After 2 years of legalization, (at least) 2 things that still need work

5 mins read

It was two years ago that Canada entered the brave new world of legalization. It was quickly followed by supply shortages and a severe lack of retail cannabis options for consumers. 

Two years hence, many more stores are coming on line. Cannabis sales are up – and even through COVID – Canadians are buying cannabis.

But there are still bumps in the road. The larger companies trying to generate revenue and profit. Burdensome regulations – especially around marketing – are hindering growth. More importantly, the industry is still overwhelmingly white – with women, black, indigenous and people of colour facing continual headwinds and patients have trouble with accessing medicine.

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See you Wednesday.

Read on…

Last week, our new publication – the Weekly Chronicle – took a deep look at the research being conducted by Shoppers Drug Mart and University Health Network. Subscribe and read: Legal Cannabis Labels are Lying to You

And no sooner had that story published, than our Editor-in-Chief Jameson Berkow broke a story about Shoppers Drug Mart’s lead on medical cannabis – Ken Weisbrod – was leaving the company. Business of Cannabis

There is clearly work to do when it comes to legalization. Here are are two proof-points;

As Canada celebrated 2 years since legalization this week, the industry is not open to all. Black and indigenous entrepreneurs are largely being left out. CBC, MJ Biz Daily, Vice

A survey of medical cannabis patients throughout Canada conducted by Medical Cannabis Canada (formerly Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Cannabis) found that systemic barriers to receiving medical cannabis are hindering access to medical cannabis. Global News

Aphria missed their revenue projections and their international business is still… not performing. Yahoo! Finance

From one giant to another:

The sector is bracing for a Biden/Harris administration (seemingly) – with Canopy looking to build a cannabis beverage empire in the US. CNBC

More Lift & Co. news this week – following the recent news of their seeking bankruptcy protection. It seems the folks behind CAFE (the illicit, but popular, dispensary in Toronto) bought the CannSell program from Lift & Co. News Release

As retail heats up in Ontario, some would-be retailers are finding themselves too close (according to the AGCO) to schools. One such retailer – Sticky Nuggz – lost their court case last week. StratCann

Tough news for Sticky Nuggz, but exciting news for Kiaro:

Kiaro is about to join the ranks of publicly traded companies in Canada. They will start trading this week. Newswire

This might help Kiaro’s trading: 

Good news for would-be cannabis retail chains in Alberta, the Province is lifting the ownership cap in November. MJ Biz Daily

From Alberta to Quebec, where the SQDC (the Provincial retailer in Quebec) believes it has taken a 50 percent bite out of the illicit market in that Province. CTV News

We don’t yet know if the cannabis legalization measure passed in New Zealand, but even if it doesn’t the current and future Prime Minister (social media rock star) Jacinda Ardern is looking ahead toward legalization. 1News

Want a bit more background on the measure and the politics in NZ? We connected with Brett Chang over the summer for an overview. BofC Live 

From NZ to the US:

The US Supreme Court has been in the news lately, mostly because Republicans are trying to jam a so-called “originalist” on to the Court for the next 40 years before they lose the Senate… BUT, even before Amy Coney Barrett gets seated, the Supreme Court disappointed the cannabis community and industry by refusing to hear a case on legalization. MJ Biz Daily

Maine went legal this week. Putting the “live free or die” neighbouring state of New Hampshire to shame. Bangor Daily News, MJ Biz Daily

Also, if you love Maine, please vote.

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