, 2016 / CFN Media - The Canadian cannabis industry is poised to become a massive multi-billion-dollar market over the coming years. After the Canadian government implemented the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) back in 2013, incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to introduce a more widespread recreational marijuana program that would make Canada the second country in the world to fully legalize the drug after Uruguay's landmark decision in 2012.
While the actual implementation of the program could take some time, given Trudeau's prudent approach to crafting the right legislation, Canada will become the first G20 nation to develop a recreational program that is controlled, taxed, and safe for consumers. Many other countries considering programs of their own will likely look towards Canada as a model for their own programs that may be rolled out over the next decade.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Ontario marijuana grower 'ready to expand' under Liberals
By CTV News Staff on January 8, 2016
As Ottawa prepares to legalize recreational marijuana, the 27 companies licensed to grow and sell medical pot in Canada are getting ready to cash in.
Ontario grower Tweed is among those planning to expand. The company grows about one-quarter of all medical marijuana sold in Canada, on the site of a former chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ont.
“This facility is ready to expand to meet a growing market,” President Mark Zekulin told CTV’s Richard Madan, while offering a tour of the facility Friday.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Why Canada’s marijuana growers are in a race to make their pot taste delicious
By Peter Koven on January 8, 2016
Medical marijuana that you can eat is poised to explode into a huge growth industry.
SMITHS FALLS, ONT. — For more than four decades, Smiths Falls was known as the “Chocolate Capital of Ontario” because of its iconic Hershey factory. But Hershey bolted in 2009, and a few years later, the plant was sold to a very different sort of company: Tweed Marjuana Inc. In 2014, it re-opened as Canada’s largest marijuana production facility.
... In effect, the town of Smiths Falls has been rebranded as Ontario’s pot capital. But if Bruce Linton gets his way, it will be going back to chocolate soon enough.
Thursday January 7, 2016
Monopolies should not control legal marijuana
By Vince Fiorito on Januray 7, 2016
Respectfully, I must disagree with Premier Kathleen Wynne that the LCBO should control marijuana sales in Ontario. If the only issue associated with selling recreational drugs like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana was just keeping them out of reach of our youth during their formative years, then I would agree.
I would also add that the LCBO and The Beer Store are models of environmentally-friendly packaging and recycling. Bravo.
My problem with the LCBO and The Beer Store is their size, their undue control of the alcohol industry as a regulated monopoly and their limited liability. They have a profit motive to promote and encourage increased alcohol consumption. They don't fund drug rehabilitation and counselling programs to reduce the harm to the individual and society from recreational alcohol consumption.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
International treaties a concern before Feds can legalize marijuana
By Mike Blanchfield (The Canadian Press) on January 5, 2016
OTTAWA – The Liberal government will have to do substantial work on the international stage before it can follow through on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize marijuana, new documents suggest.
That work will have to include figuring out how Canada would comply with three international treaties to which the country is a party, all of which criminalize the possession and production of marijuana.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Petition calls for ‘no marijuana’ zone around schools
By Kristin Rushowy on January 4, 2016
When marijuana becomes legal, it should not be sold within 500 metres of any school, says a candidate for the upcoming trustee byelection in Scarborough-Rouge River, who has launched a petition.
Sharon Kerr said she’s heard concerns about the federal Liberal government’s promise to legalize the recreational use of pot as she’s been going door-to-door campaigning for the Ward 21 seat for the Toronto District School Board left vacant by Shaun Chen, who was recently elected as an MP.
“The topic came up and it became evident that something had to go out,” said Kerr, a mother of two. “We need to put students first, and (parents) don’t want marijuana being sold anywhere near their kids’ schools.”
Monday January 4, 2016
MADD worries about effect of legalized pot on impaired driving
By Len Gillis on January 3, 2016
With the possibility of liberalized marijuana laws being passed in Canada in this year, there is also a concern about how that will play out in terms of impaired driving caused by drugs.
Steve Meunier, the president of the Timmins chapter of MADD Canada (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving), said the concern is a valid one.
