Mar. 30 | Settling in to the New Normal
As the world begins to settle in to the new normal of social distancing and working from home, the Business of Cannabis team is building toward a week-long, virtual event: Cannabis + Technology | Retail Tech presented by LeafLink. Find out more information about the partners and program. Follow Business of Cannabis on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the details. Read on...
Mar. 23, 2020 | Hoarding... Cannabis?
The era of social distancing is firmly upon us. But before people headed into prolonged time at home, it seems they stocked up on essentials - like record amounts of cannabis. Read on...
Mar. 16 | Social Distancing (+ Cannabis)
As we enter this new week, please take care of yourselves and others by practicing social distancing. Listen to local, regional and federal authorities. AND, there was cannabis news this week, like Tweed beverages hitting the shelves, Zenabis facilities hitting the market and new leadership at the top of (at least) one cannabis company.
Mar. 9, 2020 | Cannabis Overshadowed
World events overshadowed much of the news last week. Between a global outbreak and the narrowing of the US presidential race - cannabis news has been knocked down a peg. But do not worry, the BofC team has been keeping track. (Including how Mr. Biden feels about cannabis…) This week the world got some very old and some very new updates from the Ontario Cannabis Store - as well as two new product varieties hitting the shelves: beverages and topicals. On the other end of Canada, the world’s largest cannabis company shuttered two greenhouses and made considerable layoffs and the voice of the industry in Ottawa announced a new leader this morning. Read on...
Mar. 2, 2020 | All About Retail
The focus remains on cannabis retail expansion. From the huge number of Ontario Retail Operator Licenses issued (800+) to the fact producers are cutting prices of their cannabis to (try and) chip into the illicit market. Oh, and one retailer is suing a producer for $110 million.And if that wasn’t enough for one week, a would-be opposition leader is not quite on board with legalization.
Feb. 24 | NFL follows MLB on THC
As Spring Training gets underway, another sports league is taking the lead from Major League Baseball when it comes to cannabis - giving a whole new meaning to Bud Bowl. With the industry in downsizing mode, some former Aurora employees are taking their pink slips and heading straight to their keyboards to dish secrets via Twitter. Tomorrow and every Tuesday, watch your inbox for the first Benchmarks newsletter from the team at Cannabis Benchmarks. It will include insightful information about wholesale pricing of cannabis in Canada, as well as what is impacting that price. Read on…
Feb. 18 | MLB OK with THC
Just when you have given up hope on Major League Baseball because of sign stealing scandals (or steroid scandals) - this: MLB is OK with THC. They will treat it like alcohol - which is not to say that you’ll be able to get it at the stadium, but... And from one extreme to the other: The Food Standards Agency in the UK is (maybe) taking CBD off shelves. Read on...
Feb. 10 | Shown the Exit Edition
Another rough week for some of the Canadian big guys - including a canna-famous CEO who was shown the exit. As the industry continues to try to find its sea legs, the Business of Cannabis team is making some moves. We announced we acquired the nation-wide event and education series Leaf Forward. So, if you find yourself in Waterloo, Montreal or Toronto this month, check us out. Here's hoping for a better week cannabis industry. Read on...
Feb. 3, 2020 | The Politics of Cannabis
Heading into February - there is some hope on the most glaring omission of Canada’s legalization effort (retail outlets in Ontario) and some additional hope of bringing new US states into the cannabis fold (Vermont). And it wasn’t just the impeachment making news in the US - this week we learned (the obvious) that more liberal voters in the US are more likely to consume cannabis than more conservative voters. (And not just because cannabis helps ease the Trump pain...) Finally, stay tuned to Business of Cannabis this week as we will be making some major announcements tomorrow and Thursday. If you haven’t already - sign up for our newsletter to get the announcements first. Read on…
Jan. 27, 2020 | Calling the kettle black
As we head into the last week in January, the industry is: unsettled. Last week we had a major player (Aphria) landing a $100 million investment from a (secret) institutional investor. At the same time, an extraction company (MediPharm) filed suit against a (secret) deadbeat that owes ~$10 million.And not to be left out, President Trump is on tape talking about how cannabis can lower your IQ. If that’s not the ultimate pot calling the kettle black...Read on…
Jan. 20, 2020 | Wheat from chaff time?
