Canada Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Green Market Report

Anne-Marie FischerOctober 18, 2018
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5min15230

As the clock rolled onto 12:00 am in Newfoundland, eager cannabis users lined up around city blocks as the first legal cannabis was sold within the country of Canada on legalization day, October 17.

Cannabis is now legal for production, sale, consumption and personal growing in Canada, but early critics of Canada’s legalization warn that we should be wary of the “green rush”.

Rollercoaster Stocks

Shares of Canadian companies Canopy Growth (CGC), Cronos (CRON), and Tilray (TLRY) have been soaring all year, but saw a plunge on Wednesday with the turn of legalization, causing critics to warn that the hype doesn’t meet the promise for profits.

Other stocks such as Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF), and Aphria (APHQF) took a plunge in light of recent news that big consumer products like Coca-Cola and Marlboro respectively have been poking their noses into cannabis looking to cash in.

Despite estimates that Canada’s recreational market could be worth $4.3 billion within the first year, critics scoff at the idea that the cannabis boom is akin to the dot-com boom of previous decades. Paul Rosen, CEO of Cronos joked to CNN earlier this week that not every cannabis company will become the Google of cannabis; with some having to settle for Ask Jeeves status.

Customer Feedback on Pricing

“An eighth cost me $56!,” said Emily, who logged on early on Wednesday to the Ontario Cannabis Store’s online shop. “The prices alone may keep me in the grey market”. Another Ontario consumer purchased 2 (yes, only two!) pre-rolled joints for $30. While there is certainly a privilege of purchasing legal cannabis, the high pricing and Harmonized Sales Taxes make a “dime bag” feel more like a hefty investment.

Of course, one of the goals of The Cannabis Act is to stamp out the black market and ensure that “keeps profits away from organized crime”, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau puts it.

It was recently announced to Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes (ACMPR) patients that prices for medical cannabis would go up by $1 per gram (or the equivalent of 10% of the purchase price) and would be subject to higher taxation. Licensed Producers like Emblem are working to resolve these issues to make cannabis remain accessible to ACMPR patients.

Product Shortages

Winnipeg’s Delta 9 cannabis store reported that within the first minute of online sales, there were 100 orders and that sales for the day totaled $50,000. Products sold out within the first few hours.

“[All cannabis is] all sort of spoken for across the entire country,” said Living Skies Cannabis, a Saskatchewan-based retailer who was ready to open their doors, but had no inventory to offer customers.

The Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission’s website was so overloaded that it failed to load for some consumers, with 11,000 customers in the queue waiting to purchase cannabis at one time. The platform had to tweet that they’d be back up and running soon.

For the largest consumer province in Canada, Ontario Cannabis Stores’ website ran smoothly, but consumers saw the availability of products dwindle throughout the day.

It was estimated just days before legalization that Canada’s cannabis supply could meet only 30-60% of demand, causing the black and grey markets to continue to thrive as people continue to get cannabis from their pre-legalization sources.

Time to Iron out the Kinks

We’ve gotten through the first day of legal cannabis in Canada. This is the dawning of a new Canada, where certain privileges are granted, while others are taken away. It may be a while before we can properly assess the social and economic impact of legal cannabis in Canada, but at least this is a start.

 


Debra BorchardtOctober 17, 2018
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As Canada launches its adult use cannabis sales, the focus from investors has been on production size and facilities. Canadian cannabis companies have been racing each other to claim the crown as the biggest producer with the largest facilities and greatest yields. The industry north of the border has seemed to ignore the lessons already learned in the U.S. when there is a race to produce more than is needed.

