Marijuana Politics

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Tue
19
Nov

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.”

Fri
15
Nov

Top risks facing cannabis industry in 2020 not what you think

On the tail-end of what turned out to be an extremely risky year for cannabis companies, one must wonder what 2020 has in store for a quasi-legal industry that is contending with a vaping crisis, contentious politics at all levels of government and ongoing financial concerns.

Rocco Petrilli, chief operating officer and board chair of the National Cannabis Risk Management Association, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based nonprofit, says the top risk worries for the group’s 2,000-plus members may not be what you’d expect

Slip-and-falls at a growing number of marijuana dispensaries? Finding affordable product liability insurance? An unusually cold winter ruining crops? Adequate quality control?

Fri
15
Nov

Regulations need to change for private retail cannabis to thrive, says prof

There was a chorus of concern and counsel Thursday from observers and critics of the provincial government's plan to turn Cannabis NB over to the private sector.

From inadvertently assisting the black market to creating a more competitive model, experts and MLAs say privatizing recreational cannabis raises a host of issues that must be addressed before the transition, which could take place early next year.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves announced Thursday afternoon the province has issued a request for proposals for a single private operator to take over operation and sales from the Crown corporation.

Thu
14
Nov

‘Hard to fathom’: Disastrous cannabis rollout cost Ontario $325 million compared to Alberta: analyst

Mistakes were made.

Canadian provinces went their own way when establishing a legal framework for cannabis and some have found considerably more success than others.

The Cannalysts, an independent analysis firm, released data this week showing that if Ontario had followed Alberta’s model, the province would have stimulated an extra $325 million in economic activity. On a yearly basis, the analysis notes, the province is missing out on around $488 million more, in addition to $75 million in taxes.

Thu
14
Nov

Majority of Canadians support temporary vaping ban: poll

A majority of Canadians support a temporary ban on e-cigarettes following a rise in serious lung damage, a new poll suggests.

The Research Co. survey found 74 per cent of those polled would agree with their province implementing a temporary ban on vaping products like a controversial one that has been implemented in Massachusetts.

Health agencies in North America are investigating the potential harms caused by vaping following a mysterious lung illness related to e-cigarettes.

Thu
14
Nov

Policing cannabis an issue in West Lincoln

Penalizing improper usage of a personal cannabis licence may prove too challenging in West Lincoln.

“Law enforcement is on the outside looking in,” Niagara Regional Police Service 8 District Staff Sergeant Rom DiEgidio told council members when he and Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch recently presented at committee.

It is extremely difficult to investigate cannabis licence infractions and lead to a charge or conviction, he said.

Drug-related calls are on the rise in West Lincoln from residents who are smelling and seeing things they don’t like, he said, which was totally expected with cannabis legalization.

Thu
14
Nov

Cirque du Soleil founder detained for growing cannabis on private island

The co-founder of global circus company Cirque du Soleil has been detained for growing cannabis on his private island in the South Pacific.

Billionaire Guy Laliberté turned himself in to police in French Polynesia.

The Canadian entrepreneur is due to appear in court on Wednesday.

In a statement, Mr Laliberté's company Lune Rouge denied he was growing the plant on his private island of Nukutepipi for commercial gain.

It said that he used cannabis for "medical" and "strictly personal" purposes

"Guy Laliberté completely dissociates himself from any rumour implicating him... in the sale or traffic of drugs," it said.

Thu
14
Nov

Alberta to tax cannabis growers

Cannabis growers in Alberta are about to be hit with higher taxes.

The province is changing the rules, so pot producers are no longer treated like farms, which pay zero in municipal taxes.

Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu made the announcement Wednesday at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) convention.

“This change responds directly to the concerns of municipalities, who asked for this distinction in provincial tax regulations. While cannabis is a burgeoning industry, it is important that cannabis-production facilities, which are heavy users of municipal services, pay their share for those services.”

Wed
13
Nov

Will more legal pot stores snuff out the black market? Probably not, heavy users say

It's a basic tenet of retailing: if you want to reach more customers, you need more locations. And according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, that principle applies to pot just as much any other product. 

The chamber says people in this province are open to allowing a bigger role for private industry in providing convenient access to cannabis, if it helps get rid of the black market — pointing to a Nanos survey conducted online at the end of October.

The poll, released Thursday, suggests 51 per cent of Ontarians would favour allowing private-sector companies to purchase, distribute and sell cannabis, with the province's oversight. But not everyone's convinced it will get rid of the illegal market, especially heavy smokers like Abi Roach. 

Wed
13
Nov

Pot industry warned by regulators to improve governance

Canadian securities regulators are calling on companies in the cannabis industry to strengthen their governance and disclosure practices to ensure investors are aware of potential conflicts of interest for executives and directors relating to M&A activity.

The Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella organization for provincial securities regulators, issued a staff notice on Tuesday saying it will monitor developments in the cannabis industry after observing a “higher-than-usual crossover” of potential conflicts of interest, such as overlapping debt and equity, in the sector’s M&A transactions over the past several years.

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