In addition to our ongoing feature profiles series highlighting many of the different cannabis businesses operating in Canada, StratCann has covered a lot of unique and interesting cannabis and cannabis industry content in 2021.
Here’s a sample from our top 12 stories over the past 12 months.
In February, we looked at how many cannabis companies would be expected to close up shop.
There ended up being at least 34 licence revocations in 2021. This is nearly three times the amount in 2020.
Our story on the Hop Latent Viroid and its impact in the Canadian cannabis industry in April was our second most-read article of the year. The infectious pathogen first came to the cannabis industry’s notice in California back in 2018. Now, the viroid has taken hold in Canada.
In July, we covered changes to how the OCS would be dealing with product calls and procurement for sale in Ontario. The announcement created quite a stir in the industry, with some producers happy with the change while others felt caught off guard.
(After you read that, make sure to check out our follow-up exclusive interview with Bev Altberg—the OCS’s Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing and Ecommerce at OCS Ontario Cannabis Store. The province is also experimenting with a new “flow through” sales model to provide retailers with access to some products the provincial warehouse doesn’t normally carry and plans to expand that program in 2022.)
Also in July, Brad Martin from CannStandard helped us crunch the numbers, showing that the average price of cannabis in Canada was (and still is) lower than ever.
In August, we looked at numbers from Statistics Canada and CannStandard that showed that the price of legal and illegal cannabis was actually much closer than some might think.
Scanning prices in the legal and illegal cannabis market, CannStandard’s numbers show that, contrary to some popular narratives, in reality the two markets are not all that different when it comes to price.
Our ongoing coverage of two groups taking on Quebec and Manitoba’s home-grow ban has also been one of our more popular topics this year.
In September, Quebec’s Court of Appeal sided with the Quebec government on the province’s ban on homegrown cannabis. The ruling was somewhat of a surprise, but those challenging the law plan on challenging it again in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the efforts to challenge the law in Manitoba continue to move forward and a case could be as early as 2022.
A large recall in January was our seventh highly-read article. The recall involved Hexo and 100,000 Chinese-made vape pens. There were at least 16 public recalls for cannabis products in 2021. The most common cause of a product recall has been inaccurate labelling.
In June, a person abandoned more than 100 pounds of cannabis on a path on the US side of the Niagara River north of Niagara Falls. Although cannabis is legal in most US states, it still remains illegal federally and attempts to smuggle cannabis across the Canadian border into Canada have increased with covid restrictions at the border over the past two years.
A story StratCann first covered in 2020 regarding the use of phytol in vape pens, gained attention again in 2021 following the release of an Access to Information report that was posted by Leafly’s David Downs.
In April, Canada’s first Indigenous-owned cannabis licence producer made some waves in the industry when they released products for sale to First Nations retailers in Ontario. Although these first sales were only to retailers belonging to the same First Nation, the company also later released products to Indigenous-owned cannabis stores in other provinces.
In June, the BC government released a report that showed extensive evidence of pesticides, along with heavy metals and other biological impurities, as well as inaccurate THC levels in cannabis seized from illicit cannabis stores in Metro Vancouver.
Officials in Ontario and New Brunswick have both released similar reports, as well.
And our twelfth most-read story of 2021 was our coverage of Health Canada’s proposed plan to put restrictions on flavours in cannabis vape products and extracts. Changes could come as early as 2022 and could have a significant impact on the industry, especially on the growing market for vape pens.