Jonathan Rubins of Cannabis Benchmarks said, “We have been observing and assessing prices in multiple U.S. markets for over three years, and we have watched a steady erosion of prices in the most mature, competitive markets – specifically CO, OR and WA – as greater production capacity, innovation in technology and production techniques, and improved supply chain management have driven wholesale prices down.” His company diligently records the prices of wholesale cannabis and this is what they’ve seen:

    • Colorado is down 22% YTD at $865 per pound
    • Oregon is down 62% YTD at $677 per pound
    • Washington is down 42% YTD at $693 per pound

Rubin noted that cannabis investors have pushed the Canadian company stocks to lofty levels as the companies raise millions upon millions of dollars to fuel this production expansion. “However, investors appear to be betting more on potential future valuations than on fundamental analysis, and there seems to be greater weight being put on a company’s production capacity rather than the value of that production and how its value may change over time,” he said.

If the Canadian analysts have used Colorado as a guide for consumption per person data, Rubin believes they can’t ignore the pricing side of the equation.

“Some companies are being rewarded with higher valuations for pursuing a strategy of vertical integration as a means of controlling exogenous variables. We are not aware of a single commodity-based industry in which vertical integration resulted in the best long-term results,” said Rubin.  “Simply put, vertical integration reduces the ability to hedge various aspects of the business with other industry participants and requires companies to be best-in-class operators in every segment of the value chain.”

 

 


Steven HawkinsOctober 17, 2018
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On Wednesday, marijuana sales will begin nationwide in Canada, making it the second country in the world — following Uruguay — with a federally legal adult-use marijuana industry.

Each Canadian province has developed its own system for how marijuana will be sold to adults. This will include government stores, private retailers, online government sales with delivery, or a mix of those approaches.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., nine states have legalized marijuana for adults’ use (although sales are allowed in only eight of them) and 30 states have comprehensive medical marijuana laws. Two more adult-use states and two more medical states may come on board on Election Day. But all this progress exists under the cloud of federal illegality.

Businesses in the U.S. have to contend with a myriad of problems caused by federal prohibition. Even MPP — a nonprofit organization that works to end marijuana prohibition  — was dumped by our bank (we now have a new one) and our retirement fund briefly planned to drop us. In addition to banking challenges, U.S. cannabis businesses typically can’t accept credit cards, products can’t ship to retailers in other states, and most alarmingly, there is still the possibility of federal prosecution.

In addition to overriding federal law context, here is a comparison between the Canadian adult-use program and common features of U.S. state legalization laws:

  • Age: In Canada, provinces set the drinking age at either 18 or 19. The age limit is mirrored for cannabis. Meanwhile, all legalization states have set the age at 21, mirroring U.S. alcohol laws.
  • Edibles: For the first year, no edibles will be allowed in Canada. Initially, reports indicate that only flower will be available. In contrast, every adult-use legalization law in the U.S. allows edibles and a myriad of other products, albeit with regulations. (However in Oregon during a transitional period, existing medical businesses were initially allowed to sell flower only to adult-use consumers.)
  • Public consumption: Every U.S. state that legalized marijuana prohibits marijuana smoking in public, although some allow for on-site consumption at specific adults-only establishments. In Canada, some provinces will allow cannabis smoking in certain locations that are open to the general public, although most or all ban it in locations that appeal to children.
  • Possession limit: In Canada, an adult will be allowed to possess just over an ounce of cannabis (30 grams) outside the home. Possession limits for outside the home in legalization states vary from one ounce to 2.5 ounces.
  • Home cultivation: Canada is allowing home cultivation of four plants. All of the adult-use states but Washington allow home cultivation, although in Nevada only those living at least 25 miles away from the nearest retailer may grow their own cannabis.
  • Government involvement: Due to federal illegality, thus far U.S. state government have not directly participated in selling, distributing, or growing adult-use marijuana (although two public universities in Louisiana are involved in marijuana cultivation, and Utah plans to dispense medical cannabis). In contrast, there will government distribution systems in Canada and government stores and deliveries in some provinces.
  • Import/export: At this time, Canadian law does not allow the import or export of cannabis, although it does allow hemp exports. In light of federal prohibition, all state marijuana laws are set up as intrastate programs — with retailers purchasing only from product manufacturers and growers in the same state.

