Week in Weed – January 6, 2024

| David Brown

This week at StratCann, we look at new and revoked production licences in 2023, with micros outpacing standards for new licences; asked if “deli style” options could help address THC inflation concerns; and shared our monthly cannabis jobs update.

We also shared a new research article comparing attitudes about cannabis in the US and Canada, news of a recall in BC due to labelling errors (check your labels, QAPs!), and news of a drunk driver crashing into a cannabis store in Ontario.

In other cannabis news:

Local outlet Orilla Matters spoke with several Ontario cannabis retailers—Susan Yu, owner of BudTimez Cannabis, Ayla Qualls of Tokyo Smoke, and Jay Belcourt of Bigfoot Cannabis—about what makes rural cannabis shops succeed

The National Post took a look into the long-standing challenges that those operating legal cannabis businesses in Canada face when it comes to banking, speaking with C3’s George Smitherman, Sam Gerges of MaryJane’s Cannabis shops in Toronto, and Nick Baksh, owner of Toronto cannabis retailer Montrose.

CBC spoke with Vancouver cannabis retailers Mike Babins of Evergreen Cannabis and Ehren Richardson of Sunrise Cannabis about high markups by the LDB, as well as Vancouver City Councillor Pete Fry about the lack of excise tax sharing by the province, both topics StratCann readers are very familiar with. An audio version of the story is also available. 

Village Farms announced the first shipment and launch of two cannabis brands in the United Kingdom, Pure Sunfarms and The Original Fraser Valley Weed Co., which will be distributed by 4C LABS, a Canadian medical cannabis company with import and distribution licences in the UK. Pure Sunfarms has also exported cannabis to Germany, Australia and Israel.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. announced that it has signed a non-binding term sheet to amend and restate the credit facility between its wholly-owned subsidiary Auxly Leamington Inc. and a syndicate of lenders led by the Bank of Montreal as administrative agents.

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry posted a paper on the chemical composition of commercial cannabis [love the alliteration!], compiling a list of >6,000 chemical constituents in commercial cannabis.

Calgary police are investigating a recent break-and-enter at the Co-Op Cannabis Store on Centre Street North. They say about $500 worth of merchandise was taken before the three suspects left.

Humble & Fume Inc. has filed for CCAA protection. It announced that the Company and its subsidiaries, Humble & Fume Inc. (Manitoba), P.W.F. Holdco, Inc., Windship Trading LLC, B.O.B. Headquarters Inc., Fume Labs Inc., and Humble Cannabis Solutions Inc. (together with the Company, collectively, the “Humble Group”) have initiated proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

A new study in the ​​International Journal of Drug Policy made rounds this week. While many headlines have focussed on how the study did not find evidence of increases in health service use or incident cases of psychotic disorders in the first 17 months of legalization in Ontario, it did note “clear increasing trends in health service use and incident cases of substance-induced psychotic disorders” over a broader observation window (2014–2020).

Another study published this week says that approximately one-third of people who consume cannabis reported experiencing at least one adverse event within the past 12 months, including 5% of consumers who sought medical help for an adverse event, most commonly for panic attacks, feeling faint/dizzy/passing out, heart/blood pressure problems, and nausea/vomiting.

Science News published a piece on how the teen brain is especially susceptible to the harms of THC.

International Cannabis

Finally, in international news, London’s Volteface did a nice in-depth writeup on the current state of the Dutch cannabis pilot project supplying regulated cannabis to a handful of the country’s famous cannabis cafes. Across the pond in the US, a judge in Alabama has temporarily blocked the state from issuing licences to medical cannabis facilities amid an ongoing legal battle over how they selected the winning companies.