Cannabis Industry News in Ontario

Helping our customers stay on top of the latest news in this budding industry.

News Nugget
Mon, 22 Nov 2021 15:31:00 +0000

Uber enters booming cannabis market with orders in Ontario

Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) will allow users in Ontario, Canada, to place orders for cannabis on its Uber Eats app, marking the ride-hailing giant's foray into the booming business, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

Uber Eats will list cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace on Monday, following which customers can place orders from the Uber Eats app and then pick it up at their nearest Tokyo Smoke store, the spokesperson said.

Uber, which already delivers liquor through its Eats unit, has had its sights set on the burgeoning cannabis market for some time now. Its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told media in April the company will consider delivering cannabis when the legal coast is clear in the United States.

With more than three years into Canada's legalisation of recreational cannabis, the country is trying to fix its ailing pot market, where illegal producers still control a large share of total annual sales.

The partnership will help Canadian adults purchase safe, legal cannabis, helping combat the underground illegal market which still accounts for over 40% of all non-medical cannabis sales nationally, Uber said on Monday.

Global cannabis stocks tracker MJ ETF climbed 2%, while Uber's shares were up 1.2% at $44.78 in premarket trading.

Cannabis sales in Canada will total $4 billion in 2021 and are forecast to grow to $6.7 billion in 2026, according to data from industry research firm BDS Analytics.

Asked about the possibility of expansion into other Canadian provinces, or in the United States, an Uber spokesperson said there is "nothing more to share at this time".

"We will continue to watch regulations and opportunities closely market by market. And as local and federal laws evolve, we will explore opportunities with merchants who operate in other regions," the Uber spokesperson told Reuters.

Last year's pandemic-induced stricter mandates and lockdowns spurred demand for cannabis-related products from customers who were stuck at home with limited entertainment options.

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Mon, 22 Nov 2021 15:31:00 +0000

News Nugget
Tue, 16 Nov 2021 21:55:00 +0000

Ontario police call for public’s help in identifying bud burglar

Ontario’s Durham Region Police Service (DRPS) is still on the hunt for the sticky-fingered thief who absconded with cannabis products last month. The DRPS is hoping the public can provide a helpful assist in identifying the culprit.

The police released several images of the bandit this week. The as-yet-unidentified suspect was captured, at least on security footage, breaking and entering into Northern Helm Cannabis on Oct. 12 notes a police statement.

 Rolling up on what the police describe as “a little red BMX bike,” the thief broke into the shop in Courtice, Ont. at around 3 a.m. after throwing a rock through the storefront window.

Slipping into the store, the man described as thin and in his 20s made off with “numerous items,” the police say.

Wearing dark shoes, dark pants and two hoodies, the police point out that the first grey sweater had its hood up and the second was “a distinctive, dark Tommy Hilfiger branded hoodie with the logo down the arms.”

DRPS is asking that anyone with information please contact the police. Thieves ripping off pot shops is nothing new. Just this summer in Massachusetts, a man believed to be carrying a BB gun robbed a legal cannabis dispensary, believed to be the first time since the state legalized weed.

Sometimes, robbery attempts fall flat of wannabe burglars leave empty-handed.

Consider the determined, but ultimately unsuccessful suspects in Colorado who used their truck to repeatedly ram a reinforced security door to gain entry. Unfortunately for them, the door held and they eventually had to leave the scene, thereby providing a picture-perfect opportunity for the door maker to advertise the strength of its equipment.

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Tue, 16 Nov 2021 21:55:00 +0000