The Marijuana Policy Project has been at the forefront of legalization among the states as well as decriminalization for possession of cannabis.  Our efforts have removed the threat of local prosecution for citizens in 21 states and the District of Columbia.  But we cannot rest on yesterday.  We have to continue to push today for a better tomorrow.  Last year, the NYPD was still arresting African American and Latino youth for marijuana possession at a rate 9 times greater than Caucasian youth.  Currently, we continue to house hundreds of thousands of people for cannabis possession, leading to devastating collateral consequences in their lives, such as job loss or denial of parental rights.   MPP plans to keep growing the number of U.S. states where marijuana is legal for adults. With sufficient funding, we believe we can more than double the number of adult-use states within just a few years. Meanwhile, we aren’t losing sight of the need to change federal law. It’s easy to get complacent when the DEA isn’t busting down cannabis business’ doors. But, recent comments from Colorado’s top federal prosecutor should remind us all that there is an urgent need to change federal law so that state-legal marijuana businesses are no longer a crime.  Most critically, we still have over 500,000 marijuana-related arrests and convictions each year in the United States.  Canadian jails are used for a better purpose.  Visit www.mpp.org to learn more and join our mission.


Anne-Marie FischerOctober 17, 2018
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It’s been gracing the front of almost every newspaper, on the tongues of this year’s political candidates, and becoming the topic of choice around the water cooler: The end of cannabis prohibition in Canada has finally come.

Canada is now the first G7 country to legalize cannabis on the federal level, making it legal to sell cannabis across the country to adults over the age of 19 (or 18 in Quebec and Alberta).

Cannabis has been under prohibition in Canada since 1923 when it was included in the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill, and later in the Act to Prohibit the Improper Use of Opium and other Drugs. Rising in popularity in Canada in the 1930s and experiencing a resurgence in the 1960s, Canadians have been fighting for the decriminalization of cannabis since 1972.

Canada never decriminalized cannabis.

Cannabis was made legal for medical purposes in 2001 with the passing of the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, evolving into what is now known as the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). It wasn’t until Justin Trudeau took the office of Prime Minister in 2015 that the legalization of cannabis was on the table, and Bill C-45 or “The Cannabis Act” passed in Canada’s Senate on June 7, 2018.

As of today, it is now legal to purchase, grow, and use cannabis in Canada.

What does this mean for Canada and the lives of every day Canadians? Here are some important aspects of what Canada’s legalization truly means for Canada and its citizens:

Purchasing Legal Cannabis

While all Canadians will be able to log on to their respective provincial government’s sales portal, not all Canadians will have the opportunity to visit a brick and mortar shop today. For instance, in Ontario where Doug Ford recently reversed the Liberal’s position on keeping cannabis in the public realm, there will be no brick-and-mortar stores where there was once the promise of 40+ Ontario Cannabis Stores. In Northwest Territories, there will be no legal cannabis stores open amidst concerns of the potential for cannabis addiction.

Age to Purchase Cannabis

In every province other than Quebec and Alberta, the legal age to purchase cannabis is 19 (18 in the aforementioned provinces). Recently, as Quebec changed the provincial government, there have been threats to raise the legal purchase age in Quebec to 21 amidst growing concerns about the age to purchase legal cannabis being too low, in light of the fact that the human brain is still in development until the age of 25.

Possession of Cannabis

As of today, all adults who are legal to purchase cannabis may possess up to 20 grams of legal cannabis, dried or in equivalent non-dried form. You may also share (but not sell) up to 30 grams with another person. According to the Government of Canada, 1 gram of cannabis is equivalent to: 1 gram of dried cannabis, 5 grams of fresh cannabis, 15 grams of edible product (although edibles won’t be sold in Canada yet), 70 grams of liquid product, .25 grams of concentrate, or 1 cannabis plant seed.

Federal law does not limit the amount of cannabis that may be possessed within a single private home.

Growing Cannabis

As of today, every household in Canada will be able to legally cultivate up to 4 plants for personal use, with the exception of Manitoba and Quebec. In British Columbia, it’s law that plants must be hidden from public view. The right to cultivate up to 4 plants per household cannot be transferred from one household to another.