In the Canadian landscape, we may be seeing the real-time separation of wheat from chaff with new products being rolled out (or not) and positive financial filings (or note). One thing is clear, Canada's paper of record is dialing back their cannabis coverage. And it isn't just Canada. One of the big US retailers is having some trouble, while a slew of new, and more conservative states, look to bolster their cannabis programs in 2020. None of that is helping Joe Biden see the issue more clearly, however. Read on...
Jan. 13, 2020 | A Tale of Two Neighbours
It was a week when much of the Canadian cannabis sector descended on Vancouver for the Lift&Co. Expo, but not without some Twitter controversy. It was also a week when Canada’s largest province started rolling out Cannabis 2.0 products to retailers and consumers. While the world is dealing with a ton of horrible situations right now, impacts from 2.0 products are not among them.We have some new podcasts dropping this week too - including On A High Season 2, Minnesota Cannabis Conversations and stay tuned for BofC Live later this week recorded with the team at the Village Bloomery in Vancouver. Read on…
Dec. 16, 2019 | Brighter Days Ahead?
Last week was a big one for the Canadian cannabis industry - and many companies, brands and people were together at MJBizCon to discuss it all.Ontario’s new retail cannabis guidelines are out - and things seem to be moving quickly after a year of being stuck firmly in the mud. Expect to see lots more retailers in Ontario in 2020.In some parts of the country, Cannabis 2.0 starts this week...For a deep dive into all things Ontario retail - we connect with Matt Maurer of Torkin Manes last Friday from the MJBizCon trade show. Take a listen…
Dec. 2, 2019 | Cannabis Black Friday (or not)
You know the roll-out of cannabis isn't going smoothly when one level of government (the Province of Ontario/the Ontario Cannabis Store) has to pull one of its promotions for a Black Friday cannabis sale because another level of government (Health Canada) has a problem. To add insult to injury, Willie Nelson had to stop smoking cannabis. Fear not, however, because next week, the Business of Cannabis team (and scores of Business of Cannabis readers/viewers/listeners) will be heading to Las Vegas for MJBizCon 2019. Read on...
Nov. 25, 2019 | Goodbye Ontario Lottery
The news that drove the Canadian cannabis conversation this week was the hope for revisions of the retail framework in Ontario. Hello unlocking hundreds of licenses, and (presumably) goodbye lottery. But that wasn’t the only news. The US and Israel made MORE steps forward on cannabis, but perhaps the political issues both countries are facing will complicate things further. And, a full suite of Business of Cannabis productions are hitting your computer this week. First up, Dan Sutton from Tantalus Labs.
Nov. 18, 2019 | Gut Punches Continue
The Great Canadian Cannabis Gut Punch continued this week...
Nov. 11, 2019 | Now We're Here
Dr. Phil is now Enemy #1 in the cannabis world because he has views on cannabis as outdated as Don Cherry’s views on immigration and patriotism. But worry not, because the most Canadian intersection of things ever happened last week: cannabis + Drake. Read on...
Nov. 4, 1019 | Finding the Silver Lining
The news generally has not been good on the Canadian cannabis landscape recently (CannTrust, Ontario retail, HEXO earnings) - Leaf Forward’s Alex Blumenstein shared some thoughts about the sector’s path forward in the Globe + Mail.
Oct. 28, 2019 | Cuts Edition
We’ll start where the news is more or less positive - cannabis retail...
Oct. 21, 2019 | Welcome to Year 2
It was a big week of celebration and industry self-reflection in the Canadian cannabis sector last week. But what’s next? May suggest two events to put on your calendars in the coming weeks...
Oct. 15, 2019 | It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times...
This week marks the one year anniversary of adult use recreational cannabis legalization in Canada. Yesterday, Business of Cannabis co-founder published 8 teachable things that we’ve learned in the past year.
Oct. 7, 2019 | New Pods Edition
This week, Business of Cannabis is proud to launch two new podcasts. Today, we encourage you to check out On A High, a podcast a show about the intersection of cannabis, beauty, fashion, and wellness. The podcast is hosted by Michelle Bilodeau and Donna Bishop. You can find it wherever you find podcasts, as well as on the Business of Cannabis website.