News Nugget
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 14:36:00 +0000

Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies

Pipp Horticulture (a division of Pipp Mobile Storage Systems, Inc.) (“Pipp”), the leading provider of space‐saving, multi‐level mobile cultivation systems, announced today that it has acquired the GGS Group of Companies (“GGS”). Based in Vineland, Ontario, GGS is one of the most recognized names in the Horticulture industry. They have been the leading manufacturer of top quality greenhouses and turnkey greenhouse growing solutions including traditional rolling benches, heating and ventilation systems, and curtain systems.   “We are thrilled to welcome the entire GGS team to the Pipp family of companies," said Craig Umans, Pipp president and CEO. "GGS has decades of experience manufacturing greenhouse structures and has become a leading supplier to the horticulture industry. The company has consistently impressed us with its ability to deliver value to its customers, and we look forward to our next phase of growth.”   “We are pleased to partner with PIPP as we build an even more expansive platform to serve our customers.” said Leigh Coulter, President and Owner of GGS. “Our expertise in designing, manufacturing and installing commercial greenhouse structures, combined with Pipp's state‐of‐the‐art vertical farming and space optimization solutions, will allow us to offer North American growers a complete and efficient solution.”   “We are delighted to see two such complementary companies come together today. This acquisition is another step in Pipp's strategy to become the leading supplier of turnkey solutions to all segments of horticulture globally." said Marc Paiement, Senior Partner at Novacap. "We look forward to continuing to work with them throughout this process, providing support and expertise to help them achieve their goal."   For the past several years, Pipp Horticulture’s mission has been to help cultivators across the globe save time and money by creating a more efficient grow facility and help streamline operations. Pipp has not only developed a product line that was purposefully designed to serve the cultivation market, but they have strategically acquired companies like GGS and Vertical Air Solutions, the leading provider of air circulation systems for indoor vertical farming, to be able to offer the industry a turnkey cultivation solution, continuously improving upon their services, and developing products that positively affect canopy output and facility operations.   Following this transaction, Coulter will remain President and CEO and operations will remain under the GGS banner.   The combination of the two companies will expand Pipp’s position as the leading provider of Indoor Commercial Grow Racks, Greenhouse Structures and Air Circulation Systems in North America.   About Pipp Horticulture Pipp Horticulture is the industry‐leading provider of vertical farming and space optimization solutions. We work with commercial agriculture professionals globally, to design, install, and optimize operational spaces throughout cultivation, post‐harvest, manufacturing, and distribution facilities through the implementation of vertical and mobile rack, cart, and ventilation systems. The Pipp team merges over 40 years of commercial mobile storage experience with horticulture industry experts with over 50 years of operational experience in commercial agriculture and seed‐to‐sale production. Pipp provides expertise, insight and network connections far beyond our mobile systems in support of our mission to augment financial performance and mitigate risk for our partners. For more information, please visit www.pipphorticulture.com.   About GGS Structures The GGS Group of Companies is comprised of GGS Structures Inc., JGS Limited and Niagrow Systems Ltd. For over 40 years GGS has been designing and manufacturing greenhouses and growing environments throughout North America. Our design approach considers all the aspects of your agribusiness for greenhouses with immediate capability, greater convenience, and maximized growth potential. Tasco Dome, a brand of GGS, is a leader in fabric covered buildings for the agriculture, industrial and equestrian industries. JGS Limited provides state of the art greenhouse solutions for research facilities, educational institutions, conservatories and more. Niagrow Systems Ltd. designs greenhouse heating systems to make sure growers have the right amount of heat in the right location at the right time to maintain the ideal growing environment. For more information, please visit www.ggs‐greenhouse.com.   About Novacap Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading North American private equity firm with more than C$8B of AUM that has invested in more than 100 platform companies and completed more than 150 add‐on acquisitions. Applying its sector‐ focused approach since 2007 in TMT, Industries and now Financial Services, Novacap's deep domain expertise can accelerate company growth and create long‐term value. With experienced, dedicated investment and operations teams as well as substantial funding, Novacap has the resources and knowledge to build world‐class businesses. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Québec and Toronto, Ontario. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca.   Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies 1/5Give Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies 2/5Give Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies 3/5Give Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies 4/5Give Pipp Horticulture Acquires the GGS Group of Companies 5/5 Article category: Marijuana Business NewsRegional Marijuana News: Ontario

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Mon, 18 Oct 2021 14:36:00 +0000

News Nugget
Mon, 02 Nov 2020 14:57:00 +0000

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.

Other drugs were seized, but their amounts paled in comparison to cannabis. In fact, one of the 2020 seizures represented a northern border record and involved 9,472 pounds (4,296 kg) of marijuana.

That said, seizures involving some other substances also skyrocketed, while others dropped like a stone.

Overall during fiscal 2020, “field office personnel seized 42,015 pounds (19, 058 kg) of narcotics, an increase of 968 per cent from the prior fiscal year,” according to a CBP press release. CBP officers also arrested 319 people and seized US$543,015 in unreported currency.

While seizures of cocaine and heroin were up, albeit representing very small amounts, totals confiscated for methamphetamine, fentanyl and crystal methamphetamine and “all other drugs” declined from 2019 to 2020.

