Marijuana Politics

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From cannabis candy to vape pens: Health Canada to release regulations on new wave of pot products

But how about candies called “chewables”? Or tarts, tablets and mints?

They may all be similar, but the formats and names could be key to what is acceptable to federal regulators.

What confections will be allowed is one of the biggest question marks as Canada awaits regulations from Health Canada on cannabis “edibles” and concentrated products, says Chuck Rifici, an Ottawa cannabis entrepreneur.

Rifici’s Auxly Cannabis Group, like others in the industry, is preparing to produce a range of products while waiting to see what will be allowed.


Trudeau promises relief to pot supply shortages

Canada’s Prime Minister says legal pot supply issues to be sorted out in months

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a supply shortage of legal cannabis in Canada and the prime minister is on the case. While noting the dearth of legal weed in Canada “will take a little time to adjust,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blames the delays on municipal governments and others who have been more critical on pot legalization. Expect some relief in the coming months but Trudeau is quick to point out the industry is on the right track to get legal pot into Canadians’ hands as swiftly as possible.


Hemp! Hemp! Hooray! Congress passes the Farm Bill

As we near the finish line for 2018, one thing is for certain: It's been a game-changing year for the cannabis industry.

In October, following nine decades of prohibition, Canada officially legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Although it's going to take a few years for Canadian growers to get fully up to speed, as well as allow Health Canada time to approve new cultivation licenses and sales permits, this is an industry that could generate in the neighborhood of $5 billion in annual sales by the early part of the next decade.


Montreal launches specialized police squad to fight black-market cannabis

Montreal is creating a specialized police squad dedicated to snuffing out unauthorized pot production and sales.

The city's executive committee has allocated $1.3 million for the cause, according to a statement issued Thursday. The same amount will be renewed in early 2019 to cover the period from January to March.

Montreal is getting the funding from the provincial government under the ACCES Cannabis program, aimed at wiping out the "underground cannabis economy."

Though cannabis is legal in Canada, unlicensed production, even for personal use, is prohibited in Quebec. Marijuana can only be sold by the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).

A total of 26 police officers and two administrative staff members will join the Montreal police squad.


Mississauga and Markham take a pass on legal pot shops

For two GTA municipalities, the idea of legalizing cannabis has gone up in smoke.

On Wednesday, both Markham and Mississauga city councils voted down the option of allowing cannabis retail stores to operate in their cities ahead of the province’s plan to introduce private retail stores for pot by April 2019.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said council felt there are still too many unknowns about the retail cannabis model and what it will mean for the city.

Council shot down the proposal 10-2.

“The province has not given municipalities any control over where cannabis stores can be located in our city. This is cause for great concern,” she wrote in a statement.


Could Canada use Nevada’s cannabis shortage protocol?

A majority of Canadian provinces are reporting cannabis supply shortages, as Canada’s licensed cannabis producers and distributors grapple to keep up with the demand for commercial cannabis. Demand for Canada’s recreational cannabis comes from customers that were already acquiring cannabis from the illicit market, and the second source of demand comes from new customers who have never used cannabis but are ready to give it a try. Several warnings about a potential shortage were circulating in the media in the run-up to legalization, but not everyone was sure the problem would manifest.


Only two cautions issued to Manitoba retailers since cannabis legalized

Manitoba's cannabis regulator says stores in the province are following the rules of legalized recreational marijuana.

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba says no retailers have been fined and only two cautions have been issued since sales were legalized in October.

One caution was for a broken lock on a storage unit, which was fixed.

The other caution was given to a store that took delivery of cannabis before the shop's retail licence was issued.

Liz Stephenson, the authority's chief administrative officer, says there has been excellent co-operation from retailers.

She also says inspectors are visiting each store on a regular basis to ensure compliance with rules governing storage, signage and more.


Marijuana laws in Quebec are about to become the strictest in Canada

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm an open lover of the little green leaf – and I've been a supporter of cannabis legalization long before I'd ever even tried the stuff. I think it's important that, as a society, we always keep in mind why laws have been put in place... but also when and why they can sometimes cease to benefit us as a nation.

It was a step in the right direction when the federal government decided to decisively move away from the so-called "war on drugs." Patients that require medicial marijuana can now access it more easily than ever, and those individuals that found themselves on the wrong side of the law can now openly and shamelessly participate in recreational use. 


Cannabis licence approval process means shortage could drag on

The current cannabis shortage could be stabilized by the spring of 2019, but it could eventually be replaced by a flood of product on the market that will then lead to lower prices and consolidation, say lawyers representing clients in the sector.


Driving with pot in the vehicle? Here's what OPP say you need to know

Wellington County OPP have already laid a number of cannabis-related charges at their holiday RIDE check-stops, including charges related to storage, purchase and possession.

The first weekend of the program netted a charge against a Stoney Creek teen for "unlawfully purchased cannabis," one for "driving with cannabis readily available" against a Tiverton male and a "possession of cannabis resin" charge against a 26-year-old Guelph man.

That's in addition to marijuana-related impaired driving charges laid in November.


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