“MADD is obviously concerned about this at a corporate level, and that focuses down to the chapters as well, and of course we are all concerned,” said Meunier.
“Unfortunately people still make the conscious decision to get behind the wheel when they’re impaired by alcohol. And people impaired by drug is becoming more and more commonplace,” he added.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Epilepsy and marijuana; A year long study suggests cannabidiol reduce seizures
By Marie Ellis on December 30, 2015
In a year-long study conducted by epilepsy specialists at the New York University Langone Medical Center, results have suggested that a derivative of medical marijuana effectively reduces seizure frequency and is safe for most children and young adults who have epilepsy.
Results from the study were presented earlier this year at the American Epilepsy Society's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, but this is the first time the findings have been published in a peer-reviewed journal - The Lancet Neurology.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
MMPR – The Latest Numbers
The MMPR continues to grow in size and scope as new producers, patients and physicians take part in the program. New statistics from January through October of 2015 show over 1,300 doctors now signing medical documents to access marijuana for medical purposes for, on average, ~3 grams a day to over 34,000 patients to date, with almost 5,000kg sold and another ~8,000 in storage.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Don't Let Those Who Opposed Legal Cannabis Profit From It Now
By Dana Larsen on December 29, 2015
Before premiers, liquor unions and corporations start falling all over each other in an effort to cash in on legal cannabis sales, let's remember the real reasons we should be ending cannabis prohibition in Canada.
Yes, we should be legalizing cannabis in Canada, but not because of the tax revenue it will generate, and not because legalization a better way to keep cannabis from kids, and not even because polls show that most Canadians now support changing the law.
We should be ending cannabis prohibition in Canada because the war on cannabis and cannabis users has always been unjustified, immoral and harmful to individuals and society.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
EDITORIAL: Selling drugs at government liquor stores is a crackpot idea
With Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, it’s no longer a question of if marijuana will be legalized, but when. Now a bigger question exists: how will it be sold?
Unsurprisingly, stakeholders in the provincial liquor monopolies have weighed in before any announcement from the federal government, pleading that they should have the exclusive right to sell ganja to the public.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Words from a professional pot producer: Emily Moeller from Bedrocan
A Q & A with Emily Moeller, the head grower at Bedrocan Canada’s massive medical marijuana production facility.
Is there anything you’d like to see changed in the industry? I would like to see it be a little bit easier for patients to get access to medicine. Right now, it can be time consuming and even somewhat costly for patients to get their prescription and get signed up with a licensed producer. If you’re sick and you need medicine, you shouldn’t have to jump through all these hoops and find a doctor who will prescribe you medicine, because many won’t. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been a hot topic in this year’s election.
Do you have an opinion on this? As far as I’m concerned, this has very little to do with what I do. If the recreational market gets legalized it will obviously change how we operate as a business, but as far as I’m concerned the recreational market is one market and the medicinal market is a totally different fish.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Mettrum Receives Health Canada License to Sell Marijuana Extracts
From the Mettrum press release: Mettrum is the second company in the industry to have been awarded a license for the production and sale of cannabis extracts.
"Securing this license is a continuation of our strategy of providing cannabis products, in a variety of formats. Our clients will be able to rely upon a selection of cannabis oils representing each band of the Mettrum Spectrum including our CBD strains. Cannabis extracts provide a level of standardization that cannot be achieved in the flower form, and in some cases, it is a more convenient consumption method," said Michael Haines, Chief Executive Officer of Mettrum. "We are very excited about this new phase for the industry and we look forward to continuing our role as a market leader, and provider, of high quality, cannabis products."
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Many Canadians use CBD oil, pediatric marijuana to treat epilepsy
Ella Turkington, 5, has intractable epilepsy and autism. Her parents Kim and Rob Turkington administers cannabidiol (CBD) oil in conjunction with her pharmaceuticals - as more families are experimenting with pediatric cannabis - to treat her epilepsy.
Marijuana Industry News
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
New poll finds that plurality of Ontarians oppose selling Marijuana at LCBO
By Chris Fox on December 22, 2015
A plurality of Ontarians oppose selling marijuana in LCBO outlets despite comments from Premier Kathleen Wynne arguing that it would be a logical fit, a new poll has found.
