Week in Weed – June 29, 2024

| Staff

This past week, we looked at record-low cannabis-related reports to Ontario’s Ombudsman and Manitoba’s announcement of its new cannabis product freshness criteria. The OCS also made a promising move by announcing plans to provide sales data to producers, a move highly welcomed by the industry. 

New Brunswick’s ninth private retail store is coming soon to St. Andrews. Organigram announced plans to expand into the German cannabis market. Nova Scotia sold $121 million worth of cannabis in 2023, and several micro cultivators say they see no real need for an expanded canopy.

We also looked into Australia’s cannabis regulator issuing more than $600,000 in marketing fines. Police in Edmonton are still searching for two suspects in a cannabis store robbery, and CanadaBis reported a continued trend of profitability in their newest quarterly report.

In other Canadian cannabis news this past week

One of the big stories this week was a new study of blood tests taken from injured drivers at emergency departments across Canada that revealed that cannabis (16.6%) has now narrowly edged out alcohol (16%) as the most commonly detected single substance. While some media reports predictably sensationalized this report, UBC notes that in most cases the cannabis level was not high enough to indicate impairment and increased crash risk. Drunk driving remains a bigger problem in road safety and public health, notes UBC’s writeup on their research. 

David Brough, CEO of Klonetics Plant Science, announced he was stepping down in a post on Linkedin.

Alberta’s Simply Solventless Concentrates Ltd. announced it entered into a share purchase agreement with Lifeist Wellness Inc. for the acquisition of all of the shares of CannMart Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lifeist and the brands Roilty and Zest Cannabis. CannMart Labs Inc., another of Lifeist’s subsidiaries, which is currently in Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) proceedings, is not involved in the Transactions.

UFCW’s BC Budtender’s Union held their Solidariweed 2024 event on June 15th, wowing the crowd with speakers like Jodie Giesz-Ramsay and Dana Larsen.

HYTN Innovations Inc. announced it has been granted a Drug Establishment License (DEL) by Health Canada. This license allows HYTN to engage in the GMP fabrication, packaging, and labeling of non-sterile pharmaceuticals containing both cannabis and psilocybin.

High Tide announced it intends to acquire a Cantopia location in Mississauga for $600,000. Cantopia lists four other locations under its brand, all in Ontario. The company also announced plans to open two Canna Cabana stores later this month in Alberta and Saskatchewan as well, High Tide’s 175th and 176th Canna Cabana locations in Canada.

A new research paper reports that medical cannabis use in Canada increased from 4% to 11% between 2014 and 2019, while recreational cannabis use increased from 9% to 15% between 2014 and 2019.

As we head into the long weekend, the Canadian Border Services Agency reminds people not to bring cannabis into or out of the country.

The Vancouver Sun ran a piece on BZAM’s sale of its facility in Midway, BC, to Christina Lake Cannabis, which was announced in 2023 and finalized months ago

Pure Sunfarms launched its new ‘Trials by Pure Sunfarms’, offering consumers limited batch, ‘trial’ cultivars, for the first time, launched exclusively to consumers in Pure Sunfarms’ home market of British Columbia. The first small batch release is Trial No. 001 (Gas Face x Purple Kush), beginning July 1.

Ayurcann Holdings Corp. and Arogo Capital Acquisition Corporation announced they entered a definitive business combination agreement.

Law firm Miller Thomson LLP posted a good overview of some of Health Canada’s recently proposed regulatory changes. Remember to get your feedback to Health Canada by July 8! 

Also, two were arrested, and cannabis was seized in Saint John, NB, and police in Quebec seized around 1,000 cannabis plants and 100 kg of cannabis in two raids. 

International cannabis news

In the US, Kentucky announced it will open applications for the state’s medical cannabis business beginning July 1 as part of an accelerated push to have products available in early 2025. Qualifying patients can apply for medical cannabis cards starting January 1. The state initially will issue 48 dispensary licenses divided among 11 regions.

Brazil’s Supreme Court voted to decriminalize possession of cannabis for personal use, making the nation one of Latin America’s last to do so. The process began in 2015. 

The NCAA lifted its ban on cannabis use for Division 1 athletes in championships.  

And finally, Cannabis Europa was held June 25-26 in London. Prohibition Partners has some coverage here.