Marijuana Politics

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Israeli Cabinet approves medical marijuana exports

Israel has given final approval to a law permitting the export of medical marijuana, a move the government expects will catapult investment in local industry and agriculture.

The Cabinet’s decision Sunday came a month after the Israeli parliament unanimously approved the decision, making Israel the third country in the world, after the Netherlands and Canada, to allow export of medical cannabis products.

Israel is home to dozens of companies active in the medical marijuana industry, and approved companies will be able to export to countries where it is legal.


Canada's chronic shortage of legal cannabis expected to drag out for years

Canada's persistent shortage of legal cannabis could drag on for years. The impending legalization of edible pot will only divert more product away from empty store shelves across the country. One industry insider said he now expects that shortage to endure until 2022.

"If it was just the current product set, I'd say a year to 18 months," said Chuck Rifici, CEO of the Toronto-based cannabis company Auxly.

"But because we have edibles and a bunch of new product types coming in October, I think it'll be the better part of three years before we have true equilibrium and oversupply in the space."


Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Travellers caught sneaking small amounts of marijuana into Canada could soon be forced to pay fines.

Although stiff criminal penalties will remain options on the books, the federal border agency is developing administrative sanctions to give it more flexibility to deal with people who arrive at the border with cannabis in the era of legal recreational use.

Since Oct. 17, adults in Canada have been allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of cannabis, but bringing the drug into the country continues to be illegal, carrying a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

If you are carrying cannabis upon entering Canada, it must be declared to the border agency. Otherwise, you may face arrest and prosecution, the Canada Border Services Agency says.


Class action against pot producer Organigram gets green light for trial

A class action lawsuit against licensed cannabis producer Organigram Inc. has been given the green light to proceed to trial.

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia last Friday certified the proposed class action, filed in 2017 after the Moncton-based organic pot grower recalled a number of its products due to the detection of certain pesticides.

Organigram in December 2016 announced a voluntary recall of certain lots of medical marijuana supplied between August and December that year after a certain pesticide not registered for use on marijuana under the Pest Control Products Act was detected.


Canada's cannabis laws and 5 burning questions for 2019

2018 was a momentous year for cannabis advocates as Canada became the second country (after Uruguay) to legalize recreational marijuana use. Canadians and cannabis companies alike eagerly awaited legalization, but the rollout hasn’t been as smooth as they would have liked.


Marijuana edibles are moving towards Canadian government approval

It’s been nearly three months since cannabis became legal for recreational use in Canada, and now the federal government is preparing to allow more products onto the market — in particular, edibles like baked goods, candy, and chocolate.


Luck of the draw could leave Ottawa with zero pot shops

It's the first day cannabis retailers can throw their names in a lottery for one of 25 licences to open a pot shop in the province, but the pull-from-the-hat approach could leave Ottawa without a single storefront.

Cannabis has been legal since Oct. 17, but so far, Ontario consumers have only been able to buy the product online.

Only 25 licences will be issued by Apr. 1 to the first wave of private retailers, with a lottery system determining the winners.

According to a local public affairs consultant, that's not the best way to combat black market cannabis sales — especially if Ottawa ends up without any legal outlets.


In 2019, focus in cannabis sector shifts from legalization to legitimacy

After a wild year for the cannabis sector, it’s appropriate that 2019 kicks off with a focus on Aphria Inc., the Canadian pot producer that was attacked by short sellers and is now the target of a hostile takeover bid.

Aphria reports results for the fiscal second quarter on Jan. 11, and there will undoubtedly be plenty of questions on the conference call about the allegations from short sellers that it overpaid for “worthless” assets in Latin America. Aphria called the claims by Quintessential Capital Management and Hindenburg Research “malicious and self-serving.”


Legal supply scant, Canada pot dealers still busy on corner

The legal cannabis stores that opened in Montreal last fall still look pristine. Curious customers file in, but the shelves they peruse are often bare. Supplies are so short the stores are shuttered three days a week.

A few blocks from one outlet, though, a longtime pot dealer was receiving a stream of text alerts one afternoon this winter, a sign of booming business.

When the government opened Canada's official recreational-pot market on Oct. 17, it was banking on the idea that many users would prefer to buy legally and that the black market would quickly begin to fade. It says things seem on track, with "early reports of a 65 percent reduction for illegally sourced products," according to a spokesman for the minister in charge of the cannabis file.


New taxes, wage hikes and more: 49 new laws across Canada in 2019

Some changes are tiny and bureaucratic. Others will fundamentally change the country.

The federal and provincial governments have announced numerous new rules for 2019. Most federal, provincial and territorial laws come into force immediately after their passage and assent.

But legislation requiring greater planning or notice is typically delayed to allow affected parties time to prepare. Here are 49 new laws that come into effect across Canada in 2019. They range from the arrival of a federal carbon-tax plan to a fee for plastic bags in Prince Edward Island.


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