Saying she was proud of efforts by CBP staff in Buffalo, field office director Rose Brophy noted that their “continued to enforce our laws and intercepted thousands of pounds of narcotics, seized large amounts of unreported currency related to criminal organizations and took hundreds of firearms and criminals off of our streets.”

Michigan, another busy stop for cross-border traffic, also saw a big hike in cannabis seizures in fiscal 2020. The amount of weed confiscated at the states five ports of entry rose 1,726 per cent. Again, the amount seized was unprecedented, CBP reports.

Entry points covered by the CBP’s Detroit Field Office include the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the Blue Water Bridge, the International Bridge and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“This past year, the men and women of CBP worked through some of the most adverse conditions that we have ever asked them to work through especially here in Detroit,” Christopher Perry, director of field operations for CBP in Detroit,s says in the statement.

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Article Source: The pandemic may be keeping cross-border traffic to a minimum, but weed seizures in 2020 are maxing out
Mon, 02 Nov 2020 14:57:00 +0000

News Nugget
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:43:00 +0000

Border patrol intercepts weed worth US$8 million at Peace Bridge

The tally of cannabis seizures at the Peace Bridge running between Canada and the U.S. increased yet again last week when U.S. border officers in Buffalo discovered a commercial shipment with more than a ton of weed.

An internal inspection of a commercial shipment of 20 pallets revealed 2,145 vacuum-sealed packages of cannabis weighing 2,410 pounds (1,093 kg), according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The haul was estimated to have a street value of north of US $8 million.

The seizure is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HIS).

Staff efforts and an enforcement-focused approach “have produced record-setting results for narcotics seizures within the Buffalo Field Office,” which covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State, port director Jennifer De La O says of the Oct. 15 seizure.

Over the last couple of months, multi-million-dollar cannabis seizures in Buffalo have included 3,836 pounds (1,740 kg) of weed, 250 kg of dried cannabis flower and 505 kg of weed manifested as office furniture.

Between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, CBP’s Buffalo office made 1,600-plus narcotic seizures totalling more than 42,000 pounds (1,905 kg), with the Peace Bridge being no stranger to cannabis busts

The most recent bust ratcheted up total seizures by 2,000 pounds (907 kg) just since September. And during a very busy July, there were 134 narcotics seizures for a total of 3,425 pounds, or about 1,555 kg.

The Peace Bridge runs between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y. / Photo: DarleneMunro / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Photo: DarleneMunro / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Compare that to the Mar. 21 — when the border was shut to all but essential traffic — to June 14 period, when there was 286 narcotics seizures, 101 of which were for cannabis. Of the 8,708 pounds of drugs seized over those approximately three months, weed accounted for 8,576 pounds (3,890 kg).

In fact, Buffalo has become one of the most popular crossing spots for illicit weed between Canada and the U.S. HSI agents have estimated a pound of Canadian cannabis can fetch as much as US$6,000, according to WGRZ News, adding that most weed from Canada into the U.S. is linked to organized crime and destined for cities along the Eastern Seaboard.

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Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:43:00 +0000

News Nugget
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:59:22 +0000

Province to take $180M hit on ending pot delivery, pickup: Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario stands to miss out on about $180 million in economic activity if the province's 100-odd privately-run cannabis stores aren't allowed to provide delivery or curbside pickup services, according to estimates from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. 

However, that figure balloons to nearly $1 billion in losses if that includes the additional 450 stores which are ready to open, but whose licence applications are pending approval by provincial regulator, the business group said. 

"This is coming from a time when the economy is grappling with the impact of COVID-19 measures," Daniel Safayeni, co-chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Ontario Cannabis Policy Council, told BNN Bloomberg in a phone interview.

"Retailers in the cannabis industry have gone to great leng​ths to adapt and change their business models to add these services."

The Ontario government announced it would stop allowing cannabis retailers to provide delivery or curbside pickup services when an emergency order expires on July 29. 

Cannabis stores in the country's biggest consumer market were allowed to open and provide additional services such as delivery in April following an emergency order approved by the provincial cabinet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the potential lost economic output, ending delivery and curbside pickup for puts the jobs of the estimated 2,500 people who work in the province's cannabis stores at risk, the Chamber said. 

James Jesty, president of Friendly Stranger Holding Corp., a Toronto-based cannabis retail franchise with two cannabis stores and another two set to open, said he expects the move to shift customers back to the illicit market. 