Sept. 30, 2019 | Bell Ring Edition
On Friday, Business of Cannabis presented our inaugural Cannabis + Technology event. As we predicted last Monday in this newsletter, the event did sell out. To kick off Cannabis + Technology, Business of Cannabis opened the Canadian Securities Exchange on Thursday morning.
Sept. 23, 2019 | It's Gonna Sell Out
A big week for the Business of Cannabis team as we head into Cannabis + Technology this Friday. Limited tickets are still available. If you do not currently have tickets but wish to attend - best to get your tickets today here - it's gonna sell out.
Sept. 16, 2019 | Two Weeks Out
We are less than 2 weeks away from Cannabis + Technology presented by Business of Cannabis on September 27 in Toronto. Tickets are still available - and if you use the code “Friends” at check out, you will receive 25 percent off your ticket.
September 9, 2019 | Panic at the Vape Pen
Two things as we get to this week’s newsletter.Thing 1 | Shout out to Canadian Bianca Andreescu on winning the US Open in stunning fashion. Thing 2 | Cannabis + Technology, presented by Business of Cannabis, is coming up on Sept. 27. We have assembled an amazing line-up of speakers for our program, world class partners and presenters and a uniquely Canadian venue. We are on pace to sell out, so get your tickets today.
September 3, 2019 | Lottery Fallout Edition
Cannabis Reddit was alive and well this weekend uncovering the apparent ballot-stuffing of the Ontario cannabis retail lottery. Something tells us that the final retailers may not match up with the initial retailers pulled from the Round 2 Lottery hat… Some more lottery fallout…
August 26, 2019 | Innisfilling Up ON Retail
On September 27, Business of Cannabis will bring together the sector for Cannabis + Technology. Get your tickets today at the Early Bird price through September 6.
August 19, 2019 | Mark Your Calendar Edition
Circle your calendar for September 27. Join Business of Cannabis for Cannabis + Technology a deep look into the intersection of compliance, transparency, technology and cannabis. Learn more and register today for your Early Bird tickets.
August 12, 2019 | ONother Cannabis Lottery
The Ontario Cannabis Retail Lottery Part II opened in earnest last week - with applications due on Friday. More news later in August. Last week, we caught up with one of the current Ontario retail cannabis operators - Mimi Lam, CEO of Superette.
August 6, 2019 | The Good, The Bad + The Ugly
As the Aphria, TerrAscend and Cronos news looked pretty good, CannTrust news continued to look bad…CannTrust is under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission. As well, they have hired a helper to (maybe) get themselves sold.
July 22, 2019 | EnforCEMENT Edition
oronto took centre stage this week as the City aimed to crack down on unregulated cannabis retail operations - specifically, the four CAFE shops. This garnered some significant attention in Canada - and elsewhere - as code enforcement placed cement barriers at the entrances. The BBC picked it up - and included an image from BofC’s Jay Rosenthal. As did LADbible. (And many, many, many others.) Perhaps the most interesting coverage was from CBC who tried to unearth the hard-to-pin-down (Lamborgini-driving) owner. READ ON...
July 15, 2019 | "Quite a Shock" Edition
Bruce Linton thought his firing would be news for weeks: enter CannTrust. Last week’s news kicked Bruce Linton and Canopy’s leadership shake-up directly off the cannabis front burner.
July 8, 2019 | Bruce's (Smith) Fall Edition
Two big stories dominated the cannabis news last week in Canada - and one has global implications. Story 1: Canopy Growth ousted Co-CEO Bruce Linton. This news set off a series of stories, including one about the t-shirt Linton was wearing on his post-removal press tour… Story 2: Ontario set in motion the next wave of cannabis retail. And again, we see the next 50 distributed something like the first 25 - via lottery. 42 will be allocated by lottery, but this time with some pre-qualifications in terms of access to capital and real estate. The other 8 will be allocated to First Nations’ communities on a first come first serve basis.
July 2, 2019 | Oh Canada Edition
If it’s after Canada Day, it means the political season is about to heat up… and last week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer made clear that he would not re-criminalize cannabis. Phew!