International and Domestic Travel

There’s been a bit of a back and forth about the issue of Canada-U.S. border crossings, and there had been a strong threat that would disallow any workers from the Canadian cannabis industry from entering the U.S. Last week there was a bit of a relief as it was announced that workers would “generally” be allowed to enter the U.S., as long as they didn’t have a history of use with the plant. The issue of denying anyone who has ever used cannabis is still a topic of debate.

Domestically, while it’s forbidden to pack bags of cannabis in a plane’s cargo, each person can legally fly within Canada with 30 grams of cannabis.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis

Canadians who use cannabis better be prepared to follow similar practices to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence of cannabis has become a hot topic within Canada’s law enforcement, as well as a heated human rights issue as Canadians feel stigmatized and punished for cannabis use.

According to Canada’s Department of Justice, those who are caught driving a motor vehicle with 2-5 nanograms of THC in their system could face a maximum fine of $1,000. If caught with over 5 nanograms, it’s a mandatory $1,000 fine for the first offense, a mandatory 30 days imprisonment for a second offense, and a mandatory 120 days imprisonment for a third offense.

The Dawning of a New Era?

Some early and current critics of Canada’s legalization see the confines of legal cannabis in Canada to be echoing of prohibitionist sentiments. We will have to wait to see how legal cannabis in Canada unfolds, as truly, it’s something this country is new at, truly, all Canadians are completely unsure of how it will turn out.

Let’s just take a collective deep breath in of our legal cannabis, and hope for the best.

 


Debra BorchardtOctober 15, 2018
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Move over 420, 1017 is about to take over. On Wednesday, both medical and adult use cannabis will be legal for adults in Canada. The Cannabis Act that was passed in June created a legal cannabis program allowing each province in the country to establish its own cannabis marketplace. Canada is the first G-7 to legalize cannabis in both forms at a national level.

October 17 was the day that was set for the first sales of adult use or recreational cannabis. The dispensaries won’t be like the ones in the U.S. since the packaging is decidedly plain, but adults will be able to purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis.

“Canada is setting a strong example of how to end marijuana prohibition at the national level and replace it with a system of regulated production and sales that is largely governed at the local level,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “The U.S. and other countries grappling with the complexities of such a significant policy shift will have an excellent opportunity to learn from the Canadian experience.”

According to a report from Deloitte, the total cannabis market in Canada is expected to generate up to $7.17 billion in total sales in 2019. Deloitte also noted that $4.34 billion would be specifically legal sales. Consumers are expected to begin leaving the illicit sales channels and migrating to legal outlets by as much as 35%.

Hawkins added, “The Canadian model is rather similar to what many envision for the U.S., and in many ways, it mirrors what is happening here, as states have taken the lead in regulating commercial cannabis activity. The big difference—and it is a critical difference—is the blessing provincial governments have received from their federal government.”

Other Countries

While many think Canada has been leading the charge, it was actually Uruguay who first legalized adult use cannabis. That country passed legislation was signed into law in December 2013  but it wasn’t until July 2017 that some pharmacies began selling the product. Various European countries have legalized medical marijuana and Amsterdam has allowed limited adult use cannabis consumption for years.

“As just the second country and the first G7 nation to end marijuana prohibition, Canada has positioned itself as a global leader for cannabis business and development. As the U.S. continues to face federal roadblocks to cannabis-related medical research, Canada could very well become the world leader in discovering new cannabis-based medicines,” Hawkins added. “Canada is going to generate significant revenue, create all sorts of jobs and business opportunities, and become the world leader for cannabis-related research and development. Hopefully, Congress will take notice quickly and that competitive American spirit will kick in sooner rather than later.”


Anne-Marie FischerJuly 16, 2018
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(Editors Note: The story is contributed content from LeafGuru)

With national legalization set for October 17, many Canadians will admit they haven’t felt overly informed on how the legal industry unfolds in their province.

