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Week in Weed – January 20, 2024

Media Partners, Stratcann

This post is presented by our media partner Stratcann
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This week in Canadian cannabis news, StratCann asked why Trudeau seems to have forgotten about the fledgling cannabis industry. We highlighted the challenges facing the industry, reported on Ontario’s Safari Flower Group receiving CCAA protection, Aberta’s OGEN initiating the sale of its brand, intellectual property, product line, genetics, and declines in retail cannabis sales in fall 2023. We also explored Simply Solventless’ acquisition of Lamplighter.

In other cannabis news in the past week…

A trial in Ontario Superior Court of Justice involved ten defendants raising a constitutional question about their ability to sell cannabis at stores on First Nations reserves without having the required licence or approval from their chiefs and councils. The trial is expected to conclude in February. 

Compostable packaging company TIPA announced it will be providing packaging for edibles brand Wyld for its products in the US and Canada beginning this year. Wyld introduced “Canada’s first compostable cannabis packaging” in 2021, with further compostable expansion in 2022.

Winnipeg Free Press did a write-up on Manitoba’s “controlled access” retail cannabis licence that allows cannabis to be sold in convenience stores. The author spoke with Kerri Michell of Farmer Jane, Omar Khan of High Tide, and a representative of the Liquor, Gaming, Cannabis Authority of Manitoba about industry concerns that such licences should be restricted to rural areas only. 

Radio Canada took a look at some of the unique cannabis edibles in Quebec, speaking with François-Olivier Hébert, research associate at the neuroscience axis of the University of Montreal Hospital Center (CHUM); Alexandre Poulin, co-founder of Gayonica; Geneviève Giroux, vice-president of supply and marketing at the Société québécoise de cannabis (SWDC); and Serge Brochu, professor emeritus at the School of Criminology at the University of Montreal.

The Ontario Land Tribunal has provided a deadline of May 30, 2024, for cannabis producer Redecan to provide odour mitigation documents to the town of Pelham, where it operates a production facility, says the municipality’s former Cannabis Control Committee. The issue has been brewing for years in the community, with some outspoken residents frustrated by the smell of cannabis. Phoena (formerly CannTrust) was previously located in the community before closing its doors in 2023. 

A Halifax barista who spoke with the Halifax Examiner says he was fired after vaping medically prescribed cannabis (CBD) in 2022 while working at a local Starbucks. He says he is trying to raise awareness of the issue

After five years with Canopy Growth, Les Serres and Steve Bertrand, originally Canadian greenhouse tomato growers, say they have pivoted away from cannabis and back into produce—this time radishes. They also converted their former cannabis drying room to grow mushrooms (oyster and lion’s mane).  

Canopy Growth Corporation announced that it has entered into subscription agreements with certain institutional investors in a private placement offering of 8,158,510 units at a price per unit of US$4.29 for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately US$35 million

CordovaCann Corp. provided an update on its Star Buds Cannabis Co. retail operations in Canada. Star Buds has 11 locations in Canada and generated $3.5 million in revenue in the last quarter of the 2023 calendar.

Organigram announced the appointment of Karina Gehring to its Board of Directors. She is one of two directors (including Simon Ashton) designated by BT DE Investments Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco (“BAT”), as nominees to Organigram’s board. The global tobacco giant has invested heavily in the New Brunswick cannabis producer

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed a BC man’s drug trafficking appeal relating to 101.5 pounds of cannabis found during a traffic stop, along with edibles, cannabis oil, and cash, despite the initial judge in the case ruling the search was unlawful. 

A civil forfeiture case in British Columbia involving a couple that Vancouver Police say are connected to a large cannabis oil extraction lab and a cannabis grow operation is raising questions about the province’s civil forfeiture process and police procedures. The case can be read here.  

Members of Winnipeg City Council backed away from a proposal calling for a ban on hookah lounges in the city, instead passing a motion calling on the provincial government to consider regulating herbal shisha the same way it does products like tobacco and cannabis, reports the CBC. City staff’s presentation to council included a jurisdictional scan of smoking bylaws in other provinces that, while not directly related to cannabis, intersect with similar challenges for any indoor inhalation of cannabis. 

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