In an interview with CP24 last week, Wynne said that the LCBO would be a “good network” for legalized marijuana sales because it is a “trusted institution” that already has infrastructure in place to restrict access to its products and sell them responsibly.
A province-wide poll conducted by Forum Research, however, has found that the idea may not be widely supported by Ontarians.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Experts stress ‘Goldilocks point’ for pot taxes: Not too low or high, but just right
By Christopher Reynolds on December 22, 2015
As Canada mulls how to handle marijuana legalization — promised in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election platform — experts are stressing the “Goldilocks point” for taxes: not too low, not too high, but just right.
“They can’t raise taxes too much or people will just smoke the illegal stuff,” said Timothy Easton, an economist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.
“You want to have it high enough to discourage consumption — if, in fact, that’s your goal — but if you set it too high you end up with a continuation of the black market,” noted Patrick Fafard, associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Cannabis controversy: Should doctors prescribe it to kids?
Published on December 18, 2015
The Canadian Pediatric Society released a statement on the therapeutic treatment of children with cannabis this week which reads, in part, "There is little evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis in children and most front-line doctors should not be prescribing the drug to young people." But many parents across Canada say that cannabis has been a huge help to their children - in particular, it's been used to treat children who suffer severe epileptic seizures.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Canadian justice minister talks about marijuana legalization
Published on December 20, 2015
Canadian justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks about the new legislation legalizing marijuana and what it could mean for Vancouver.
The Justice Minister said in the interview:
I'm looking forward to legalization of Marijuana and putting forward a regulatory
"It's a commitment we are going to follow thru with."
Friday, December 18, 2015
Marijuana legalization policies still in research stage, Trudeau says
By Ian Bailey on December 17, 2015
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t committing to the sale of marijuana in liquor outlets, as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and others have suggested, but he isn’t ruling it out.
During a visit to Vancouver City Hall on Thursday – the first by a sitting prime minister since Mr. Trudeau’s father, Pierre, visited in 1973 – Mr. Trudeau said he is open to all “best practices” on the issue as he forges ahead with his commitment to legalize and regulate marijuana.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Nanaimo city council takes step towards regulating pot dispensaries
By Kendall Hanson on December 16, 2015
Marijuana dispensaries remain open and ask levels of government to provide framework for operations
Nanaimo City Council is moving towards regulating marijuana storefronts in the city.
Council voted unanimously at it’s regular meeting this week in favour of staff investigating what other cities have done to regulate the industry.
Dispensary operators says it’s a step in the right direction but ultimately they’re hoping the federal government will move quickly to legalize marijuana.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Politicians, activists differ on where to deal legalized pot
By Haydn Watters on December 16, 2015
From liquor stores to home delivery, a look at the most-discussed marijuana distribution models
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana, but the question remains — where will it be sold and distributed once that happens? There are many different distribution models governments could implement — making marijuana
available solely through one model or a variety of different ways — and Ottawa says it is determined to work with the provinces and territories to sort these out. Here's a look at the most-discussed models, along with some of their advantages and disadvantages.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
LCBO should sell pot when legal, Wynne says
By Robert Benzie on December 14, 2015
Weed with your whisky and wine?
Premier Kathleen Wynne says once Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government moves to legalize marijuana it should be sold in provincially owned LCBO stores.
“It makes sense to me that the liquor distribution mechanism that we have in place at LCBO is very well-suited to putting in place the social responsibility aspects that would need to be in place,” the premier said Monday at Queen’s Park.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Why Justin Trudeau Can't Stop The RCMP Raids On Dispensaries
By James McClure on December 11, 2015
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize cannabis. To that end, he's assigned Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould to lead the charge, and made legalization part of the government's agenda for this parliamentary session. That's certainly encouraging given the inertia of the Harper years, and impressive for someone who's been on the job for less than two months.
But he isn't moving fast enough for the nation's "gray market" cannabis dispensaries, which are being raided by the RCMP despite the federal government's legalization mandate. The confusion has led many to wonder what the prime minister can do to fix this problem.