Sales, marketing, industry participation, cultivation regulations, and who can do what in which province makes Canadian cannabis seem complicated, and not something Canadian’s cannabis users have completely warmed to.

“I really don’t know much about the new legal cannabis retail stores,” says Kitchener, Ontario resident Stacey when asked whether she’ll access one of the new Ontario Cannabis Stores near her, “I understand the privilege of legal cannabis, but I don’t feel there’s been enough communication from the governments about what will be available to us.” For many, the recent amendments to Bill-C45 that were recently proposed provided no more clarity than before.

Canadians deserve to be more informed about legal cannabis, and a new information hub is stepping in to connect Canadians to the legal recreational cannabis experience.

Time to Bridge the Knowledge Gap

A team of web developers in Alberta have been quietly working towards building the central and premier hub for cannabis information for Canada, across all provinces and territories, from sea-to-sea.

Leaf Guru had their soft launch on earlier this month, presenting Canadians a resource to help them get up to speed on the ins-and-outs of the cannabis plant, and what legal cannabis means for the country.

“The months leading up to the provincial implementation of legal cannabis provide an opportunity for all Canadians to increase their literacy on the cannabis plant,” said CEO and Founder of Leaf Guru, Cam Edwards, “Leaf Guru seeks to go back to the basics of cannabis and rebuild what we know about the plant in the legal context in Canada.”

The site shows all Canadians where you can get legal cannabis, what products are available, and unites all developments in Canada’s provinces and territories into one resource.

Supporting the Shift from Grey Markets to Legal Markets

Canada has had a legal cannabis market since 2001 when Canadians were able to access a medical cannabis prescription through one of Health Canada’s 101 Licenced Producers (LPs). As of December 2017, 269,502 Canadians accessed medical cannabis through physician’s prescriptions and LPs.

Despite the medical cannabis user numbers being relatively low considering Canada’s over 36 million population, recreationally, millions of Canadians have been accessing and using cannabis for decades.

According to Statistics Canada, $5.7 billion dollars was spent in 2017 by 4.9 million cannabis-consuming Canadians in Canada; which includes both medicinal and recreational cannabis. Not surprisingly, 90% of money spent on cannabis by Canadians is for non-medicinal (or recreational) purposes.

“On October 17, cannabis will finally be legal for Canadians to purchase, possess, and cultivate for personal use,” says Edwards, “It’s important for all Canadians, no matter where they live in the country, to know their legal rights and privileges in this new age of legal cannabis,” he added.

A specific feature of Leaf Guru, and its decision to launch so close to the date of legal cannabis is to ensure that it is a legal-market only resource. The team watched what happened to similar platforms in the U.S. unfold when they were still promoting grey and black-market participation on their platforms.

“All cannabis retail locations and Licenced Producers listed on our site are licensed by either their local municipality or the federal government to operate legally. We will not promote any stores or operations that are not licensed and are deemed illegal,” said Edwards about this approach, “We want to be a place where folks interested in knowing about the upcoming cannabis industry in Canada can go and feel comfortable in knowing that what they are reading is accurate, true, and created within the context of legal cannabis only.”

Canada’s One Stop Cannabis Information Shop

Leaf Guru addresses almost every aspect of legal cannabis in Canada that many are unclear on with the provincial approach to national legalization.

The site fills Canadians in on cannabis’ past in Canada, and the path to legalization. It brings the public accessible information about the societal, health, and economic perspectives of cannabis as it takes its place as a legal activity.

The thoughtfully curated content deconstructs the cannabis plant back to basics to help Canadians understand exactly what cannabis is rather than what the age of prohibition has led them to believe it to be.

A source for new users and cannabis connoisseurs alike, Leaf Guru is a one-stop shop for everything Canadian cannabis. Seeking to unite provinces and territories under our new era of legal cannabis, Leaf Guru promotes the duty to respect the confines of the law, while celebrating the large role that cannabis has always played in Canada’s culture.