"The illicit market is more sophisticated now," Jesty told BNN Bloomberg in a phone interview. "It's not the old days of calling your dealer and him arriving with a baggie. A significant part of my business will likely go back to the illicit market now." 

Delivery represented about 10 per cent of the Friendly Stranger's sales, while curbside pickup accounted for about 30 per cent of revenue, Jesty said. About five staff may be let go as a result of ending those services, he added. 

Emily Hogeveen, a spokesperson for Ontario's finance minister, declined to specifically comment on the Chamber's estimates, but said cannabis stores can reopen with measures in place that allow physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store and booking appointments.

Ending delivery and curbside pickup is the latest blow to Ontario's nascent cannabis retail space after facing a string of obstacles including two lotteries that issued a handful of store licences, court decisions that halted the licensing process and bureaucratic delays caused by the pandemic. 

Jeremy Burke, a partner at Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis LLP, said in a report on Monday the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is limiting cannabis store openings to just five a week despite a queue of more than 450 shops that are ready to open and already paying rent. That means that if your store was inspected by regulators last week, the earliest the AGCO will let you open your store will be next March.

"The AGCO acknowledges the serious implications this weekly cap has for operators, who will likely have just completed costly renovations and will have to continue to pay rent and incur other overhead expenses, potentially for many months, before they can begin generating revenues," Burke wrote in the report. 

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Article Source: Province to take $180M hit on ending pot delivery, pickup: Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:59:22 +0000

News Nugget
Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:19:42 +0000

Ontario's private pot shops to stop delivery and curbside pickup

Ontario’s privately-run cannabis stores will no longer be permitted to deliver or offer curbside pickup once an emergency order issued by the province in response to COVID-19 expires.

“As our province carefully moves towards recovery, the (emergency order) to temporarily allow for cannabis retail curbside pickup and delivery will end when the declaration of emergency expires, along with other temporary measures that had been put in place to support people and business during the public health emergency,” said Richard Clark, communications director for Ontario's Finance Minister, in an emailed statement.

Ontario's state of emergency is set to expire on July 15. Premier Doug Ford's office said it would introduce a motion Wednesday to extend it until July 24. The government introduced legislation on Tuesday to extend some pandemic emergency orders over the next year, but not measures related to cannabis sales.

Canada’s most populous province declared a state of emergency on March 17. Ontario issued a list of essential workplaces allowed to remain open on March 23 that included “cannabis stores and cannabis producers.” Those businesses were dropped from an updated list issued on April 3, forcing pot shops to close for an initial period of 14 days after April 4.

On April 7, the province passed an emergency order allowing pot retailers to temporarily sell through click-and-collect and delivery channels. Online sales and delivery had previously been exclusive to the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). 

Private cannabis stores in Ontario praised the move to keep their businesses alive during the pandemic.

“Click-and-collect was a lifeline for us,” Badyr Valcarcel, director of retail operations at Shiny Bud in North York, told Yahoo Finance Canada last month.

The opportunity to expand into new online sales has even spurred innovation among retailers. A number of observers have called on the province for a permanent expansion of ecommerce to private stores.

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Wed, 08 Jul 2020 13:19:42 +0000

News Nugget
Tue, 30 Jun 2020 13:39:43 +0000

Another Cannabis Founder Is Out At Aurora Cannabis

It’s been a rough road for some of the OG’s of the cannabis industry. Today, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) said its Co-Founder Terry Booth had retired from his role as Director of the Company, effective June 26, 2020. Mr. Booth was the Chief Executive Officer of Aurora from December 2014 through February 2020 and served on Aurora’s Board of Directors since December 2014.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and management team, I would like to thank Terry for his leadership over the years and for his tenure as a director,” said Michael Singer, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Aurora. “As one of the original cannabis visionaries, Terry leaves an enviable legacy in the form of Aurora Cannabis. He helped set the table for the company to lead in Canada and globally, and we continue to execute our plan to do so profitably.”

According to Wikipedia, Aurora was founded in 2006 by Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Dale Lesack, and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler collectively invested over $5 million of their own capital. The founding group secured a 160+ acre parcel of land in Mountain View County, Alberta, where they established Aurora’s first facility. The company received its license to grow cannabis in 2014, making it the first cannabis producer to obtain a federal license in that province. The company went public in Canada in 2017 and then in 2018 began trading at the New York Stock Exchange.

