Edmonton heist the first reported cannabis store robbery in Alberta

Police continue to search for two suspects after a west-end cannabis store was hit by an armed robbery Thursday night, police said Friday.

The suspects entered Cannamart near 101 Avenue and 175 Street around 9 p.m. with a weapon and stole a variety of merchandise before fleeing the scene in a vehicle stolen outside the business.

Police responded soon after and canvassed the neighbourhood for the suspects.

No one was injured in the incident, including store staff and the driver of the vehicle stolen by the suspects, which was recovered by police shortly after.

In a statement, AGLC spokeswoman Heather Holmen said this is believed to be the first reported cannabis store robbery in the province.


Alberta Cannabis offers deep discounts ahead of arrival of edibles

It might be called the black and blue market by the time Alberta is done with it.

The Canadian province’s online retailer,, is stepping up efforts to combat illicit cannabis by slashing product prices in the lead up to the arrival of edibles in the new year.

“Prices on all products have been reduced to better provide affordable, safe cannabis,” Alberta Cannabis told CTV News Edmonton. “And we’ve reduced our shipping fees by half — pay only $4.95 to have your order shipped right to your door.”


Alberta, with 22 per cent of national sales, is the per capita leader in legal cannabis purchases

Albertans purchased nearly $200 million worth of legal pot in the first 11 months of legalization, making it the biggest per capita consumer among larger provinces.

Statistics Canada figures released Wednesday show Albertans bought $196 million worth of cannabis from privately operated stores and a government-run website from October 2018 to September 2019.

That represents 22 per cent of national sales of $908 million in a province that makes up just 12 per cent of Canada’s population.

The only province with bigger dollar sales was Ontario with $217 million, but that came from a population more than three times that of Alberta.


Alberta will have to wait until mid-January for Cannabis 2.0 products

Canada’s top per-capita cannabis seller won’t be getting a head start on selling cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) reports that Alberta will have to wait until the new year before selling Cannabis 2.0 products.

But, the delay wasn’t a surprise.

“It’s the quickest timeline for AGLC to order and receive product from LPs (licensed producers) after the earliest day provinces can legally order from LPs (Dec. 16), to list in inventory for retailers to order and then ship out to stores across the province,” AGLC spokesperson Heather Holmen told The GrowthOp.


Cannabis research is alive and well as Alberta, Ontario universities push ahead with studies

Despite years of stagnation, Canadian cannabis research is finally kicking into high gear.

The University of Alberta announced a partnership on Tuesday with Atlas Biotechnologies. The entities will conduct research relating to medical cannabis and its application in the treatment of a number of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).


City man pursues Health Canada permit to open craft cannabis grow operation

An Edmonton man is looking to open one of the city’s first craft cannabis growing operations.

Rob Simonowits had a medical marijuana licence prior to the legalization of cannabis and just got word that he is now approved to move forward with his application to grow up to 2,100 square feet of cannabis for the legal recreational market. That is roughly the maximum growth allowed for a “micro” operation.

“I am destined to be a craft cannabis grower and you know what, I’m doing it,” said Simonowits.

Health Canada has given him the green light to proceed with construction and he is now in the process of getting his development permit from the City of Edmonton, which he currently has conditional approval.


Christmas without legal edible cannabis stocking stuffers minor buzz kill: industry

Playing the role of sativa Santa this year would have been a merry prospect, said Calgary candy-maker Brad Churchill.

But federal regulator Health Canada’s meticulously measured approach in approving production of licensed cannabis snacks and other derivatives has put those edible elves on hold.

“It’s disappointing in the standpoint of not having it in the stores for the holiday season,” said Churchill, owner of Choklat.

“(Federal approvals are) taking longer than it really should but, at the end of the day, the wheels of progress are grinding.”

In one way, the gradual rollout of the next generating of legal cannabis products — which were officially legalized Oct. 17 — comes as a relief, said Churchill.


Welcome to my lightweight, fire-resistant, insect-repellent… hemp house

Humans have utilized many materials for their homes throughout the ages, from wood to metal to concrete. But what about hemp?

Just BioFiber Structural Solutions, an Airdrie, Alberta-based company, has been utilizing hempcrete blocks made primarily from hemp hurd, lime and water. Hemp hurd comes primarily from the woody inner parts of the stalk of industrial hemp. While there are a few other forms of hempcrete, BioFiber is currently the only company in the world using insulated blocks.

The company has built a handful of hempcrete houses in British Coumbia, and currently is in the process of finalizing engineering tests to be listed in the National Building Code of Canada.


A green bust in the cannabis industry

Some growers say ‘ghost houses’ are popping up across the country as production gets ahead of the demand for cannabis.

Producers like Boaz Pharmaceuticals say cannabis is growing faster than the number of stores opening so there’s too much supply.

“It was mostly a surprise to everyone that they weren’t able to sell and ship the amount of product so we’re hearing terms of ‘ghost houses’ which are greenhouses that the big LPs (licensed producer) aren’t growing anymore.”


Insurance costs a challenge for pot retailers, store owner says

Insurance is a steep cost for the new retail cannabis industry, says a central Alberta business owner.

Matt Panelli, co-owner of Lacombe’s Merry Guana, said it was difficult to get an insurance quote when he first started his business last fall.

He and his partner were only able to get quotes from two companies.

“The first quote we got was five times the amount a liquor store would pay for similar coverage, and the other one was two-and-a-half times,” said Panelli.

“So we have to pay two-and-a-half times what a liquor store pays, even though all of our product has to be stored in a vault that we had to build – it’s essentially like a bank vault.”


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