Marijuana Politics

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Vancouver councillor proposes better access to legal weed over hard drugs in DTES

For Downtown Eastside residents, accessing legal marijuana as an alternative for harder drugs is not an easy task.

However a Vancouver city councillor is trying to change that, by ending a three-year-old exclusion zone keeping a potential low-cost, legal opioid alternative out of the area, and creating new "regulatory options and potential pathways" for a community still deep in the grips of the country's opioid crisis.

Coun. Rebecca Bligh tabled the motion titled "Cannabis as an Alternative to Opiates and More Dangerous Drugs on the Downtown Eastside," which will be discussed at the next regular council meeting on May 28.


Growing pot sucks up electricity and pumps out an astounding amount of carbon dioxide — it doesn't have to

In the seven months since the Trudeau government legalized recreational marijuana use, licensed producers across the country have been locked in a frenetic race to grow mass quantities of cannabis for the new market. But amid the rush for scale, questions of sustainability have often taken a back seat.

According to EQ Research LLC, a U.S.-based clean-energy consulting firm, cannabis facilities can need up to 150 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year per square foot. Such input is on par with data centres, which are themselves 50 to 200 times more energy-intensive than a typical office building.


Pot shop cuts hours because it can't get enough cannabis

An Ottawa pot shop is being forced to significantly reduce its hours because it's consistently running out of cannabis and says the province won't allow it to increase its order.

The Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store on Bank Street, which was operating seven days a week for 14 hours a day, will now close early on Tuesdays and entirely on Wednesdays.

It will open again on Thursdays at 6 p.m. after its weekly delivery arrives.

"We've been running out of cannabis for a few weeks now," said Harrison Stoker, vice-president of brand and culture for the Donnelly Group, the store's parent company.

We would take twice as much in a heartbeat, absolutely.- Harrison Stoker


Is Canada’s cannabis industry hoping to change current policy?

Despite cannabis legalization being six months in the rear mirror, some industry players say Canadian cannabis companies are still struggling with a restrictive policy framework that is limiting the sector’s growth and helping the black market to flourish.


Yellowknife city council talks cannabis sales zoning by-law

Yellowknifers are getting closer to legally buying cannabis products somewhere besides the liquor store.

At a city council meeting Monday, councillors discussed the regulatory framework for retail cannabis sales. Recreational cannabis became legal in the Northwest Territories on Oct. 17, following federal legislation, but the uptown liquor store is only retail location in the city. 

That framework could include a 100-meter buffer zone between shops selling cannabis and certain areas, such as elementary, junior and high schools, the Fieldhouse, the Yellowknife aquatic centre and arena, Stanton Hospital, medical centres, and daycares.

This map shows where cannabis could not be sold if the buffer zone is approved:


Medicinal cannabis user evicted from smoke-free N.S. apartment

A Dartmouth, N.S., man with a physical disability is fighting for the right to smoke medicinal pot in a smoke-free apartment, as he takes his battle to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Philip Bennett, 57, was evicted from his apartment on Friday after losing several legal challenges at the provincial Residential Tenancies Board and small claims court.

That night, he slept in his motorized wheelchair out in the woods, which was made worse by the fact it was raining.

“I had to cut a garbage bag to put it over my head,” he told CTV News Atlantic.

Bennett has since taken up temporary residence at a motel, after receiving money from members of the Dartmouth’s medical cannabis community.


Health Canada is tackling the marijuana shortage with this game-changing move

Pardon the cliche, but the marijuana industry appears to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Although the cannabis industry has existed for decades behind the scenes, the legalization of recreational weed in Canada, along with more than 40 countries giving medical marijuana the green light around the world, has opened the floodgates for legal revenue to flow into the industry.

But, as is common with any nascent and fast-growing industry, it's dealing with growing pains. This is especially true of our neighbor to the north, Canada.


N.B. government considering scaling down or privatizing Cannabis NB

The New Brunswick government is considering three options as it mulls the future of Cannabis NB.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said the options include allowing experts to run the business, scaling it down and closing the Cannabis NB stores that aren’t making money, or privatizing it.

His comments come after the province's Crown-owned cannabis retailer recorded a big financial loss in its first year of operation.

Unaudited year-end results released last week show Cannabis NB lost $11.7 million.

“It’s a real fancy model and I’ve said all along, one of the busiest businesses in Moncton is Costco. It’s a cement floor and steel shelves,” Steeves said Wednesday.


Health Canada changes cannabis licensing process in bid to cut wait times

Health Canada is changing its process for issuing cannabis licences, in a bid to reduce wait times, after a review found a "significant amount" of its resources was used to approve numerous applications for facilities that have yet to materialize years later.

Effective immediately, new applicants for licences to cultivate, process or sell cannabis — for either medical or recreational purposes — must now have a fully built site that meets the regulations when they submit their application, the government agency said.

Prior to this, cannabis licence applicants could submit an application with their plans and get approval before building.


Weed is legal but Its smell is still under attack

For Toronto condo developer Options for Homes, the term “family friendly” has a very specific meaning—no smoking or growing weed.

The non-profit developer is currently building a 22-storey tower north of downtown called The Humber, named after the river nearby it. When completed it is billing itself as the first smoke-free condo in the Greater Toronto Area.

While in the planning stages, Options surveyed 7,000 of its potential purchasers about a smoke-less policy—75 percent said they would be more likely to buy a condo in a smoke-free building, meaning a ban on smoking both weed and tobacco. But Options decided on a compromise—it will allow vaping cannabis and nicotine in its suites, but not in common areas.


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