Friday, December 11, 2015
SAQ workers examining whether they should sell marijuana
By CTV Montreal on December 10, 2015
The union of SAQ workers is studying whether or not they should be the ones selling marijuana when the federal government legalizes weed.
In the throne speech, the Liberal government promised to legalize, regulate, and restrict marijuana.
Workers at the SAQ believe that, as a provincially-regulated monopoly, the SAQ is in a unique position to handle the sales of marijuana.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Vermont medical school delves into marijuana science
By Lisa Rathke on December 9, 2015
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — As more states allow for the use of medical marijuana, the University of Vermont is offering a course in the science of the drug — and the professors say they are challenged by a lack of research on what has long been a taboo topic.
Other institutions have offered classes in marijuana law and policy, but the university's medical school is likely the country's first to offer a full course on medical cannabis, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Other medical schools have touched on the topic.
"What we're trying to do with this course is to sort of demystify this whole subject matter, to try to treat this like any other drug, like alcohol or amphetamines or opioids," said Vermont pharmacology professor Wolfgang Dostmann. "Just demystify the whole thing and say what it is, what is going on with it, how does it work."
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
GW Pharma ramps up capacity ahead of key drug approval
By Julia Bradshaw on December 8, 2015
Pharmaceuticals firm hopes to get positive results from key trials next year, paving the way for the regulatory green light
GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes drugs derived from the cannabis plant, is scaling up its manufacturing capacity ahead of an expected approval of a new treatment for children with life-threatening epilepsy.
Chief executive Justin Gover said production in 2015 had already increased by 20 times and that this was expected to double further in 2016 to meet "significant" commercial demand for Epidiolex, if it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Some analysts believe the drug could get the green light in early 2017.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Premier Christy Clark says B.C. ready to work with Ottawa on marijuana legalization
By Travis Lupick on December 7, 2015
British Columbia’s premier has said the province is “ready to endorse and allow” a federal plan to legalize marijuana.
Speaking to Global News on December 6, Christy Clark was asked if she was supportive of the new Liberal government’s plan to allow for the sale of recreational cannabis.
“Well, I mean we’re happy to work with whatever the federal government decides on that,” Clark began. “You know they were really clear—and it was a big election issue in B.C.—about their position on this. And so we’re prepared to move forward on it, and I know lots of ideas about how we might regulate it.”
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Ottawa grants commercial producer first license to sell cannabis oils
By Mike Hager on December 7, 2015
Ottawa has given a commercial medical marijuana producer the first licence to sell cannabis oils through the federally regulated mail-order system, six months after a Supreme Court ruling forced Health Canada to allow access to edible forms of the drug.
Peace Naturals Project Inc., based in Stayner, Ont., announced Monday that it is the first commercial producer to be approved to sell cannabis oil. Fourteen other commercial producers are listed on Health Canada’s website as being permitted to produce cannabis oil, but they are still awaiting bureaucratic approval to sell it. Currently, 20 producers are licensed to sell dried marijuana.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Lessons for Canada: Israel to Enhance Access to Medical Cannabis
By Arron Bockner on December 7, 2015
Israel to allow sale of cannabis in pharmacies, doubling the number of licensed producers. Canada's MMPR struggles with similar issues of supply and distribution.
In the 1990s, both Canada and Israel began permitting the use of medical cannabis. Like Canada, cannabis is illegal in Israel, except when authorized for medical use. Furthermore, the Israeli framework is comparable in that cannabis is not an officially approved medicine and it is regulated by the federal Ministry of Health.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Michael Smyth on marijuana sales in Canada
By Michael Smyth on December 6, 2015
The ballots were barely counted on federal election night when British Columbia’s largest union began planning its pitch to sell legal marijuana in B.C. liquor stores.
“On Oct. 19, after the election results, that’s when we first started having informal conversations about it with our senior staff,” said Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during that election to legalize pot across Canada, assuring voters it would be a top priority for his new Liberal government.
The BCGEU, which represents government liquor-store workers, knew it had to quickly make its case to get the public and politicians on side.