June 24, 2019 | Skunk in the Trunk Edition
Perhaps the biggest news of the week was a bell weather financial reporting statement from Canopy Growth. Canopy reported their quarterly financials last week. Most seem underwhelmed.
June 17, 2019 Newsletter
As you may have heard, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship last week. As you receive this email, the victory parade will be well underway. Of all the social media congratulations, none was as “on brand” as the Canadian Border Services Agency - your Laugh this week…
June 10, 2019 Newsletter | Hoops Edition
Big game in Toronto on Monday night (+ news of outdoor growing) makes this the Hoops Edition of the Business of Cannabis newsletter.
June 3, 2019 Newsletter | Big News for Big Companies Edition
Big News for Big Companies | A National Post story about how Tweed (now Canopy) was to receive hockey-bags filled with cannabis in 2014 and how those bags were nabbed by the RCMP. The story goes on to describe the RCMP’s response, including internal emails that showed significant concern for the seizure’s impact on Tweed’s stock price. A detailed and long-researched story about the inner workings at Lift & Co. dropped on the eve of their biggest event of the year. The story in The Logic (a new strategic partner of the National Post) detailed shaky strategic direction and decision-making and as well as a hostile work environment and pay-equity issues.
May 27, 2019 Newsletter | The Legal Cannabis Finals
Two of the world largest cannabis markets - Canada and California - will face off in the NBA Finals this week. Could it be there is a correlation between legalization and NBA team success? Let’s Go Raptors…
May 21, 2019 Newsletter | No Fun Edition
Ending the War on Fun: Alberta’s new Premier is ending the ‘war on fun’...Fire + Flower is opening 6 more stores in Western Canada - as well, Manitoba announced their locations for cannabis retail in rural parts of that Province. And while Manitoba announces new shops - HOBO in Ottawa is cutting hours because of supply shortages. Finally, during their earnings media tour last week, the team at Aurora threw water on the infused beverage industry. They say, “the market is just not there…”
May 13, 2019 Newsletter | New Rules Edition
Last week, Business of Cannabis presented Medical Cannabis Week across 7 events, over 5 days in 2 cities. Thousands of people joined in - both in person and through the Medical Cannabis Week live stream. Over the next several weeks, we will provide highlights of the week through this newsletter and through our social channels.
Apr. 29, 2019 Newsletter | Medical Cannabis Week Preview Edition
One week from today, Business of Cannabis will be presenting our second annual Medical Cannabis Week. The week will feature 6 events, spread out over 5 days in 2 cities and attract well over 1,000 people in person and many, many more via live stream. Read on...
Apr. 22, 2019 Newsletter | 4/20 Fog Edition
As we collectively shake off our 4/20 fog and head into the week, read on…
Apr. 15, 2019 Newsletter | 4/20 Week Edition
This week will end with Good Friday, Passover and the holiday that truly brings people together, 4/20…
Mar. 25 Newsletter | One Week to Go (Ontario)
We are live streaming direct from Organigram this morning in Moncton, New Brunswick.Tune into Business of Cannabis on Twitter to catch the live stream at 10 a.m. Eastern today and tomorrow.
Feb. 11. Newsletter | Cardi (c)B(d) Edition
At last night’s Grammy Awards, Cardi B made a splash. On needing to calm her nerves, she said: "Maybe I need to start smoking weed..."
Feb. 4 Newsletter | The Delayed Effect Edition
As the BofC team celebrates a Patriots’ victory - some football folks are getting into the cannabis game. Most notably, Tiki Barber and Joe Montana each are investing in cannabis.
Jan. 28 Newsletter | Super Bowl Ad Edition
It’s Super Bowl week and the ad that’s getting all the media is one that won’t run because it’s about medical cannabis. Watch it! (And go Patriots…) And while the world debates the virtues of that ad, a Toronto digital agency polled Canadians about how, where and if they will be consuming cannabis during the Big Game.
Jan. 21 Newsletter | The Dark Side of Cannabis Culture
The story that had the Canadian cannabis community buzzing this week was the detailed account of the goings on inside of Cannabis Culture - specifically Mark Emery’s alleged, reprehensible behaviour. Read for yourself.
Dec. 17 Newsletter | Ontario Retail Takes a Huge Hit (but not in the good way)
All the biggest stories from the last week.