Marijuana Politics

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Mon
06
Apr

As COVID-19 spreads, Ontario moves to close all cannabis retail stores

The Ontario Cannabis Store will, once again, have a monopoly in the province.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis shops will be removed from Ontario’s list of essential services, Doug Ford announced on Friday afternoon. The emergency order will go into effect Saturday night and will last for at least the next two weeks. 

Ontario, which had just begun to ramp up its offerings of cannabis retail locations, including several stores opening across the province just this week, will now rely on the OCS for all legal weed. 

Mon
06
Apr

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Devastated bars and lounges as well as the country's hard-hit cannabis sector will have access to $40 billion in new credit being made available via the government's business bank during the COVID-19 crisis, its CEO said on Sunday.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Michael Denham said the program from the Business Development Bank of Canada would now be open to all businesses.

"Any legal business is eligible to be part of the program -- that was what I think some industry groups were concerned about," Denham said from Montreal. "That was clarified and we're going to formally announce it on Monday."

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program.

Mon
06
Apr

Pot shops want delivery or curbside pick-up options

The Ontario government’s decision to shut down cannabis stores in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic will only send customers back to the black market where they’ll buy unregulated products, says one prominent retailer.

Cameron Brown, spokesman for the The Hunny Pot, says his company has two stores open already and four under construction. The company’s location in downtown Toronto was one of the first to open in April 2019 and has been doing brisk enough business that more stores are on the way.

He said after Premier Doug Ford announced pot shops would be closed due to COVID, his store in Toronto and another location in Burlington were swamped.

Mon
30
Mar

Cannabis producers qualify for $500,000 pandemic loan for farmers

While the fight to qualify for Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) compensation amid the COVID-19 outbreak continues, licensed cannabis producers may be able to get up to $500,000 in short-term loans under a new $5 billion Farm Credit Canada (FCC) stimulus.

Mon
30
Mar

Cannabis sector implores feds to include industry in $82B stimulus package

Leaders of Canada’s cannabis industry are pleading with the federal government for help to curb the damage the coronavirus pandemic is having on the sector.

Cannabis companies are currently left out of the federal government’s $82 billion stimulus package, something Rick Savone, SVP Global Government Relations for Aurora Cannabis Inc, hopes will change sooner rather than later.

“Those measures the government has announced, albeit early measures, still don’t seem to exclude many people but they definitely exclude the cannabis industry,” Savone said, adding Aurora Cannabis alone employs nearly 3,000 people.

“Were in a crisis where there’s no more time to deliberate these things,” he said.

Mon
30
Mar

Health Canada asks cannabis industry for help with COVID-19 testing

Canadian officials are turning to the cannabis industry to see if laboratories typically used to check for cannabinoids can be also used to test for COVID-19. 

In an email sent to licensed cannabis industry executives on Thursday obtained by BNN Bloomberg, Health Canada acting director general Joanne Garrah asked respondents if there was any spare lab capacity to assist the country with COVID-19 testing. 

"Health Canada is working to identify lab capacity that might be available across the country in various sectors, including at licensed cannabis production sites, to assist with supporting COVID-19 testing," the email stated. 

Fri
27
Mar

Canadian Indigenous Communities Close Cannabis And Smoke Shops Amid Outbreak

Mohawk communities in Canada have closed their cannabis dispensaries and tobacco shops in an effort to reduce the flow of visitors amid the continuing outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. But despite the move, non-Indigenous people continue to visit, worrying residents that the virus will show up in their communities.

Fri
27
Mar

Workers in Canadian pot company could become first to unionize

As the legal marijuana business continues to expand, staff at one Canadian cannabis company are looking to unionize in what would be a first in the country’s legal pot industry.

International labor union United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has been in contact with workers at Ontario cannabis producer WeedMD to start negotiating contracts, according to national representative Kevin Shimmin.

Thu
26
Mar

Cannabis and COVID-19: What we know so far

The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December last year. Officially called COVID-19, the virus since then has become a global pandemic. In an effort to control the spread in Canada, it was announced recently that non-essential businesses will shut down in Ontario and Quebec. Pot shops, deemed essential, will remain open.

Cannabis, as it turns out, is an increasingly popular choice of those prepping for isolation.

Thu
26
Mar

Where to buy weed during the COVID-19 pandemic

Approximately 4,000 times these past two weeks, I’ve thanked my lucky stars cannabis was legalized before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and sent us all cowering in our bong dens.

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