Founders Forced Out

Founders often do quite well when their companies go public. Their large stake of shares suddenly becomes very valuable and at a certain point, the founder can sell those shares and capitalize on all the sweat equity and sacrifice it took to get the company to that point. Of course, the flip side to that coin is that the board of directors can now vote you out from your role at the company. That has been the case this year as boards have tossed founders and co-founders out as an expression of performance displeasure.

Here’s a shortlist of the leaders who got their walking papers this year.

Kevin Murphy, Co-founder of Acreage Holdings Inc. in June. Hadley Ford, Co-founder of iAnthus in April. Peter Horvath, Co-founder at Green Growth Brands in March Joe Caltabiano, Co-founder, and president of Chicago-based Cresco Labs in March. Jose Hidalgo Co-founder of Cansortium, a medical marijuana dispensary operator in Miami in February. Andy Williams, Co-founder of Denver-based Medicine Man Technologies in February. Adam Bierman Co-founder of  MedMen Enterprises in January.

In 2019, the trend seemed to be kicked off when Bruce Linton was asked to leave Canopy Growth. He had built it into one of the biggest cannabis companies in the industry, but his partnership with Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) proved to be his undoing as that corporate entity took over.

Most of the founders were asked to leave after the companies found themselves boxed into strategic corners. Not enough revenue coming in to satisfy all the money invested, much of it achieved through expensive debt deals. Boards always take out the CEO as a sign of acting in the best interests of the shareholders.

Still, the cannabis community is a small one and many of these founders were synonymous with their companies. When conferences do return, the companies will be familiar but the face won’t be.

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Tue, 30 Jun 2020 13:39:43 +0000

News Nugget
Fri, 19 Jun 2020 13:32:16 +0000

Hexo Corp. sells Niagara Falls cannabis facility for $10.25 million

Hexo Corp. says it has sold its facility in Niagara Falls, Ont., for $10.25 million to an undisclosed buyer.

The cannabis company announced in March plans to list the facility after reviewing its cultivation assets.

Hexo determined that it no longer expected to restart operations, which it halted in November 2019, due to an excess of cultivation capacity in the market, forecasted demand for cannabis products and expected market development.

The sale of the Niagara facility included land and greenhouse facilities, as well as certain equipment.

The company says it expects to use the proceeds to fund additional expansion of its Belleville, Ont., facility and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Hexo's shares lost 15 cents or 11.9 per cent to $1.11 in Wednesday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Fri, 19 Jun 2020 13:32:16 +0000

News Nugget
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:48:49 +0000

Ontario online pot purchases jump 600% amid COVID-19 pandemic, data shows

Cannabis purchases rose as much as 600 per cent since the beginning of March in Canada's biggest market thanks to stockpiling by consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic - and demand may be sticking around. 

Sales data provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) over the past six weeks - the same period that COVID-19 spread across the country - show legal pot appears to be a more "habitual" purchase than a one-time novelty, according to Cheri Mara chief commercial officer at the provincial retailer. 

While it may be too early to really gauge how COVID-19 will impact legal cannabis sales over the long term, the OCS data provide a highly precise glimpse at how people are consuming cannabis during the pandemic. 

Daily online orders hovered in the mid-2,000 range for the first half of last month, and abruptly tripled to 6,042 on March 16, the same day that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada would restrict entry at the U.S. border. 

Orders averaged just below 5,000 a day until April 3 when they shot to a high of 13,691 - the same day Ontario declared cannabis stores were not an essential business. Those stores were able to re-open four days later but only with curbside and delivery service. 

"To borrow an old saying: the toothpaste is out of the tube," Mara said. "Restricting access would have created an opportunity for the illicit market."

Nearly two weeks later, daily sales have held steady around the 9,000 level, almost five times the amount made prior to the pandemic. More than one-third of all orders are classified as new OCS customers, the data showed. 

"It's going to stabilize, but I don't think we're going to be going back to 2,300 orders a day," Mara said. 

The virus' impact on sales has been mixed so far in other provinces. Leamington, Ont.-based Aphria Inc. disclosed in a filing Tuesday that Alberta's provincial retailer found pot shops have reduced their wholesale orders by 25 per cent, while Quebec's retailers have seen sales rise 40 per cent. 

The data, however, corroborate early assumptions that cannabis is something that consumers aren't willing to give up. Last month, MKM Partners analyst Bill Kirk published a survey suggesting cannabis is among the most resilient discretionary spending category for U.S. consumers as a result of COVID-19.

