Dispensaries Pivot As Regions In Ontario Start New Lockdown Orders

The number of cases of COVID-19 has spiked in the province of Ontario causing new lockdown orders. It was reported that more than 1,400 new coronavirus cases had been recorded in Ontario on Friday. Toronto has been the hot zone for the latest outbreak as the city broke its record for new infections on Tuesday and has reported several hundred new cases each day this week.

On Friday, November 20, 2020, Attorney General Doug Downey approved an emergency order placing the Toronto and Peel regions under a new lockdown to combat COVID-19. On Sunday, Ontario Regulation 654/20 was made allowing cannabis retail stores located in the lockdown regions to operate through e-commerce, curbside pickup, and home delivery services causing cannabis stores to once again pivot to online orders.


Ontario to permit cannabis delivery, curbside pickup in lockdown regions

Ontario will allow cannabis retailers to provide curbside pickup and delivery services in regions impacted by upcoming provincial lockdowns, the province's attorney general said Friday. 

Cannabis retailers were briefly allowed to provide delivery services in April during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that was rescinded three months later


OPP search warrant leads to seizure of $80 million dollars worth of cannabis in Leamington Ont.

marijuana plant


OPP say they're cracking down on illegal grow operations

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have seized over $80 million dollars worth of cannabis from a greenhouse operation in Leamington Ont.

Officers from the provincial joint force cannabis enforcement team (PJFCET) attended a Mersea Road location on Wednesday to execute a Cannabis Act Search warrant.

According to police, over 75,000 cannabis plants and over 5,300 pounds of processed cannabis were seized.

"The proliferation of illegal marijuana grow operations, as evidenced by this recent significant seizure in Leamington, demonstrates the resolve by criminal enterprise groups to profit from illegal activity," said Inspector Glenn Miller, OPP  detachment commander in Essex.


City removes limit of one cannabis licence per business

The City of Grande Prairie will eliminate the restriction of one cannabis business license per business entity and will no longer require sales information.

City council amended the existing Business License Bylaw during its Monday meeting.

Over the past two years since cannabis legalization, the city has received a number of inquires from industry stakeholders regarding opening additional outlets. They have also requested that the limit of one license per business entity be removed.

In a previous interview, Coun. Dylan Bressey noted that this cap only served to impede mom-and-pop stores.


'Not like black market' — Essex County gets its first legal pot shops

The owner of Essex County’s first legal retail pot shop might not just be Canada’s youngest cannabis businessman but also the country’s first second-generation entrepreneur in what is a fairly new but expanding economic sector.

“My father was a co-founder of Aphria — we’ve been in this since the beginning,” said Anthony Cervini, the owner of Tony’s Joint in Essex, who only recently turned 22


Aphria dives into U.S. beer market, buying SweetWater in US$300M deal

Canadian pot giant Aphria Inc. is maring its first trip south of the border after announcing plans to buy craft brewery SW Brewing Company LLC for approximately US$300 million. 

The deal will mark the Leamington, Ont.-based cannabis producer's initial foray into the U.S., a country whose pot industry it cannot operate in due to restrictions imposed by U.S. and Canadian stock exchange regulators. 

SW Brewing, better known as SweetWater Brewing Co., distributes its beer to 27 states in the U.S. and includes such brands as 420 Extra Pale Ale. "420" is a common term used in cannabis culture to signal the preferential time to consume the drug. 


Ontario entrepreneur launches skincare company with unique ingredient; cannabis root

Jennifer Grant pitched her first business venture in front of a national audience.

The entrepreneur, biochemical engineer and mother of three appeared on the first season of Dragon’s Den, where she netted a $200,000 equity investment from Jim Treliving and Jennifer Wood for her line of organic salad dressings and bread dips rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Grant started her company after searching for a natural way to treat her son’s eczema. She found that flaxseed oil was effective, but it didn’t taste very good. So Grant launched CenaBal Gourmet Organics Inc. with a line of products that utilized the benefits of flaxseed without the bitter taste.


The pandemic may be keeping cross-border traffic to a minimum, but weed seizures in 2020 are maxing out

There seems to be no stopping drug seizures, the majority being cannabis, at border crossings in New York state, with the amount of confiscated weed increasing more than 1,100 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures from its annual report show that 3,456 pounds (1,568 kg) of cannabis was seized at the Buffalo Field Office in fiscal year 2019, a mere portion of the 41,688 pounds (18,909 kg) confiscated in fiscal 2020. The field office covers 16 ports of entry in the state of New York.


Michigan border sees 1,726% rise of marijuana seizures since last year

Despite the fact that both Michigan and Canada have legalized recreational marijuana, officials are reporting a sharp rise in illegally transported reefer this year.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says they've seized more than 9,000 pounds of of the stuff this fiscal year, an increase of 1,726% from last year. And that doesn't even include 1 ton of chronic that was seized on Monday.


COVID Not Slowing Down Illegal Drug Trade

Cannabis is legal to buy in Ontario, but there still is an illegal element that exists.

Provincial Police say they seized over $143 million in pot from 52 large-scale illegal operations around the province this summer.

More than 122,000 cannabis plants were seized, with 7,000 coming from one site alone.

Detective Inspector Jim Walker says some were found in rural parts, including agricultural land, former farms or greenhouse facilities.

Walker adds some of these operations are used to fund other illegal activity such as the production of harder illegal drugs and human trafficking.

He notes says those buying the illegal variety may be getting more than what they bargain for.


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