Cannabis is 'business as usual' for Regina police one year after legalization

One year after the legalization of cannabis, the Regina Police Service has not seen an increased amount of cannabis impaired driving, notable increases in youth using, or an increase in people using at work. 

At the Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, the police service said that in many aspects it has been "business as usual" as the illegal production, distribution and use of the drug were not new. 

The report said while cannabis is important to the service, it does not have the same "pressing public safety concerns" as cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl. ​


Saskatchewan opening up retail cannabis market to help meet consumer demand

Saskatchewan plans to lift the lid on legal cannabis sales to help meet consumer demand.

The government says it will open the market to more retailers in the hope of discouraging competition from illegal sellers.

Last year, the province used a lottery system to select 51 retail permit applications, of which 39 have been issued and 12 are still being assessed.

Gene Makowsky, minister for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, says starting in April the government will accept applications for cannabis retail permits in communities with populations less than 2,500.

In September, it will accept permit applications for stores in all communities without any cap.

Municipalities can still opt out of having cannabis retail stores if they wish.


Faulty pot: How to return your weed

Be careful what you wish for, especially when placing an order for weed online. Returning it can be a challenge, with policies varying from province to province.

Here’s what the shipping and return policies look like across the country.

British Columbia 

Bought a product that’s defective, shipped in error or recalled? The BC Cannabis Stores will take them back, but returns must be initiated within 15 days of the purchase.


If 'Wexit' does happen, cannabis could be 'the new oil' or a 'struggle' for Alberta and Saskatchewan

With the Liberal party staying in Parliament Hill as a minority government, talks of western provinces separating from Canada are growing.

The movement, known as “Wexit” or “western exit,” proposes Alberta and Saskatchewan leave the country.

Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a licensed sales agency in Alberta, thinks the provinces splitting could allow them to capitalize on cannabis by avoiding the $1 per gram or 10 per cent federal excise tax.

“That would be seriously beneficial. It could be the new oil for Alberta and Saskatchewan,” she said in a phone interview.


O'Cannabis: On the first anniversary of legalization, a cross-country snapshot of where we stand

October 17, 2019, marks the first anniversary of the legalization of cannabis federally in Canada, and the date when the second phase of products — edibles, extracts, topicals and some other alternative cannabis products also become legal. 

Each province and territory were handed the reins for rolling out legalization, and the results in terms of access to legal marijuana are very different for Canadians depending on where they live. This has also had an impact on consumption patterns.


Cannabis independents watch rise of chains in Saskatchewan

Cierra Sieben-Chuback had just completed her degree at the University of Saskatchewan when she received a cash offer few debt-laden students can even imagine.

As Sieben-Chuback was looking to the future in June 2018, she discovered she was among 51 lottery winners of licences to obtain permits to operate legal cannabis retail stores in Saskatchewan.

Others found out about her good fortune, too — which resulted in multiple offers from large companies for her permit, as high as a “couple million” dollars, “Which is crazy because I’ve never in my life been offered that kind of money,” she said.


Going down: Saskatchewan witnessed marked drop in illicit cannabis prices since legalization last year

Data released by Statistics Canada earlier this week shows the average price for a gram of cannabis from the illicit market cost approximately $7.43/g in the 10 months preceding federal legalization.

But between legalization taking effect last October and now, the average price on the illicit market has plummeted to just $5.57/g, a nearly $2 difference.

That leaves Saskatchewan with one of the biggest price drops with regards to illicit adult-use cannabis in Canada—with the exception of Prince Edward Island.


Prairies 'bright spot' in Canadian cannabis market as legalization anniversary nears, expert says

As the one-year anniversary of the legalization of recreational cannabis approaches, an industry expert says the Prairie provinces are outpacing larger players Ontario and Quebec in the Canadian market with a smoother rollout and stronger sales.

"Manitoba and Saskatchewan are making Ontario and Quebec look very bad," said Chris Damas, editor of BCMI Cannabis Report, a newsletter for cannabis investors in Canada and the U.S.

In the two largest provinces, Damas said poor regulatory frameworks and slow-to-open stores meant the industry underperformed in its first year. He praised the framework in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan for allowing private retailers to sell product and opening the door to e-commerce.


Remember the Saskatchewan wheat pool? Now meet the weed pool cannabis co-op

Some independent retail cannabis store players are banding together to combat what they see as the growing encroachment of big business in Saskatchewan's legal pot industry.

Nearly a year after the first of the province's retail cannabis stores opened, at least 25 out of 36 operating stores — more than two-thirds — are owned by a publicly traded company or chain.

In Saskatoon and Regina, five out of 11 operating stores are either owned by Canopy Growth Corporation or Westleaf Cannabis, the parent companies of Tweed and Prairie Records, respectively. Another publicly traded company, Fire and Flower, owns six stores elsewhere in the province. 


Sask. Court of Appeal upholds tossing drug charges

The province’s top court has agreed with a judge who tossed out 10 drug charges against a man because the wheels of justice moved too slowly.

Arrested in June 2013, Jeremy Mark Lemioer’s trial was set for June of 2017. But in a decision ahead of that trial date, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson determined a four-year delay was unreasonable and directed a stay of proceedings against the then-34-year-old Regina man. The Crown appealed.

But in a recently released decision, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected the Crown’s argument.


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