The Week in Weed – March 11, 2023

| Kieran Delamont

It’s been relatively quiet elsewhere in the cannabis industry this week, but here at StratCann we brought you stories on calls from lab owners for more oversight on cannabis testing, the reaction from both sides to a new export partnership to ship Canadian cannabis to Jamaica, coverage of the launch of the Global Cannabis Trade Association, and an in-depth look at how THC obsession is changing the market for classic cultivars and keeping consumers from some high-quality bud. 

In international news, Raphael Mechoulam, Israel’s ‘father of cannabis research,’ died this week at the age of 92

Canadian cannabis companies are reporting increasing amounts of theft and loss, reports MJBizDaily. They published data from Health Canada that showed that more than 2,000 kg of cannabis loss or theft was reported last year, although the number of reports has been in decline since 2020, which expert David Hyde says is down to theft incidents being “greater in volume, but not more frequent.”

MJBizDaily also reported on potential misdoings of another kind: Tilray is being sued by an investor, Michael Hudson, who alleges that the company’s leadership misled investors “by both overstating inventory and understanding labour costs.” The suit also claims that Tilray was keeping $40 million in “unsellable trim,” and “worthless” cannabis oil on its books to inflate its margins. 

Six people were arrested in an illicit cannabis crackdown in Trois-Rivières, QC this week. Four men and two women were arrested by the Sûreté du Québec after complaints that they were selling cannabis in a park.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie is backing a push by a new city council to finally allow cannabis retail in the city, local outlet Insauga reported this week. Councillors who were formerly opposed have softened, newly elected councillors are more supportive, and a report looking at how other nearby municipalities have fared is set to come to the council by the summer

Some residents of Parson, BC are upset at the odour created by a nearby outdoor cannabis grow, according to the Golden Star. Like other stories about odour-related concerns, residents feel that the regulations designed to prevent odour pollution aren’t doing their job, especially around outdoor grows (where few regulations actually apply). 

If you’re one of the 37 percent of Canadians who experience tinnitus—a ringing in the ears—you may find that cannabis is helpful in managing the symptoms. A new study from the Journal of Otolaryngology found that 80 percent of serious tinnitus patients are actively using cannabis to deal with symptoms like dizziness, anxiety and sleep issues, and that 96 percent were open to using it more formally. 

Moving to the international market, a Canadian cannabis company—Xebra Brands’ subsidiary Desart MX—has been granted the first license to grow cannabis in Mexico’s nascent legal market. The regulators are taking baby steps, and the company is only allowed to grow high CBD cannabis, for now. 

In the US, Reuters ran an in-depth story looking at the challenge of weeding out grey market cannabis operators in different legal states, with some mention of Canada, as well. 

And finally, a belated happy International Women’s Day to the many women who’ve made their mark on the Canadian cannabis industry. Herbal Dispatch offered short interviews with a handful of high-profile cannabis leaders, while the National Post ran an interview with Kyrsten Dewinetz, CEO of White Rabbit OG, on being a woman in the cannabis industry. There are many more out there doing great work with less publicity, of course, and they’ve all helped make this industry better in their own way.