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Perhaps the most impactful news of the week came from Europe, as the European Parliament called for a uniform definition of medical cannabis. While that sounds like dry government-speak, it opens the door for Europe to start moving on medical cannabis.
Speaking of Europe, Business of Cannabis is proud announce that we are the Canadian Media Sponsors of ICBC Berlin this year. If you're interested in joining in on the Canadian content that we will be programming in advance of this international conference, drop us a line.
The most shocking news of the week, was a Scotiabank report suggesting that up to 72 percent of recreational cannabis sales in 2019 could be from the black market - largely due to shortages and lack of retail options. Lisa Campbell of Lifford Cannabis Solutions joined CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning to chime in on the report. (Learn more about Lisa and Lifford from her BofC interview a few weeks back.)
Aiming to combat those black market sales, the OCS continues to bulk up its supply. Three new LPs signed supply agreements this week: TGOD, Puresun Pharms and Indiva.
If you are interested in learning about how plant scientists are helping LPs grow consistently, at scale and at quality, you should take a listen to Dr. Deron Caplan, director of plant science at Flowr.
It’s earnings season in the cannabis space.
This week Aurora beat projections - and we also heard what the CEO loses sleep over: “...I lose sleep over our ability to supply this global cannabis market…”
Business of Cannabis caught up with CannTrust Peter Aceto to talk about CannTrust’s approach to 2019.
Given the slow roll out of cannabis retail in Ontario - LPs are stretching their creative muscles. UP Cannabis (of Tragically Hip fame) announced an “experiential hub” in the soon-to-be-Kingston retail shop.
While we’re talking LPs - Huffington Post took a look at the grass/glass ceiling, calling out that: 8 Female CEOs, 92 Male CEOs: Canada's Cannabis Industry Has A Problem… (As a refresher, here is BofC’s piece from March 2018: Canada’s Cannabis Industry Has To Do Better On Gender Equity.)
The tragic story last week about a 90 mg (90!), black market lollipop that contributed to the death of a Canadian... And as the year moves along toward other products - a closer look is being given to edibles’ regulations. Like, should gummies be allowed? The head of Toronto Public Health doesn’t think so.
It seems that cannabis is going to be a campaign issue in the US - at least on the Democratic side. Last week was Senator Kamala Harris admitting to smoking cannabis in university (while listening to Snoop…) - this week it is Senator Kirsten GIllibrand calling out big pharma for opposing legalization. It includes this money quote:
“To them it’s competition for chronic pain, and that’s outrageous because we don’t have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues. It’s not the same thing. It’s not as highly addictive as opioids are.”
New Mexico wants to get on the legalization bandwagon - and is looking at a very Canadian approach: selling it in government-run stores.
And it’s really no wonder New Mexico’s motivations, new numbers out of New Mexico-adjacent Colorado show that cannabis sales have topped $6 billion since 2014.
While we’re in the US, a billboard tit-for-tat in New Haven, Connecticut. At the heart of it is WeedMaps - which has its own billboard tit-for-tat history in Quebec as well.
Finally, you know things have gone high-end when Barneys gets in on cannabis.
Last year, this week: