Week in Weed – March 9, 2024

| Staff

The big news this past week was Statistics Canada releasing cannabis sales figures for 2022-2023. We also took a deep dive into Alberta’s sales figures for the same time frame.

Cannabis consumption areas are beginning to emerge in a few places in BC following a recent rule change.

BC’s Budtenders Union announced a new store unionized, while we updated a previous unionized store that voted to decertify. 

Ontario passed new legislation that bans growing cannabis in childcare settings and creates more opportunities for the province to engage with First Nations communities around provincially regulated cannabis stores. 

We also shared our monthly cannabis jobs update.

In our Cannabis Insight section, we shared a piece on navigating the challenges of brand partnerships and another on five ways retailers can grow their sales.

We also celebrated trailblazing women in cannabis in recognition of International Women’s Week.

In other cannabis news…

Following the release of Stats Canada’s cannabis data for 2022-2023, many mainstream sites picked up on aspects of the figures, including a decline in alcohol sales while cannabis sales grew.

Manitoba news outlets were quick to share that Manitoba had the highest rise in recreational cannabis sales across Canada in the 2022/2023 fiscal year at 23%.

Yukon released its sales numbers for 2022-2023. During the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, cannabis sales in Yukon totalled $11 million, a  9.4% increase from the year prior. Dried cannabis was the highest product category, accounting for 64.6%. Inhaled cannabis extracts were the second highest at 24.9%.

CanMar announced a strategic partnership with the Canadian Cannabis Exchange (CCX) and Loud Lion Supply. CCX will serve as CanMar’s exclusive B2B Cannabis Brokerage/Exchange Strategic Partner on The Hub, CanMar’s community platform.

Tilray Brands Inc. announced two new releases from Broken Coast. Cherry Cheesecake and EmergenZ are now available in Canada across select regions and retailers, including Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, with further expansion planned nationwide.

Ontario-based Sensi Brands Inc. announced the launch of SensiMed.ca, a new medical cannabis marketplace. Sensi Brands operates Station House, a producer in southeastern Ontario with a farmgate licence, and the Potluck and Sensimilla brands and Good Greens Medical.

A labour arbitrator says global fertilizer giant Nutrien was justified in keeping an employee out of work at the Saskatchewan potash mine until the company was satisfied the cannabis he used for sleep would not leave him impaired on the job site the next day.

High Tide Inc. opened its second Canna Cabana in Mississauga, Ontario. This opening will mark High Tide’s 164th Canna Cabana branded retail cannabis location in Canada, and the 55th in Ontario. 

Tilray’s hemp asset, Manitoba Harvest, announced its new instant Superseed Oatmeal in three flavours with hemp hearts.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced the availability of medical cannabis pastilles for doctors to prescribe to patients in Australia. The 30-pack pastilles are available now in three formats, including Aurora THC Pastilles in Watermelon flavour (5mg THC), Aurora CBD Pastilles in Peach flavour (10mg CBD), and Aurora Balanced Pastilles in Yuzu Lemon flavour (5mg THC, 10mg CBD), exclusive to MedReleaf Australia.

HYTN Innovations Inc. announced the completion of a Good Manufacturing Practices audit by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration at their Kelowna, BC facility. The audit was in coordination with Australia’s Promethean Biopharma.

Health Canada updated its page on physical security measures for cannabis licences

A new study from researchers in Newfoundland suggests that healthcare providers have significant knowledge gaps in authorizing medical cannabis, which limits their practice competence and confidence in this area. Referring patients to cannabis clinics while enforcing harm-reduction strategies was an interim option for patients to access cannabis for medical purposes.   

International cannabis

In his State of the Union address, US President Joe Biden said: “No one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana,” leading to tons of headlines and speculation. The statement was just a reiteration of his existing policy. In 2022, Biden pardoned thousands of people with cannabis possession convictions and called for cannabis to be rescheduled. The decision is now with the US DEA.

Law enforcement

Police in Winnipeg say they identified 64 individuals as testing positive for cannabis while driving. Provincial Offence Act notices were issued for improper storage, as well.

Police in PEI say four people failed roadside tests for cannabis.

Police in Victoria, BC, arrested a man selling cannabis outside a high school.

Authorities in Ireland seized 36 kg of cannabis on a flight from Toronto intercepted at Dublin Airport.