Debra BorchardtJuly 5, 2018
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Several cannabis companies announced signing agreements with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission (AGLC) to supply recreational cannabis to Alberta’s private cannabis retailers and the AGLC’s online cannabis store, www.albertacannabis.org.

Alberta is Canada’s fourth most populated province and is mostly known as being the home to tourist destinations like Banff Park and Lake Louise. Its capital is Edmonton and its largest city is Calgary. The province is known as being a hub for the country’s crude oil industry.

“The AGLC is committed to providing the Alberta market with access to federally regulated cannabis in a safe and fiscally-responsible manner while helping to shrink the illicit market,” says Niaz Nejad, Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President, Gaming & Cannabis, AGLC. “We are confident that those we are working with will help us fulfill our responsibilities to Albertans.”

 

Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACBFF) said that it will initially allocate up to 25,000 kg of product for the first 6 months of sales to this market. “The AGLC and Alberta government have been steadfast in their commitment to developing the best possible framework for a well-functioning legal adult consumer use market that prevents cannabis from ending up in the hands of youth,” said Terry Booth, CEO. “The province’s common-sense approach and this agreement are the result of many months of discussions with the AGLC towards achieving these goals. Consequently, adult consumers in Alberta will have access to a broad selection of high-quality cannabis products from October 17, 2018, onward.”

He went on to say, “Aurora already is the pre-eminent provider of medical cannabis in Alberta, with a dominant market share, serving more Alberta patients than any other licensed producer. Aurora also employs more Albertans than all other licensed producers combined. We have a brand recognized for quality, which we intend to leverage to capture a significant share of the adult consumer market in Alberta and Canada, both organically and through our strategic retail partnerships. We look forward to working with the AGLC and becoming a key part of the province’s cannabis infrastructure to ensure Alberta’s successful entry into the burgeoning consumer cannabis market.”

Aphria Inc.

Aphria Inc. (APHQF) said that the AGLC placed an opening order of 870 kg to be supplied from across the full portfolio of Aphria’s adult-use brands and products, including dried flower, pre-rolls and cannabis oils. Once additional product categories, such as vapes and edibles, are authorized under the Cannabis Act, it is anticipated that they will also be made for sale throughout the province, further enhancing the company’s assortment of offerings in this market.

“We are thrilled to be working with such a strong partner that is equally committed to promoting responsible cannabis use,” said Jakob Ripshtein, Chief Commercial Officer at Aphria. “This important agreement enables Aphria’s adult-use brands to have a strong presence in Alberta’s dynamic retail landscape. Through our partnership with the AGLC, we look forward to providing access to our thoughtfully crafted portfolio of brands that were designed to meet the diverse needs of Alberta consumers.”

Organigram Holdings Inc.

Organigram Holdings Inc.  (OGRMF) also announced that it signed a supply agreement with the AGLC adding to the other three provinces that company has made deals with. Organigram recently unveiled its preliminary branding strategy for the adult recreational market in Canada featuring the brands The Edison Cannabis Company, ANKR Organics and Trailer Park Buds.

“We are pleased to finalize this agreement with AGLC,” says Greg Engel, Organigram’s Chief Executive Officer. “We applaud the province’s efforts to secure a high-quality, dependable inventory for their recreational cannabis market and are proud to have been selected as an AGLC partner.”

Emblem Corp.

Emblem Corp. (EMMBF) also signed an agreement to supply the province with high-quality cannabis products. Products will be available under Emblem’s new adult-use focused brand, which is expected to be announced shortly.

“Emblem is excited to have been selected to bring our adult-use products to Alberta’s recreational cannabis market upon legalization on October 17, 2018. We are looking forward to working together with the AGLC to build the foundation for a safe and responsible marketplace for consumers,” said Maria Guest, Chief Marketing Officer with Emblem. “With our soon to be announced adult-use cannabis brand, Emblem is ready to meet the needs of Albertans seeking a trusted source of cannabis products, offering a curated range of dried flower and cannabis oils.”

WeedMD Inc.

