Week in Weed – December 16, 2023

| David Brown

This week, we shared the story of a Canadian company with a newly-approved EEG-based research model to better understand the effects of cannabis, and the news of the first regulated cannabis making its way to Dutch coffeeshops.

We also looked at a small Ontario community that has spent more than $800,000 fighting legal cannabis producers, did a deep dive into the OCS’s new annual report, and shared a profile on Living Cannabis’ micro operation in BC.

Lastly, we also shared some of the many jobs currently available in the cannabis industry.

In other cannabis news…

Herb ran an interesting piece comparing and contrasting Canada’s federal legalization and the patchwork State’s rights approach taken in the US. While Canada’s approach offers more stability and consistency, the US offers greater product innovation, says the author. 

L’Éclaireur Progrès spoke with the owners of Quebec micro cultivator LaHoja Organique about the fierce competition in the cannabis industry and their current pivot from the Quebec market into Ontario

Health Canada’s Forward Regulatory Plan: 2023-25 includes continuing to think about maybe considering amendments to the Cannabis Regulations (Flavours in Cannabis Extracts), their proposed Approach to the Regulation of Health Products Containing Cannabidiol (CBD) that would not require practitioner oversight and Streamlining Certain Regulatory Obligations.

Canopy Growth announced a one-for-ten share consolidation in an effort to regain compliance with the Nasdaq minimum bid price requirement. The post-consolidation shares are expected to start trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq at market open on Dec. 20, subject to final confirmation from the TSX and the Nasdaq.

The CBC reported that the CRA is claiming medical cannabis advocate Chris Enns didn’t report more than $2.5 million worth of sales at dispensaries he operated a decade ago. Enns says the claims are based on inaccurate police records. At the same time, the CRA alleges Enns inaccurately reported income from cannabis sales and the resulting benefits he received as a company shareholder. This spring, the CRA quietly set up a full-time “illicit income” program that includes 80 auditors across the country.

An investigation that arose from a double shooting in Vancouver in September led police to a grow op in East Van and one in Abbotsford. The BC government now wants to seize more than $7 million in property and cash as the proceeds of crime.

Politico shared some older news about the $167.6 million Veterans Affairs Canada spent on cannabis for medical purposes in 2022-2023. VAC has spent $600.6 million to reimburse veterans for cannabis since Canada legalized in 2018, although the program predates the legal non-medical regime.

Dr. Blake Pearson, along with  Lambton College lead researcher Dr. Mikelle Campbell-Bryson, presented their paper  “Exploring cannabinoid therapy as a safer alternative for dementia symptom management” at the Cannabis Science Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.

Continuing their series on cannabis, Nature looked at cannabis use and teens. James MacKillop, a clinical psychologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, says that while there was no initial spike in cannabis use among adolescents when the drug was legalized in Canada five years ago, there was a rise in use when illegal cannabis stores that are not licensed by the government began to open.

Greenhouse Canada looked at novelty soil amendments with Seaborn Organics’s Cannabis Indoor Cultivation Research Labs (Cannabunker) at the Daniel J. Patterson campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Law enforcement

Calgary Police say they have identified all the suspects involved in a string of cannabis store robberies in the city over the past several weeks. Meanwhile, two men were also arrested on charges relating to another armed cannabis store robbery, this time in Gleichen, Alberta

Revenue officers at the Dublin airport stopped and searched the baggage of a passenger who had disembarked from a flight from Toronto, Canada, discovering 14kg of cannabis, valuing it at about $30,000 per kg. 

The high prices must be a motivation because in September, 185 kg of cannabis sent from Canada was intercepted by a dog named Maggie at the Dublin Airport as well, and a Canadian man was caught with cannabis worth €700k in Dublin airport in August.