Monday December 7, 2015
Let’s remove stigma and get on with medical marijuana research
Published on December 6, 2015
As Canadian politicians put out feelers on the idea of legalized recreational marijuana, oddly enough, we still aren’t making a lot of progress when it comes to possibilities for medicinal uses.
That’s a shame, considering widespread testimonials about its benefits. Advocates for its use are claiming, perhaps not surprisingly, that they believe it's the stigma about this herb – long vilified and placed by our laws among the ranks of ‘killer drugs’ from pushers – that’s standing in the way of improved research for medicinal cannabis.
A national roundtable on medical cannabis was hosted by The Arthritis Society in Vancouver last week. Its goal was to set research priorities for a substance that has been available medically for a decade but has been subject to little scientific research.
Post Interview with medical marijuana entrepreneur Marc Wayne
By Ron Johnson on December 4, 2015
When Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister of Canada, he pledged to end marijuana prohibition and legalize it for adult use. It may not have actually sunk in for Canadians, but it is coming. And if Toronto resident Marc Wayne of medical marijuana company Bedrocan Inc. has anything to say about, it should happen quickly.
Canada could be the first G7 country to legalize marijuana
By The Canadian Press on December 5, 2015
It has taken more than 40 years, but the government of Canada is finally formally committing to legalizing marijuana.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston delivered the governing priorities of Justin Trudeau's Liberals in the speech from the throne Friday, including a pledge to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana."
Medical cannabis and arthritis pain research subject of roundtable talks
By CBC News on December 3, 2015
There is strong anecdotal evidence that medical cannabis helps manage the pain of osteoarthritis, but more research is needed, says Joanne Simons with The Arthritis Society. (Associated Press)
The majority of people, 65 per cent, who are authorized to possess medical cannabis use it to manage arthritis pain, according to The Arthritis Society.
The organization is hosting a national medical cannabis roundtable discussion in Vancouver today with the hope more scientists will research the subject.
Read position paper on medical marijuana - by The Arthritis Society
B.C. liquor store workers want to sell legal pot by Christmas 2016
By Tyler Orton on December 3, 2015
B.C. liquor store workers want to deck their shelves with legalized recreational pot in time for Christmas 2016.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) and the B.C. Private Liquor Store Association (BCPLSA) announced Wednesday (December 2) they were partnering up to advocate for the sale of pot through their existing distribution and retail systems.
The partners, who are calling themselves the Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of B.C., said the age-controlled stored provide an ideal environment for sales.
A new portable device to detect recent marijuana use
By Bob Yirka on December 3, 2015
California based Hound Labs Inc. is claiming to have made a breakthrough in the rush to develop a portable device capable of detecting THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in the breath of someone that has recently smoked a substance containing the chemical. They claim also that their device will soon be small enough for use by law enforcement to remove impaired drivers from the road.
Mayor of Nanaimo says he has no control over RCMP decision to raid pot shops
By Mike Hager on December 2, 2015
B.C., Nanaimo mayor Bill McKay said the federal government must “get off their keister” and issue guidelines for municipalities such as his, which are facing a boom in illegal sales.
He said part of the problem is that Tilray and other commercial producers are still waiting on the federal government to allow them to sell the cannabis oils that patients get from dispensaries. “This drug is regulated federally and I just wish the wheels in Ottawa would turn a whole bunch faster,” Mr. McKay said.
B.C. union, private liquor stores want legalized marijuana sales to go through them
By The Canadian Press on December 2, 2015
Private liquor stores in B.C. and the union representing workers in government-owned stores say they want legalized marijuana sales to be sold alongside alcohol.
The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and the B.C. Private Liquor Store Association announced a partnership to advocate for the sale of recreational pot through the province’s existing alcohol retail system, in both public and private stores.
Canada's new marijuana laws must attend to business: Don Pittis
By Don Pittis on December 2, 2015
As rural youth have known for more than a generation, growing pot, even in the Canadian climate, is not so difficult. A sunny patch between young pines, a bit of fertilizer and seed and then go away till autumn.
