Weed at work: NL employers prepare for legalization

Lawyer Blair Pritchett leading marijuana in the workplace seminar in St. John's.

In anticipation of marijuana becoming legal across Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the rest of Canada, employers still have many unanswered questions.

Some of them have been turning to lawyer Blair Pritchett, a partner at McInnes Cooper in St. John's.

He led a half day seminar on Tuesday at Memorial University to brief them about what they'll have to look out for when pot is legalized. 

"I think the biggest issue is going to be …  the issue of residual intoxication," said Pritchett in an interview with CBC Radio's On the Go.


Ready, set, grow! The Seed Company holds cannabis growing 101 workshop

Wanna grow your own marijuana? This shop will teach you how.

The Seed Company by E.W. Gaze is gearing up for the advent of legal marijuana with workshops dedicated to teaching people how to grow weed at home.

Medical cannabis expert Chris Snellen and other experienced growers held what they believe to be the first ever growing course in Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday in St. John's,

At $85 a person, the session sold out quickly, said assistant manager Jackson McLean.

He said it wasn't just young people who attended either.

"A lot of them are older people who have medical issues that they need cannabis for, and they have some gardening experience, and they want to put those two things together and grow their own medicine," said Mclean.


Budtenders for hire! Canopy Growth holds job fair to fill roughly 200 cannabis job

Canopy Growth, which will produce most of Newfoundland and Labrador's legal cannabis, is holding a job fair this weekend in St. John's to start staffing both its retail stores and production facility.

The company held the job fair for its Tweed brand, with plans to fill 75-100 jobs at its four retail stores in St. John's, Conception Bay South, Mount Pearl and Corner Brook. Another fair will be held a later time to fill the more than 150 jobs for the Canopy production plant.

The job fair is taking place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Rocket in downtown St. John's, and officials from the company said turn out was already great by mid-day Saturday.


Newfoundland and Labrador ponders where residents will be allowed to home-grow marijuana

The Newfoundland and Labrador legislature has now passed provincial cannabis legislation, including allowing adult residents 21 and over up to four cannabis plants at home, with a maximum of four plants per home.

It will come into effect only after the federal government passes its legislation, and with public notice.

But the exact details around growing at home, including if you can grow outdoors and under what conditions, will largely be determined in provincial regulations still to come.

The additional regulations are being crafted by civil servants, to be presented to the Liberal cabinet for consideration and final decisions.

Right now, a lot of questions remain.


For N.L. weed shops, the inspectors are coming

NLC will monitor licensed stores, but can challenge unlicensed shops.

Is there a shop in your neighbourhood currently selling weed?

Health Canada has not approved any storefront locations for over-the-counter medical cannabis sales in Newfoundland and Labrador. Recreational-use cannabis is not yet legal.

Multiple shops have set up with cannabis-related branding. In some cases, they promote informational services and referrals for medical marijuana users. In other cases, they have been identified by community members as dispensaries, intent on selling marijuana for recreational purposes (as opposed to specifically medical marijuana for prescriptions) prior to legalization.

Illegal activity is subject to police intervention.


Wild west of weed

If anyone believes there isn’t a healthy dose of unseemly cash-grab in the provincial government’s new cannabis legislation, then they haven’t read the proposed law.

More specifically, they haven’t read sections 72 and 69 (7) of An Act Respecting the Control and Sale of Cannabis.

That’s the section that deals with the online sale of cannabis.

In it, the province attempts to legislate the NLC (“the corporation” in the legislation) a global internet monopoly on cannabis sales.

Here are those sections.

“72. (1) A person other than the corporation shall not sell or otherwise supply cannabis online or through a website.


Businessman applying to Town of Clarenville to obtain license for medical cannabis facility: N.L.

Location already one of successful cannabis retail applicants approved by provincial government.

Clarenville businessman Ralph Duffett has filed an application with Health Canada for a license to grow and produce medical marijuana in Clarenville, according to the Clarenville Town Council.

The proposed facility will be located at 72 Marine Drive, the current location of My Rec Room, a bar owned and operated by Duffett.

The Marine Drive location is also one of two Clarenville locations on the provincial governments list of approved cannabis retailers — the other is Esso on Memorial Drive.


Newfoundland and Labrador capable of drugged-driving enforcement: police, MADD

New penalties under provincial Highway Traffic Act coming ahead of legal cannabis.

A significant aspect of dealing with legalized cannabis for recreational use is tied to policing and enforcement.

There is already a ban on drug-impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada, as RNC Const. Karen Didham noted while speaking with reporters about cannabis Monday at the Confederation Building.

Didham is a certified drug recognition evaluator — a key part of investigating those cases where there is possible driving under the influence of drugs.

“I’ve been testing specifically for drug-impaired driving for the last 12 years,” she said, explaining it begins when police have reason to believe a driver might have been exposed to drugs.


Newfoundland and Labrador Liberals roll out more details on cannabis

Four pieces of legislation detail province’s personal-use rules, which will allow homegrown marijuana.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has introduced more of its plans for the legalization of cannabis, including allowing the growing of plants at home.

Four pieces of legislation were revealed Monday and are being debated this week — the last week scheduled for the spring session of the House of Assembly.

“I expect it’s going to be a very long week in the House,” Progressive Conservative MHA Paul Davis said after highlighting some of his lingering questions to reporters, while raising more later in the day on the House floor.


'Newfoundlanders got screwed here': Clarenville businessman blasts cannabis plan

Paul Newman says mainland corporations will benefit over locals in N.L.'s cannabis industry.

One disgruntled businessman in Clarenville is upset his application to be a licensed cannabis retailer was denied — and says the province is handing a lucrative industry to mainland corporations. 

"Basically Newfoundlanders got screwed here. This went, all this billion-dollar industry is going to go outside of Newfoundland now," says Newfoundland Puffin Co. owner Paul Newman.

"And it should have been kept here in the province."

Newman said he opened his head shop in April in hopes of becoming a licensed legal cannabis retailer when recreational marijuana is legalized in Canada this summer.


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