"I really do believe we're setting a new baseline in terms of behaviour," Mara said. "Cannabis, like many other goods, is becoming habitual in terms of a purchase pattern." 

The OCS doesn't anticipate the demand surge will result in cannabis supply shortages this year, but infused edible products may not be as readily available as dried flower, Mara said. 

The agency's online store will sell infused beverages later this month as well as a larger assortment of cannabis seeds right in time for consumers to grow at home this summer, she added. 

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Article Source: Ontario online pot purchases jump 600% amid COVID-19 pandemic, data shows
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 14:48:49 +0000

News Nugget
Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:36:43 +0000

Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak

Canopy Growth Corp. is temporarily shutting down its corporate-owned cannabis stores across the country Tuesday due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company said in a statement. 

Canopy, which owns 23 legal cannabis stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, will close its stores for an undetermined period of time at 5 p.m. local.  It is also closing its visitors centre located at its headquarters in Smiths Falls, Ont. 

“We have a responsibility to our employees, their families, and our communities to do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ by limiting social interactions. For us, that means shifting our focus from retail to e-commerce," said David Klein, chief executive officer of Canopy Growth, in a statement. 

Canopy Growth has 28 retail stores operating under its Tokyo Smoke and Tweed banners, as of the end of last month, according to a regulatory filing. Some of those stores are owned by individuals who have been issued provincial licences to open legal pot shops, with Canopy providing operational and management expertise, but no ownership stake. 

Many retailers across Canada such as Artizia Inc. and Lululemon Athletica Inc. have decided to temporarily close their doors in recent days to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Cannabis consumers stocked up on legal pot over the weekend, with the Ontario Cannabis Store recording 4,000 online orders on Sunday, double what the provincial retailer typically experiences on that day, OCS officials told BNN Bloomberg in an email. 

Canopy said in its statement than customers would be able to obtain their legal cannabis through online retailers in their respective provinces. 

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak 1/5Give Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak 2/5Give Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak 3/5Give Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak 4/5Give Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak 5/5 Authored By: BNN BloombergArticle category: Marijuana Business NewsRegional Marijuana News: CanadaManitobaSaskatchewanNewfoundlandOntario

Article Source: Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak
Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:36:43 +0000

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Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:42:00 +0000

Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis

A medical marijuana user was turned away from an Ottawa Loblaw store, after a cashier refused to sell her beer, because the cashier said the customer smelled like cannabis.

Christie Southward uses marijuana for back pain and anxiety, but she had not been using when she went shopping at the McArthur Avenue Loblaw this week.

“At first I thought he was joking and he was very serious”, Southward told CTV Ottawa.

 “I was getting my groceries, and when it came to my alcohol, the cashier stopped and said he will not sell it to me because I smelled like pot”, she said.

Southward says she had not used marijuana that day, and believes the cashier smelled it on her jacket.

“I was hurt, I was embarrassed.  I shouldn’t have to talk with strangers about my medication. I was so angry I felt like crying”, she said.

Southward asked to speak with a supervisor and a manager who refused to override the cashier’s judgement.

In a statement, Loblaw defended the cashier’s decision.

“Colleagues who handle and sell alcohol in our stores are Smart Serve trained and, as such, are prohibited from selling alcohol to intoxicated individuals or those showing signs of intoxication. We trust our colleagues to exercise discretion in the interest of public safety.”

Southward understands Smart Serve training and supports it, but insists she was not impaired.

“I had to explain to a manager that I am a chronic pain patient, I have a license to smoke.  I’m sure if it happened to me it’s going to happen to other people”, said Southward. 

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis 1/5Give Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis 2/5Give Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis 3/5Give Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis 4/5Give Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis 5/5 Authored By: CTV NewsArticle category: Medical Cannabis NewsRecreational Marijuana NewsMarijuana PoliticsRegional Marijuana News: CanadaOntario

Article Source: Canada: Medical marijuana user refused alcohol sale at Loblaw after cashier smells Cannabis
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:42:00 +0000

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Fri, 13 Dec 2019 05:00:00 +0000

Ontario will scrap lottery system, move to expand retail cannabis market in 2020

The provincial government says that it is scrapping the lottery system for cannabis shop permits and will begin issuing dozens of new retail permits in the spring as part of efforts to open up the weed market.

In its recent fiscal update, the province said that it would move to do away with the lottery system, which has faced criticism.