WeedMD (WDDMF) said it will supply the Alberta market with cannabis products starting the first day of legal sales. The agreement represents a key milestone in WeedMD’s strategic plan to develop a national distribution platform for the company’s medical and adult-use products, building upon the recent announcement of WeedMD’s supply agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart.

“We’re proud that the AGLC has selected WeedMD as a cannabis supplier to join its network as it looks to establish a cannabis framework for its adult-use markets,” said Keith Merker, Chief Financial Officer of WeedMD. “This represents a strategic partnership as we look to expand our product reach across the country to support Canada’s legal adult-use market. Alberta’s high standards align with the highly-regarded quality of our cultivation standards, product portfolio, and commercial practices as we look to meet the expected demand of this new market.”

The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc.

The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. (SPRWF) said that its wholly-owned subsidiary, 7ACRES, had entered into a supply agreement with the AGLC to supply recreational cannabis upon legalization. Supreme said that the AGLC has communicated that they plan to evaluate product demand of the recreational market in order to inform their supply needs for the remainder of the year.

“We are very excited to serve as a trusted partner to the AGLC and Albertans.  Alberta offers a unique opportunity for quality-driven brands as it is one of the most sophisticated private retail markets in the country and its approach to retailing cannabis recognizes that ensuring quality and offering a selection of products are critical steps towards impacting the illicit market,” said John Fowler, CEO of Supreme Cannabis. “Supreme Cannabis anticipates broad provincial acceptance that 7ACRES’ lineup is a premium brand, and as such will be ranked as a top-tier product in their stores.”


Debra BorchardtJune 20, 2018
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Canadian lawmakers passed the Cannabis Act, also known as C-45 which will legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use. It will now move on to the governor for royal assent. Prime Minister Trudeau has been very supportive of the legalization effort and once he signs off, a specific date will be chosen for the law to take effect. Sales are expected to begin within eight to 12 weeks.

“This is a historic step forward for the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We commend the members of Parliament and the prime minister for their extraordinary demonstration of leadership on this issue. Canada will set a great example for countries that are considering similar reforms, and it will inspire much-needed debate in those that are not.

Canada will be the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana for adults at the national level. Uruguay was the first country that legalized recreational marijuana after signing the legislation into law in December 2013.  The Cannabis Act will create an overarching national regulatory framework and enables each province to establish its own system of licensing and regulating marijuana businesses. Adults will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, and all products will be sold in plain packaging with clearly marked labels.

Tvert added, “Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol, and Canada is about to start treating it that way. Adults will finally be able to purchase it safely and legally in regulated, taxpaying businesses rather than resorting to the illegal market. Products will be tightly controlled and subject to strict packaging and labeling requirements, rather than being sold in plastic baggies alongside other illegal substances.”

“Canada has become the world’s top source of public venture and growth capital for cannabis companies,” said Kenneth Sam, partner of the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney. “Under current circumstances, there is a vibrant public market for cannabis companies in Canada that provide higher valuations and greater access to capital.  Cannabis companies have already raised over $2.4 billion in capital and there are several “unicorns” ($1 billion+ companies) that have been minted in Canada.  Many U.S. cannabis companies have been looking to the Canadian capital markets for financing and liquidity.”

One voice that wasn’t too happy with the move by Canadian lawmakers was the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. President Kevin Sabet said, “Despite warnings and opposition from major medical groups, and international treaties outlawing the legal sales of marijuana, Canada has, on a mainly party-line vote, sided with the marijuana industry and legalized the drug for those 18 and older. As expected, investors are in a frenzy to make money, and they are seizing on the fact that several pro-health amendments to the law were defeated.”

He went on to say, “A sensible amendment to create a public registry of investors in pot companies was defeated, as was an amendment allowing provinces to determine their own home cultivation laws. These could have strengthened the law much further. This dangerous law would allow individuals to make their own high-potency pot candies, gummies and 99% pure extracts (compare that with 5% potent Woodstock weed).”