The constraint on pot production has never been agricultural.
Marijuana laws have been in place for so long that there will be political pressure to make sure any changes put health and safety first as Canada leads the way on pot regulation. But as governments across the country consider how to liberalize the rules on the distribution and use of cannabis, they are also laying the ground rules for a multibillion-dollar industry.
Where Canadian premiers stand on marijuana legalization
By Aaron Bockner on November 30, 2015
Assuming the Liberal Party fulfills their promise to legalize cannabis, a national discussion on how to regulate the substance will be required. The outcome of such a conversation will probably include a combination of federal, provincial and territorial cannabis regulations that are similar to those already in place for alcohol and tobacco.
Truro Herbal Co. growing closer to medical marijuana production
By Truro Daily News on November 29, 2015
The Truro Herbal Co. (the THC) has received Stage 3 approval from Health Canada under the federal medical marijuana production regulations.
Company president Evan Price said he is hoping production will be underway by next July or August.
“It’s not just something that you do overnight,” he said, of the heavily scrutinized approval process required to set up a legalized marijuana grow op.
Canadian company's marijuana-infused coffee pods ready for brewing
By Sophia Harris on November 29, 2015
There may soon be a new use for your Keurig coffee maker — brewing pot.
Canadian medical cannabis producer CannTrust has created a single-serve marijuana pod called the CANNCUP.
Like other pods on the market, the CANNCUP will contain your choice of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. But these capsules will have a little extra something — dried cannabis.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Canadian bankers still view marijuana businesses with caution
By Mike Hager on November 29, 2015
On the cusp of receiving a coveted new licence to grow medical marijuana, Dan LaFlamme went looking for a bank to represent his family-owned business and encountered the kind of rejection those in the burgeoning industry have gotten used to.
Two of them turned Canna Farms away before a third finally agreed. It was early 2014 and the company, based in Hope, B.C., had secured the fifth licence from Health Canada to produce medical cannabis for its new commercial mail-order system.
“I think it was just so new, [the banks] didn’t know [it was legal],” Mr. LaFlamme said.
Read Whole Article @ The Globe and Mail
Courier delivery model could speed up recreational access to marijuana, says Linton
By The Canadian Press ~ OBJ on November 26, 2015
The CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. says a delivery-by-courier model would be a good first step as the new Liberal government looks to allow recreational access to marijuana.
"I think there may be an interim opportunity for distribution to happen quickly, to show a milestone of achieving things, because milestones in politics seem to be important," Bruce Linton said during the company's second-quarter earnings call Thursday.
"If the feds wish to have limited recreational access by way of direct courier, and then evolve it into presentation into LCBOs or SAQs or wherever, that could be something that could happen, and certainly we are actively, actively advocating that kind of first step."
Medical marijuana farm opening southeast of Latchford, Ontario
DelShen Therapeutics is developing a state of the art pharmaceutical grade medical marijuana operation in a repurposed government built forestry growing operation.
Mining and manufacturing may be on a low in northern Ontario, but it appears growing marijuana is on a high.
The media is being invited to a news conference in Kirkland Lake Friday where it will be announced that an "unique economic and community development agreement" will be signed regarding medical marijuana.
Ontario changes mind on medical marijuana use in public places after earlier OK
By CBC News on November 26, 2015
Ontario's Liberal government says it will re-examine its recent move to allow medical marijuana users to smoke and vape the drug anywhere in the province, just one day after announcing the change.
"We've heard the concerns around this regulation, and we're going to take this feedback and see if this regulation is the best way to move forward," Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla said Thursday.
Halifax Cannabinoid Medical Clinic provides support for patients and doctors
By CBC News on November 25, 2015
'Most GPs and specialists aren't very comfortable writing prescriptions for cannabis'
A new Halifax clinic is helping patients and their doctors navigate the sometimes complicated medical and legal grounds for cannabis-based treatments.
"The thing is most GPs and specialists aren't very comfortable writing prescriptions for cannabis. We will actually take that over," said Dr. Danial Schedcter, medical director of Canabanoid Medical Clinic, which also has a location in Toronto.
