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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.
BofC’s Jay Rosenthal commented on Ontario’s plan on the Craig Needles Show, among other places last week:
The opening up for more retail licenses in Ontario also opened the door to Minister Bill Blair taking shots at Premier Doug Ford’s handling of cannabis. Bringing Canadian cannabis to the fore of Canadian politics, Blair said that while other Provinces made improvements, Ontario is “...made excuses…”
And while much of the attention was on Canopy this week…this is Story 3 today:
News this morning broke that CannTrust is running into some Health Canada challenges. Specifically, growing cannabis in not-yet-approved rooms. Drawing this harsh criticism from industry insider Lisa Campbell…
Sundial Growers is going public on NASDAQ.
And while Ontario plans for (only) 50 more stores, Alberta sprints ahead with approving 10 new licenses a week for retail. But what about the effect on crime of opening up all these cannabis stores? Well, Calgary police say none at all.
Calgary may be getting all the cannabis retail stores - the Stampede is a cannabis-free zone - this week.
In addition to the Linton and Ontario retail news, Business of Cannabis was busy last week.
BofC Live included talks with Mark Spear of Wildfire Collective about his passion for outdoor growing, Will Stewart of Harvest One about how new products will drive down stigma and Andrew Grieve, CEO of Zenabis about how the pre-paid supply agreement with Tilray will help Zenabis AND Tilray in the coming year.
Finally, Business of Cannabis and Leaf Forward announced a new series - Pitch Forward - calling all innovators and start-ups preparing for Legalization 2.0 to be on our new program.