Golden Ticket Edition

5 mins read

Happy New Year!

While many Canadians have been on holiday the past few weeks, the cannabis sector has been a hotbed of news. We’ve done our best to capture the highlights – and some lowlights too.

The coming week also promises to be a big one – with Ontario Premier Doug Ford doing his best Willy Wonka impression with the Ontario retail lottery (or ‘golden tickets’) coming Friday. Keep your eyes on @businessofcannabis Twitter as we’ll be covering the lottery all week.

And as we head into 2019 – we put together 5 things we’re watching in the year ahead

Read on!

LPs Making Moves (and Recalling)

While you were away: Aleafia made a deal for Emblem.

Tilray is doubling down with their Sandoz/Novartis deal. And, it isn’t only pharma for Tilray, they also signed a deal with AB InBev.

UP Cannabis (Newstrike) voluntarily recalled some product as it exceeded mould standards. CBC’s The World This Weekend took a look – and connected with BofC for some insight.

And then there’s Bonify. The Manitoba-based LP took in 200 kgs of cannabis from parts unknown and then sent it to Saskatchewan to sell on the legal market. And that’s when things got interesting. Health Canada found out, SK pulled the product, MB pulled the product, the MB Premier felt insulted, senior management at Bonify got turfed for bullying and now the company is under the watchful eye of Ravenquest. BofC chimed in on the story on CTV National News.

All Things Edible (and Concentrates Too!)

Health Canada released their proposed edible regulations. These will be hotly debated – especially around the 10 mg per serving limits. (BofC will have more on this front in the coming weeks.) But concentrates are likely to be the big game changer.


Get your $75 ready because the big thing happening this week is the Ontario retail cannabis license lottery. Interested in the rules behind the 25 golden tickets? Read ‘em and weep. BofC joined the Craig Needles Show in London, Ontario and Breakfast Television to kick off lottery week.And retail is clearly good business: Canadians bought $40 million of cannabis during the first two weeks of legalization in October.

Clearly some of those sales were in Quebec – but even a few months in, Quebec (still) can’t meet the demand.

The hotbed of cannabis culture (Vancouver) now has 3 newly-opened legal cannabis shops. Just in time for Lift!

We know that National Access Cannabis is looking to convert Second Cups into retail shops – now we have Coffee Time entering the fray too with Huge Shops.

South of the Border

California legal cannabis sales are now what was to be expected. Not only because people like illegal cannabis – but also because cities are saying no to retail. (Hear that Mississauga?)

New York’s Governor Cuomo picking up where his Sex and the City-famous campaign opponent left off; pushing for legalization.

New York makes sense for cannabis, but Oklahoma? Yes, Oklahoma, OK?

You know cannabis is going mainstream when US pension funds get it on the stock action – the two investees: Tilray and Insys Therapeutics… But not that mainstream yet, the Canada Pension Plan isn’t investing.

Maclean’s named Toronto’s own Ample Organics as a possible billion dollar start-up. (For those of you new to cannabis, Ample’s John Prentice was one BofC’s very first interviews here.)  

On Lighter Notes…

BofC joined Toronto CBC’s Metro Morning to talk about New Year’s Eve at cannabis.

WestJet has some advice for those flying with cannabis.

And it looks like Lisa Campbell of Lifford Cannabis Solutions took the advice

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