Ontario to allow use of medical marijuana in public places
By City News on November 25, 2015
Instead of popping two aspirins, you can now light up a joint at work – if you have a medical marijuana prescription.
Medical marijuana users with a doctor’s prescription are exempt from the laws that prohibit cigarette smoking and e-cigarette vaping in most public places in Ontario, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dipika Damerla, explained on Wednesday.
Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society case study on medical marijuana for complex pain syndrome
The prescription of medical cannabis by a transitional pain service to wean a patient with complex pain from opioid use following liver transplantation.
"The purpose of this case report is to describe a patient with a preoperative complex pain syndrome who underwent liver transplantation and was able to reduce his opioid consumption significantly following the initiation of treatment with medical cannabis."
Growing Green: Weed From an ex-Chocolate Factory in Canada
By Kenneth Hughes
A factory once owned by Hershey in Canada now makes products that offer a slightly stronger buzz than a milk chocolate kiss. The site in Smith Falls, Ontario, has 168,000 square feet that is licensed by the government for medical marijuana production. Tweed's sales could reach C$100 million a year for its many home-grown varieties and blends.
Union suggests legalized marijuana should be sold through LCBO
By CTV Toronto on November 21, 2015
Marijuana should be sold in LCBO stores if the drug is legalized by the federal government, according to the head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said provincial liquor stores have a solid track record of responsibly selling alcohol, and he believes the same standards would be applied to the sale of legalized pot.
By Jenna Valleriani on November 20, 2015
The cannabis community held tight to a victory in Canada's federal election, when the Liberals stepped out with a majority government. Legalization of cannabis is part of their official platform and now that they hold a majority, it can't come soon enough. Some are still skeptical -- others have promised legalization before Justin Trudeau.
It could mean some big things for everyone. Will dispensaries finally be regulated federally? Will licensed producers be at the forefront of an "inevitable" recreational market? What about home growing?
Planning for pot sales underway
By Bartley Kives on November 18, 2015
The impending legalization of cannabis has sparked a formal effort in Manitoba to determine how marijuana ought to be regulated and sold.
In Monday’s throne speech, the Selinger government said Manitoba’s Liquor & Gaming Authority and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries "will be well positioned to regulate the sale and distribution of marijuana in a safe and socially responsible manner" once Justin Trudeau’s Liberals make it legal to light up.
Canada - Ontario - Vancouver Island mayors seek guidance from Ottawa on marijuana shops
By Mike Hager on November 17, 2015
The mayors of two of Vancouver Island’s biggest cities are calling on the federal Liberal government to advise them what to do with the illegal pot shops cropping up in their communities and explain more of what the path to promised legalization could look like.
This week, Victoria city council will debate a pot-shop bylaw proposal similar to the one Vancouver passed in June, while Nanaimo’s mayor is trying to ease tensions between operators of 10 dispensaries and the local RCMP detachment, which has threatened to raid the stores if they do not stop illegally trafficking cannabis by the end of this week.
Pharmacy owner wants city, province to regulate pot sales
By Sean Kavanagh on November 17
Internet pharmacy pioneer Daren Jorgenson says he's starting a company to sell recreational marijuana — but he'll wait for the province and city to set regulations before he opens a store in Winnipeg.
The businessman says he should have a Vancouver location up and running as early as March, but a Winnipeg store will only come when either the city or the province, or both, gets rules in place for the industry to follow.
Read Whole Article @ CBC.ca
Canada’s newest medical marijuana producer blossoms in Brant County
By CTV Kitchener on November 17, 2015
A former chicken processing plant in Paris has a new lease on life.
After a $10-million renovation, the facility is now home to Kindcann – Canada’s newest licensed producer of medical marijuana.
Colombia to legalize commercial sale of medical marijuana
By The Associated Press on November 12, 2015
BOGOTA – Colombia’s justice minister says the country plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Yesid Reyes made the announcement Thursday in an interview with Caracol Radio. Reyes says the new regulations will apply only to medical and scientific uses of the drug.
Read Whole Article @ GlobalNews.ca
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