Week in Weed – May 25, 2024

| Staff

This week, we reported on the AGLC delisting more than 500 cannabis SKUs and new legislation passed in New Brunswick that gives inspectors more power to deal with over 100 illegal cannabis stores in the province (as well as two recent raids in the province).

We also looked into one of the bigger stories in the mainstream media, showing that senior Canadians have been increasingly ending up in the ER due to cannabis use. While much of the mainstream media spun this as being because of legalization, the numbers show this was increasing in the years leading up to legalization and has actually declined somewhat in the most recent years of data.

We also looked at Indiva’s newest quarterly report for Q1 2024 and took a deep dive into what it would look like to move the cannabis file from Health Canada to Agriculture.

In other cannabis news

A final application to open a cannabis retail store in Delta, BC, will be heard at a public hearing next week. If green-lighted, the store would be the ninth approved by council, but also likely the last as a city moratorium continues on accepting and considering any new applications.

Cannabis workers at the Friendly Stranger in Dundas, ON, have voted in favour of joining UFCW Local 175.

SNDL says Delta 9 is in default of certain obligations. Delta 9 disagrees. SNDL is demanding repayment of its 10% senior secured second-lien convertible debenture in the principal amount of $10 million. Frederico Gomes, an analyst with ATB Capital Markets tells the Winnipeg Free Press that there are financial terms on such convertible debentures that typically include covenants that the company maintains a certain ratio between debt to EBITDA or a minimum cash balance. 

New research from the International Journal of Drug Policy took a deep dive into “Canadian THC units” and the public health benefits of other jurisdictions adopting a similar approach.

The Canadian Cannabis Tourism Alliance released its plan to make Canada the cannabis tourism capital of the world.

Cult MTL reviewed 1964’s infused poutine from the SQDC.

Researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of Toronto, and ICES linked recent population-based survey data from over 11,000 youth in Ontario, Canada, to health service use records, including hospitalizations, emergency department (ED) visits, and outpatient visits, showing that teens using cannabis are at 11 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder compared to teens not using cannabis. 

Blacklock’s Reporter says in-house Department of Public Safety research shows that one-third of cannabis users are still utilizing the illicit market. This isn’t really new information to anyone following the sector, although Blackrock and other media outlets have pointedly framed this as if it shows that legalization has failed. 

Speaking of the illicit market in Canada, the OPP seized more than 5,000 cannabis plants and arrested two in Pembroke.

A 45-year-old woman from La Pêche, QC, was arrested and received a $500 fine after a witness contacted the police, mentioning that the driver was driving while smoking cannabis.

Meanwhile, cannabis impairment cases are few and far between in New Brunswick, says criminal defence lawyer David Lutz.

International cannabis news

Some cannabis companies and trade groups are pushing the US Congress to close a loophole in the farm bill that allows the production and sale of intoxicating substances derived from legal hemp (think Delta-8 THC and Delta-10). The hemp industry wants to leave the federal definition of hemp unchanged.

Another big story in the US this past week was new research published in the journal Addiction that shows the number of Americans who smoke cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis now exceeds those who drink alcohol as often

And finally, in a significant policy reversal, Thailand says it now plans to require permits for medical and research use of cannabis. The country’s Prime Minister has pledged to re-criminalize cannabis by the end of the year after it was decriminalized in 2022.