Ontario Cannabis Store to begin culling unsaleable products, introduces craft designation

Ontario’s provincial cannabis retailer will soon stop carrying products that don’t meet certain sales targets and introduce a "craft designation" to boost smaller licensed producers.

The strategy, which was outlined in a webinar Friday for Canadian cannabis producers, will see products sold through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) be required to meet weekly sales targets consistently or face delisting from store shelves. 


Pandemic has not stopped the boom in Ottawa cannabis shops

Cara Rose-Brown and her husband Tim Brown opened their store in July, four months into the pandemic that has devastated many small businesses.

But business is brisk at the Spiritleaf cannabis shop on Main Street in Stittsville. They don’t anticipate much of a slowdown even as the lockdown that started Dec. 26 forced them to close the store to customers and offer curbside pick up.


Number of Ottawa pot shops could quadruple in 2021

Ottawa could see a four-fold increase in cannabis retailers in the new year, according to a review of information on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website.

There are currently about a dozen retailers that have been "authorized to open," with just under 30 applications in progress with AGCO. The commission said it could not comment on the outcome or timelines of those licence approvals.


Eric Lewinson, the owner of Canna North, is one of the new entrants in Ottawa's pot market. He said focusing on a "no frills" approach in contrast to the slick feel of many current operators will keep him competitive.


What does $4.8B merger of marijuana firms mean for local workers?

The merger of two of Canada’s largest cannabis companies could bring mixed news for workers at the firms’ Southwestern Ontario operations, says a leading industry analyst.

Leamington-based Aphria and Nanaimo, B.C.-based Tilray announced this week they’re merging to create a $4.8-billion company in the new year.


Legal pot gains market share in Ontario, but progress will slip next quarter: OCS

Ontario's legal cannabis industry is gaining ground in its fight against the illicit market, but the progress likely won't last long because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Ontario Cannabis Store said Thursday that between the start of July and end of September the legal industry controlled slightly more than 36 per cent of the recreational market, up from about 25 per cent the quarter before.

However, the OCS warned the gains may soon dissipate. The pot distributor said the legal industry's market share will decline in the next quarter because of COVID-19 lockdowns that forced pot retailers in Toronto and Peel to operate solely through pickup and delivery.


Two arrested in Midland marijuana grow-op investigation

police car blocking entry into building

10,000 cannabis plants seized during September search warrant.

An OPP cruiser is seen outside a vacant Midland factory that was home to a major grow-op in September. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday


On Sept. 27, 2020, members of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to an industrial building located at 16567 Highway 12 in the Town of Midland after receiving a call from a concerned citizen who observed suspicious activity with the belief that the complex was abandoned. Upon arriving, officers noticed signs of a significant cannabis grow operation and secured the premises.


Hawkesbury OPP seize drugs in McGill Street traffic stop

Ontario Provincial Police logo

On Friday December 11, 2020 at approximately 9:20 p.m., two Hawkesbury OPP Constables were on patrol in the Town of Hawkesbury when they intercepted a black 2007 Mazda 3 on McGill Street.

Investigation revealed that the driver was in violation of his court conditions. The driver was arrested and a further search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine.

Officers seized more than 5,290 methamphetamine (speed) tablets.

The driver, a 25 year-old man from Victoriaville Québec, was arrested and charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act with “Possession of a Schedule I substance for the purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine”.


COVID-19 restrictions are causing a surge in cannabis sales and changing consumer habits in Ottawa

COVID-19 restrictions have caused surges in cannabis sales and changed consumer habits across Ontario, including in Ottawa, Statistics Canada says and at least one health expert is advising people to be mindful of increasing their use of pot. 

Data from Statistics Canada show that retailers in Ontario sold the most cannabis of any province in the first year following legalization on Oct. 17, 2018. That amounted to $217 million in sales.


Ontario to double the pace of cannabis store authorizations, again

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced it will once again be doubling the pace of its cannabis Retail Store Authorizations (RSAs).

In September, the agency vowed to double its approval pace and authorize 40 stores a month. Citing direction from the government, the AGCO now reports it will be issuing 80 RSAs per month.


Two Canadians arrested as police seize $600,000 in cannabis products believed to be destined for the U.S.

confiscated cannabis products

Investigators “located a truck filled with garbage bags containing smaller individual packaging of cannabis bud.”

Two men face drug-related charges after members of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service stopped their vehicle late on Dec. 3 and a subsequent search revealed 96 kilograms of cannabis products estimated to be worth $600,000.

The unidentified men, both Ontario residents, have been charged with possession for the purpose of transporting cannabis with the purpose of sale, and possession of currency obtained by crime, notes a police Facebook statement posted Tuesday. The men, who will appear in Cornwall Provincial Court at a later date, were subsequently released.


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