On Thursday, the province unveiled a timeline for issuing new retail cannabis permits, saying that applications for prospective owners will open on Jan. 6, with the first new licenses to be distributed in April.

Speaking with CP24 Thursday evening, Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said the government wanted to go to an open market model from the start, but needed time to manage the changes and ensure adequate supply.  

“We wanted to go at a pace so that we could actually make sure the supply was there and that was part of the constraint,” Downey said. “And now that the federal supply has been solved, we are now in a position to go much wider and faster.”

Beginning in April next year, the province will issue approximately 20 new pot store authorizations.

Prospective owners will still be subjected to criminal record checks and an approval process.

“We have to do this in a responsible way to make sure that we have top quality operators in the best spots," Downey said.

The province said it will eliminate the temporary cap on the number of private stores and cancel the pre-qualification requirements for prospective retailers.

Previously, applicants will have to show evidence that if they are selected, they have already secured retail space that could be used as a store and that they have enough capital to open it by providing a bank letter confirming access to $250,000 cash and another confirming the ability to get a $50,000 standby letter of credit.

Under the new guidelines, legal cannabis producers will also be allowed to enter the retail market by opening shops on their premises. Also, retailers will be able to sell cannabis-related items such as magazines and cookbooks.

Starting September next year, retail operators can own a maximum of 30 cannabis stores. It will increase to 75 in September 2021.

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Article Source: Ontario will scrap lottery system, move to expand retail cannabis market in 2020
Fri, 13 Dec 2019 05:00:00 +0000

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Fri, 22 Nov 2019 16:27:37 +0000

Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag

Relief may finally be coming for cannabis producers that have been stymied by the lack of legal retail stores in the country’s most populous province. 

The Ontario government is considering a plan that would abandon the maligned lottery process that has left it with only two-dozen legal pot shops, and instead pivot as early as January to a system that could lay the groundwork for up to a thousand stores in the province, according to a person directly familiar with the matter.

Provincial officials have proposed moving to an "open allocation" system for issuing pot store licences next year, allowing would-be shop owners to simply apply online and pass a series of background checks to sell legal cannabis in a bricks-and-mortar shop in the province, the person said. It would mark a return to the Progressive Conservatives’ original plan to open enough cannabis stores to support what it believes is a mature market, which analysts estimate to be between 750 to 1,000 outlets, the person added.

“That’s eventually what the goal is — open it up to the market and let the market dictate,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters Thursday morning. “It’s like any business: some people will be successful, some won’t. But I guess the previous issues that the whole country saw … we didn’t have enough cannabis to sell but now there’s enough supply and we’re working hand-in-hand with the [licensed producers].”

The person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said that no decisions have been finalized as government officials are still putting proposals forward to Ontario’s cabinet for approval. However, a decision is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, the person said.

“There’s no clear consensus on the cabinet table, but a decision should be made soon,” the person said.

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips told BNN Bloomberg’s Paige Ellis on Thursday that an announcement to start issuing cannabis store licences under an open allocation system will be made “when conditions are right.”

“Our priority is to make sure that we have safe distribution and that we tackle the black market,” he said. “Our government has been clear that private sector delivery and private sector retailers are going to be an important part of that.”

The cabinet-level discussions signal that Ford’s Ontario government acknowledges it needs to ramp up efforts to open additional legal pot stores in the province and stamp out a still-thriving illicit market.

 

Shortly after cannabis was legalized in Oct. 2018, the country's licensed retailers decried a supply shortage that led Ontario policy makers to scrap their initial plan of letting companies open as many as 75 cannabis stores each in favour of a lottery system where participants could apply by paying a $75 fee. 

That lottery system has been panned by industry participants, with only 24 cannabis stores currently operating in the province as well as the government-run online store, compared to Alberta where more than 300 pot shops have opened their doors. 

Cannabis sales in Ontario have totalled $185 million in the first 11 months of legalization, the most in the country, according to Statistics Canada. However, the province has lost out on $325 million in economic activity and approximately $50 million in tax revenue by not having as many pot stores as Alberta, according to analysis by The Cannalysts Inc., an independent cannabis research firm.

“We’re looking at getting back to the easiest, fastest way to the open allocated model that we considered to be the ‘gold star’ plan,” the source familiar with government planning said.

