Marijuana Politics

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Thu
26
Mar

The cannabis industry can help with coronavirus testing. But will the government listen?

On the outskirts of Toronto, next to the Pearson International Airport, there is a 16,000 square foot cannabis testing laboratory whose owner says it can process 500 coronavirus tests a day. With an investment for additional equipment, that number could rise to more than 1,000 tests a day. 

“Testing right now is just way too slow, it’s unbearably slow,” John Slaughter, the CEO of High North Laboratories told The GrowthOp. “So we started looking internally to see what would it take for us to do that kind of testing and found out it wasn’t really much. We were right on the cusp of it anyway.”

Wed
25
Mar

UN Votes to Delay Rescheduling of Cannabis for Second Time in Two Years

For the second time in two years, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has delayed a critical vote on the reclassification of cannabis. The CND met in Vienna, Austria from March 2-6. The vote is now expected to happen in December 2020. The discussion about reclassification of the plant, however, has been going on for a little longer than that.

Wed
25
Mar

Can Police Search Cars For Marijuana Based On Odor Alone?

In Canada, odors in vehicles while driving will count as “reasonable suspicion” for police to request an oral fluid sample at roadside. But what about the U.S.?

Legal cannabis is still a relatively new industry in North America. Complete legalization of cannabis took place in Canada in October 2019. The laws in Canada and the U.S. with relation to legal cannabis continue to differ for the main reason that the U.S. has not yet federally legalized cannabis (it is only fully legal medically and for adult use in 11 states), although over three-quarters of the American public report being in favor of complete legalization. 

Wed
25
Mar

To apply for relief funds, weed companies need to have 3 quarters of positive cash flow

A second Crown corporation tasked with helping prop up the Canadian economy during the COVID-19 pandemic is giving cannabis companies the cold shoulder. 

Tue
24
Mar

Canadian cannabis industry sends letter to Ottawa to be part of $10B relief fund

hree members of Parliament and 74 Canadian cannabis industry professionals are calling on the federal government to include the cannabis sector in Ottawa’s COVID-19 relief funds.

Last week, Tantalus Labs CEO Dan Sutton tweeted the cannabis industry was being excluded from the federal government’s $10 billion in loans to support the Canadian economy.

On Thursday, Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies sent a letter to Minister of Finance William Morneau calling the exclusion “economic stigmatization” while urging for federal support of the cannabis industry. The letter was co-signed by MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and MP Scott Reid. All three MPs co-chair the Parliamentary Cannabis Caucus. 

Tue
24
Mar

Pressure mounts on federal funders to include cannabis in COVID-19 aid

The COVID-19 pandemic is shuttering businesses across the country, but the Canadian cannabis sector continues to be left out of economic relief plans. 

Earlier this month, a senior account manager from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) notified Dan Sutton, the CEO of Vancouver’s Tantalus Labs, that “we do not do business with cannabis firms at the time.” The news came after the BDC and the Export Development Canada (EDC) had announced additional loans and liquidity were coming for Canadian businesses. 

Last Thursday, the co-chairs for the Parliamentary Cannabis Caucus wrote a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau asking the federal government to include the Canadian cannabis sector in Ottawa’s plans. 

Tue
24
Mar

What do we know about the feds’ plan to bust up the online cannabis black market?

It could be shaping up to be a bad year for the black market.

A briefing book prepared for Bill Blair, the federal public safety minister, shows that Ottawa is very much pursuing its options when it comes to the illicit market, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

A redacted version of the book, dated last November, was posted to the internet last week and details some of the ministry’s priorities.

Tue
24
Mar

Pot shops to remain open during Ontario shutdown: Sources

Licensed cannabis stores will remain open in Ontario during a provincial emergency shutdown of non-essential businesses designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to two sources directly familiar with the matter. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that all non-essential businesses in the province will be required to shut down effective Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. for a period of at least 14 days. A list of businesses that will remain open will be released Tuesday, the government said in a release. 

Both sources, who declined to be named since the decision hasn't been made official, confirmed that cannabis retailers made the cut and will be deemed essential when the province releases its list of businesses that can remain open during the 14-day shutdown. 

Tue
24
Mar

Cannabis industry braces for COVID-19 troubles, debates calls for government aid

Cole Miller has spent most of his days since 2017 excited about the launch of the Basecamp cannabidiol iced tea he was crafting, but as he visited Ontario cannabis retailers to encourage them to up the number of cases they would stock for its early March debut, he started to get worried.

They wouldn’t budge on their orders because they figured they might have to close stores or reduce hours amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“That was the first time from word on the street I thought this might actually affect our business,” said Miller, the founder of A1 Cannabis Co.

Fri
20
Mar

P.E.I. looks for backup plan to provide weed and alcohol after crowds swarm closing stores

Islanders don’t appear ready to put any distance between them and their supply of pot and booze.

The provincial government is exploring ways to turn the taps back on after announcing it was “disappointed in Islanders’ response,” to the decision to close all liquor and cannabis stores as of 2 p.m. local time on Thursday. Long lines soon formed at stores around the province on word the time to stock up was nearing an end.

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