The Week in Weed – January 28, 2023

| Kieran Delamont

This week at Stratcann, we published: a report looking into the future of consumption lounges; a piece noting the cancellation of a cannabis cultivation course due to low enrollment; and an in-depth look at what is happening with so-called “edible extracts”, gummies and lozenges.

We also covered a recent labour board decision about a conflict between two managers at Sundial and a local union, and explored an error that prevented some BC retailers from placing orders this week

The big news of the week surrounding edible extracts broke with MJBizDaily initially reporting that Health Canada is beginning to crack down on companies producing these products. They spoke with regulatory consultants who questioned why Health Canada is now choosing to start cracking down on products that have been on sale for a while.

The Green Organic Dutchman is changing its name to BZAM. Mississauga-based TGOD merged with Vancouver’s BZAM last year, and this week announced that they would be taking on the name and changing their stock ticker, calling it “a new era” for the company.

The landlord for CAFE, a chain of illegal cannabis stores that has been a thorn in the City of Toronto’s side, was convicted on appeal this week. Mohsen Ghelichkhani was found to have knowingly permitted his buildings to be used for illegal pot sales—a provincial offence. He’ll be sentenced in late March. 

One retail shop owner in Ottawa is getting a head-start on his consumption business, undeterred by the province’s inaction on the matter, as reported by the Ottawa Business Journal. Sam Sayed is currently running a dispensary and a non-cannabis cafe side-by-side in anticipation that one day he’ll be able to merge the two. 

Two Nova Scotia families with children suffering from rare forms of epilepsy are sounding the alarm about a lack of public drug coverage for CBD oil, reports CTV Atlantic. Both are paying hundreds of dollars per month, and are increasingly frustrated with a lack of progress at both the federal and provincial levels on approving CBD oil as a form of treatment.

MJBizDaily also published an interview with three executives from BC’s All Nations Cannabis this week. The Indigenous-owned brand offered some thoughts on their ambitions to expand both domestically and internationally, as well as on why Indigenous participation in the industry has so far been slow to catch on. 

Radio-Canada ran a story on Etchemins, QC’s Teca Canna—a micro-producer forced to sell the bulk of their product out-of-province because it’s too strong, with much of their flower having in excess of the 30% THC cap imposed by the province. 

In an odd bit of serendipitous timing, the same day as Stratcann published our piece looking at the future of consumption lounges, CBC Edmonton published this piece looking at whether Edmonton could become a cannabis tourism destination. Their piece looks more closely at efforts led by Nathan Mison (who also spoke to Stratcann recently) to lobby Edmonton’s city council on making zoning amendments favourable to potential consumption cafes.

On Thursday, veggie-grower-turned-weed-company Village Farms (owner of the Pure Sunfarms brand) announced that it had raised around $33 million CAD in its latest round of fundraising, bucking to some extent the credit crunch that has hit Canadian cannabis. The company also recently started exporting cannabis into Israel’s medical market.

Stateside, Bloomberg News took a look at the growing class of synthetic cannabis—products like delta-8 or THC-O that are made cheaply with hemp extracts—much to the chagrin of struggling legal producers there. They also noted that some established brands, like Cookies, were starting to play in the synthetics space. Though synthetics have not made a huge splash in the Canadian market, Stratcann reported in December that Ontario and BC have both paused any delta-8 listings as they seek clarification from Health Canada.

And finally, for anyone looking for some weekend watching, The Nature of Things episode covering the latest in cannabis science is online. Edibles and David Suzuki—name a better combo!