Week in Weed – March 23, 2024

| Staff

The big news this week was, of course, that the long-awaited final report from the federal government’s expert panel reviewing the Cannabis Act finally came out a little after 4:20 pm ET on Thursday. StratCann delivered an overview of the report and some insight into some of the recommended changes for micro and other small-scale producers.

Also, the newest results from the annual National Cannabis Survey came out last week, breaking down cannabis use by age and gender, as well as access points and modes of consumption. 

Late Friday afternoon, Organigram announced that it had received a final ruling from Health Canada, once again determining that Jolts are an edible, not an “ingestible extract.”

New figures from Stats Canada showed retail cannabis sales declined again in January after a holiday spike.

SNDL reported a $112 million loss from cannabis operations and $4.9 million in retail cannabis earnings.

Toronto police arrest a man connected to cannabis store robberies, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls on the province to modernize the cannabis sector.

In other cannabis news, 

CBC ran a story examining ways the cannabis industry is urging provinces to loosen rules that ban producers and retailers from collaborating on promotions. The author spoke with Shakir Tayabali of the Independent Retail Cannabis Collective (IRCC), Brad Poulos, a lecturer in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University, Omar Khan of High Tide Inc., and Keenan Pascal of Token Naturals.

Caledon, Ontario, held an open house in February to garner community feedback on whether the community should allow cannabis stores, and a staff report with recommendations for council is expected on April 5. Local media spoke with Wendel Clarke, on behalf of Smokey Daze Inc., a cannabis store in Tottenham, who approached the town council last fall asking for Caledon to “opt-in.”

Aurora Cannabis Inc. received a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for its production facilities, River and Ridge, both located in Ontario.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. signed a deal to acquire Northern Green Canada, a Canadian licensed cannabis producer focused primarily on the international market through its EU-GMP certification. NGC also partners with Canadian GACP cultivators to produce and distribute finished cannabis products to both domestic and global markets.

Cannabis NB held an industry and consumer expo in Fredericton on Saturday, March 14. The crown agency has held previous expos in partnership with others, but this was their first time running it entirely in-house. 

Cannabis producer Decibel Cannabis is selling its interest in cannabis retailer Prairie Records to the Fire and Flower retail chain for $3 million. Prairie Records has three locations in Alberta and three in Saskatchewan. Decibel is the owner of several cannabis brands like Qwest, BlendCraft, General Admission, and VOX.

High Tide Inc. announced that its Canna Cabana retail cannabis store located in Mississauga, Ontario, will begin selling recreational cannabis products and consumption accessories for adult use on Sunday, March 24. This opening will mark High Tide’s 166th Canna Cabana branded retail cannabis location in Canada, the 57th in the province of Ontario and the third in Mississauga.

Five Halifax elementary students under the age of 12 were taken to hospital after eating cannabis edibles that one of the students brought to the school. Police say the packages were “labelled,” but media reports do not note whether the products were from legal or illegal supply chains. 

International Cannabis News

Cannabis possession and home cultivation will be decriminalized in Germany starting April 1 after a new law passed the final hurdle on Friday. Adults over the age of 18 will be allowed to possess 25 grams of cannabis and grow up to three plants at home. From July 1, non-commercial “cannabis clubs” can supply up to 500 members with a maximum monthly quantity of 50 grams per member.

The decriminalization legislation is the “first pillar” in a two-step plan to legalize cannabis in the country. The “second pillar” will set up five-year pilot programs for state-controlled cannabis to be sold in licensed shops.

Law enforcement

The OPP raided three “sovereign” cannabis stores in the Niagara region

Winnipeg Police seized cartons of illegal cigarettes and cannabis products along with over $11,000 in Canadian currency from two convenience stores, arresting three.