Cowen & Co. cannabis Analyst Vivien Azer said in a note to clients that expanding Ontario’s cannabis retail market to as many as 1,000 locations should have a “substantial impact” to the Canadian total addressable market. She added that Ontario could add as much as $950 million in sales by simply tripling its existing cannabis retail store base of 24.

“We acknowledge that there will be a point where incremental doors become increasingly cannibalistic and maximizes the potential revenue opportunity in the province,” Azer said.

The current lack of Ontario retail outlets was often cited by several major cannabis producers including Tilray Inc., Organigram Holdings Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. during last week’s round of quarterly releases. Meanwhile, sluggish sales in the province led some pot companies to lay off employees, including Hexo Corp., which cut 200 positions and shut down an Ontario facility in an effort to rein in costs and reach profitability.

“The inability of the Ontario government to license retail stores right off the bat has resulted in half of the expected market in Canada simply not existing,” said Canopy Growth Chief Executive Officer Mark Zekulin during the company’s conference call with analysts on Nov. 14.

“When one year into the market, the addressable market is nearly half what was expected, there is going to be meaningful short-term problems.”

Raymond James Analyst Rahul Sarugaser said in a note to clients last week that the slow roll-out of Canadian recreational cannabis retail store licences, particularly in Ontario, has been a notable problem that has led to a sales bottleneck “unanticipated by cannabis producers nationwide.”

The result has been rising inventories, a sharp decline in wholesale prices, an increase in product returns and producer writedowns, Sarugaser said.

Earlier this month, the Ontario Cannabis Policy Council (OCPC), a group of industry leaders organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, issued a release urging the government to “make the necessary changes” in order to kick-start the province’s cannabis market to launch more retail stores through an open allocation of licences.

“The OCPC looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario to address any hurdles which remain in implementing a merit-based, open allocation system and a competitive, efficient retail market that can compete with the illegal market,” the statement said.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag 1/5Give Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag 2/5Give Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag 3/5Give Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag 4/5Give Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag 5/5 Authored By: BNN BloombergArticle category: Recreational Marijuana NewsMarijuana PoliticsMarijuana Business NewsRegional Marijuana News: OntarioCanada

Article Source: Ontario mulls overhauling pot shop system in 2020 as sales lag
Fri, 22 Nov 2019 16:27:37 +0000

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Mon, 28 Oct 2019 14:48:00 +0000

Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores

In an attempt to deter youth from vaping following growing health concerns, the Ontario government has decided to enforce a ban on the promotion of vapor products in convenience stores and gas stations.

The announcement was made Friday that the ban will officially take effect on January 1, 2020 and that ads for vape products will only be allowed in specialty shops where patrons must be at least 19 to enter.

“Restricting the promotion of vapour products will help prevent youth from being exposed and influenced by promotion in retail settings,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a news release.

The announcement comes after multiple consultations following research that states an increasing number of youth are using vape products.

Most other provinces already have similar regulations in place.

“There are eight provinces that have e-cigarette legislation. The two that don’t are Alberta and Saskatchewan,” said Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society. “Ontario’s catching up to what other provinces have done. This is an important measure to protect Ontario youth.”

Not everyone agrees with the ban, especially those in the vape industry who believe it will be difficult for them to reach their target demographic of adults who are trying to quit smoking.

President of the Vaping Industry Trade Association Daniel David says that while he agrees with measures that stop youth from using these products, he does not agree with the ban.

“It feels like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction,” said David. “This only further damages the public perception of vaping as a less-harmful alternative to smoking.”

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,600 people have become sick and 34 people have died due to a vaping-related illness. Most of the vapes that are said to have caused an illness were unregulated products purchased on the black market but the legal market is the one that will suffer.

Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores 1/5Give Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores 2/5Give Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores 3/5Give Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores 4/5Give Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores 5/5 Authored By: Carlie GreenArticle category: ExclusiveMedical Cannabis NewsRecreational Marijuana NewsMarijuana Business NewsRegional Marijuana News: CanadaOntario

Article Source: Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores
Mon, 28 Oct 2019 14:48:00 +0000

Cannabis Retail Store Authorization

Ontario Authorized | Provincial Retail Store Authorization

Issued under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018
Issued to: 2740897 Ontario Inc.
Issue Date: Dec. 08, 2020
Premises Name (operating name): PUFFIN'S CANNABIS
Address: 96 MAIN ST E UNIT E, HUNTSVILLE, ON P1H 1H4
Authorization No.: CRSA1178805