 

 


William SumnerJune 8, 2018
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The prospect of legalized cannabis in North America just got a little bit brighter. On June 7, 2018, the Senate voted to approve Bill C-45, a measure legalizing recreational cannabis in Canada. The measure will now go to the House of Commons for a final vote.

If approved, the potential financial effect could be tremendous. A recent report released by Stifel Financial estimated “a total medical market opportunity of $1.3 billion CAD and a recreational opportunity of $8 billion CAD (retail sales).” Additionally, the report found that the wholesale market opportunity for licensed producers could reach as high as $5 billion CAD.

With the majority of the House controlled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which successfully campaigned on cannabis legalization in 2015, the odds of Bill C-45 passing are quite high. However several amendments to the measure made by the Senate, such as allowing provinces to ban personal cultivation, could slow down the legislative process.

Speaking with The Toronto Star, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said that once passed, it would take upwards of two to three months to implement the new law.

In the United States, President Donald Trump stated that he would most likely support a bipartisan bill, introduced by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, that would essentially end the federal war on cannabis.

“I support Sen. Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing; we’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” Trump told reporters, as quoted by NPR.

Under the proposed legislation, the Controlled Substances Act would be amended to allow states to write their own cannabis laws without fear of federal interference. The apparent support offered by President Trump breaks with the position of his Attorney General, Jeff Session, who has been an ardent opponent of legalized cannabis and most recently rescinded the long-standing Cole Memo; which was put in place by then-President Barack Obama.


William SumnerJune 7, 2018

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The nation of Canada is on the precipice of a historic moment as the country’s legislature stands poised to pass cannabis legalization. On June 7, 2018, the Senate will hold a vote on Bill C-45, a measure legalizing recreational cannabis nationwide.

If passed, Canada will become the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes and could potentially usher in a boom of economic activity. A new report from Stifel said, “We estimate a total medical market opportunity of $1.3 billion CAD and a recreational opportunity of $8 billion CAD (retail sales). We believe the domestic wholesale market opportunity for Licensed Producers (LPs) in Canada will be closer to $5 billion CAD in total value, which is a much smaller opportunity than what we believe the frenzy around Canadian marijuana stocks seems to imply.”

However, while many industry insiders already consider legalization a sure bet, the passage of Bill C-45 is far from a done deal. According to CBC, a flurry of last-minute amendments have been added to the bill which could gum up the legislative process.

For example, one amendment submitted by the Senate’s social affairs committee passed would allow provinces to decide for themselves whether or not to allow home cultivation, an idea that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed. Both Quebec and Manitoba have expressed interested in banning home cultivation, so if the amendment was included in the final legislation, at least two provinces would ban the practice.

Furthering clouding the outcome of the upcoming vote is the question of whether the legislature’s Indigenous senators would support the bill. Previously, some Indigenous senators have complained that the legislature did not adequately consult with the First Nations, Metis or Inuit. If the Indigenous senators pull their support from Bill C-45, the legislation could fall short of passing.

Should the measure pass in the Senate, it would then go on to the House of Commons for approval. Dominated by the Liberal Party, there is a strong possibility that they will reject some of the amendments proposed by the Senate, such as the home cultivation provision, which could set the stage for a stand-off between the two houses of government.

Speaking with CBC, MP Marie Ginette Petitpas Taylor expressed confidence in the measure while acknowledging that some more legislative work may need to be done.

“We’re confident with Bill C-45. However, we recognize that the Senate has done some work and I’m looking forward to seeing the recommendations that they bring forward,” said Petitpas Taylor. “[After the vote] we’ll be able to evaluate what the results are and from there … we’ll be able to make a determination as to what our next steps are going to be moving forward.”

Assuming that both legislative bodies approve Bill C-45, recreational sales of cannabis would begin at the earliest by August 2018. Beyond its borders, the Stifel report also said, “Canadian companies will be well positioned for supplying international markets as they potentially develop – U.K., Germany, Australia, etc. are all markets where legalization is starting to occur and the Canadian companies are increasingly well positioned to attack these markets.”


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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