Marijuana Politics

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Twelve cannabis store applicants disqualified for not submitting documents

The regulator overseeing Ontario’s legal cannabis stores says a dozen licence applicants who participated in the latest lottery have been disqualified.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario held a lottery for the right to apply for one of the next 42 cannabis store licences earlier this month.

Those who won the lottery had until Wednesday to submit the documents and the regulator says 12 failed to do so and were disqualified. One withdrew the application.

The AGCO says today all of the disqualified and withdrawn applicants are now being replaced by people on a waiting list.

The agency says 29 applicants provided the required documents which are now being reviewed, a process that includes background and police checks.


Canadians hit with lifetime bans for carrying CBD oil across U.S. border

Two Canadians have been given lifetime entry bans to the United States after they attempted to enter the country carrying cannabidiol oil or CBD, a popular cannabis extract legal in Canada that's often used to treat pain and anxiety.

Blaine, Washington-based immigration lawyer Len Saunders, who represents both travellers, told CTV News during both encounters, which took place over the last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents found the CBD oil during secondary inspections.

“It’s as bad as having marijuana itself, or cocaine, or any controlled substance,” Saunders said.

In early August, Saunders said his client, Brett Heuchert, who's a Canadian citizen living in Japan, landed at Seattle's SeaTac International Airport from Tokyo.


Is Canada’s cannabis packaging excessive?

Have you ever ordered a gram of legal cannabis online in Canada only to have it arrive in a huge box that holds only a small plastic container?

Are you weary of a sea of plain packaging that features a stop sign-like red hexagon that signals the inclusion of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis?

After more than six months of legalized cannabis in Canada, the way in which legal cannabis is packaged is definitely a far cry from the dime bag packaging of illegal cannabis.

While the government is making safety their number one priority, there has been some not-too positive feedback about cannabis packaging, saying it is excessive and expressing concerns over its environmental impact.


Ban cannabis-infused soft drinks, public health directors urge Quebec

Quebec’s public-health directors are warning that the provincial government’s proposed regulations restricting edible cannabis products contain “grey areas … that undermine the effectiveness” of the new rules.

In July, the Coalition Avenir Québec government announced that it will ban the sale of cannabis-based chocolates, candies and “any other product attractive to minors.” However, the draft regulations do not specifically prohibit the sale of cannabis-infused soft drinks and juices and, in fact, would “establish that an edible cannabis product in liquid form cannot contain THC (the main active ingredient) that is greater than 5 milligrams per package.”


Saskatoon Council votes to reduce cannabis store licensing fee from $10,000 to $85

City Council voted by a margin of 6-4 Monday night to reduce the licensing renewal fee for cannabis retail stores from $10,000 to $85

The fee applies to the city’s seven retail cannabis outlets allowed under provincial legislation.

This is a further decrease from the original $500 recommended by city staff, the result of a motion introduced at a committee meeting August 12. It puts the renewal fee that cannabis businesses pay in line with most other types of businesses in the city.

In discussion Monday, Coun. Ann Iwanchuk called the $500 “arbitrary.”

“The vast majority of businesses pay $85 dollars, I feel like this is a way of singling out this one particular business,” she said. “We’re not the moral authority here.”


Canadian woman faces lifetime ban after getting caught with CBD oil at U.S. border

U.S. border protection has barred a young Canadian woman from crossing the border after cannabidiol (CBD) oil was found in her backpack — a non-psychoactive product of the cannabis plant she uses to treat the painful side effects of scoliosis.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified by CBC News pending the outcome of an application for reentry, is the latest Canadian to face border troubles after Canada legalized cannabis last year.

Thousands of Canadians have been denied entry to the U.S. simply for admitting they've smoked a joint once in their lives. Others have been banned from entering the country for life for carrying cannabis products to the border — a punishment that this unsuspecting CBD oil user could now face as well, according to immigration experts.


Company with same address as illegal pot shop CAFE wins provincial go-ahead to open legal store

A numbered company with the same Toronto address as the illegal cannabis dispensary CAFE, which has repeatedly been shut down by city officials and police, was a winner in Ontario's latest cannabis store lottery. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced 42 lottery winners — 4,800 people or companies had expressed interest in opening a legal pot shop — that will now have the chance to open a legal store on Wednesday. The full list is at the bottom of this story.

Among the winners was 11180673 Canada Inc., based at 104 Harbord St., where one of CAFE's location is based. 


CannTrust says Ontario Cannabis Store returns $2.9M in products

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO 3.58%), the Canadian pot company that’s plunged more than half this year after it breached regulations, said Ontario’s cannabis wholesaler is returning its products.

The Ontario Cannabis Store, the government corporation in charge of wholesale distribution to licensed retailers and operator of the province’s online store, has elected to return all or substantially all of CannTrust products because they are “non-conforming.” The products are valued at about $2.9 million, CannTrust said in a statement Monday.

Health Canada hasn’t ordered a recall of any products, according to CannTrust.


Here's how shockingly low the odds of U.S. marijuana legalization really are

Americans support legalizing marijuana in record numbers. A Hill-HarrisX survey released in April found that a whopping 84% of respondents support the legalization of pot. Half were in favor only for legalizing medical cannabis, with the other half supportive of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana as well.

With this widespread support, you might assume that U.S. marijuana legalization is a shoo-in. Think again.

By my rough calculations, the odds of marijuana being legalized in the U.S. within the next few years is less than 1 in 300. That's right: The chances that you would flip a coin and have it land on heads eight times in a row are much better than the country legalizing pot anytime soon.


Experts and advocates skeptical pot conviction pardons will benefit northerners

Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions will be eligible for record suspensions, but advocates and experts say it won't be so easy.

Bill C-93 came into force this month, and allows people to get fast-tracked record suspensions at no cost. A record suspension prevents a criminal record or pardon from appearing in the National Repository of Criminal Records.

The legislation waives the previous $631 application fee and ends the application wait period of up to 10 years. 

"What it doesn't get rid of, is the lead-up costs," said Samantha McAleese, a PhD candidate in sociology at Carleton University who researches recent changes to Canada's pardon system.


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