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Canadian cannabis industry ‘increasingly fragmented’ despite M&A

9/9/21--According to a report by Bank of Montreal analyst Tamy Chen, the Canadian cannabis industry is becoming more fragmented than ever, with the biggest licensed producers continuing to lose market share as a whole. Citing data from analytics firm Hifyre, the report notes that the top five licensed producers represented less than 40% of the Canadian market in August, down substantially from a year ago when the producers accounted for more than half of all retail sales. Read

Recent cannabis use and myocardial infraction in young adults: a cross sectional study

9/7/21--The purpose of this study was to assess the association between recent cannabis use and history of myocardial infarction (MI) in young adults (aged 18–44 yr) using pooled data from the 2017 and 2018 cohorts of the American Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of US adults. The association between any recent cannabis use and history of MI using a weighted logistic regression model that adjusted for demographic factors, socioeconomic factors, health-related behaviors, concomitant substance use and other comorbidities were assessed. They also assessed this association after stratifying by frequency of use and by primary method of consumption. Read

Lawsuit files in B.C. argues criminalization of drugs is a charter violation

9/2/21--A group representing drug users has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in British Columbia Supreme Court seeking to decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs, arguing criminalization during the overdose crisis violates charter rights. Read

Calgary lawyer takes on Purdue Pharma to collect opioid-related costs for Canadian cities

8/4/21--A Calgary-based law firm, on behalf of all Canadian cities and municipalities, has filed an objection to Purdue Pharma L.P.'s multibillion-dollar bankruptcy proposal that would compensate U.S. cities, counties, states and Native American tribes for damages related to the opioid crisis while leaving out Canadian jurisdictions. CBC reports that Mathew Farrell with Guardian Law Group says the damage from the opioid crisis didn't stop at the Canadian border. Read

Changes in cannabis use modes among Canadian youth across recreational cannabis legalization: Data from the COMPASS prospective cohort study

8/2/21--This study was designed to investigate changes in cannabis modes of use and associated factors across the federal legalization of recreational cannabis use for adults in Canada. Results indicate that multi-modal cannabis use increased among Canadian youth, and its association with other substance use and depressive symptoms may indicate clustering of additional harms. Read

Yale opioid study highlights the ethical tightrope researcher walk to study addiction using deception

7/30/21--A Yale study entitled “Methadone Access for Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic Within the United States and Canada, that found Canadian clinics were faster than the U.S. to provide opioid treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ethical tightrope researchers must walk when studying addiction while using deception in their research gathering. Read

Compliance with Cannabis Act regulations regarding online promotion among Canadian commercial cannabis-licensed firms

7/12/21--In this cross-sectional study of 261 Canadian cannabis-licensed firms, widespread violations were observed in online Canadian cannabis promotion. Among the 261 licensed firms, 86.3% with an online platform had at least 1 violation, which was significantly more likely to occur on social media compared with a website. A lack of age restrictions for youth, unsubstantiated claims, omission of risk information, and glamorization of cannabis products were found. Read

Drug use, alcohol blamed for excess deaths of Canadians under 65 in the last year

7/12/21--Drug use and alcohol, and not COVID-19, are largely to blame for an excess of deaths in Canadians younger than 65 from March last year to April 2021, new research suggests. The deaths pushed up the mortality rate in that category to a peak higher than what occurred in Canada during the opioid crisis in 2017, according to the research by Statistics Canada. Read

‘Irresponsible’ to decriminalize drugs without comprehensive system of treatment and care: Alberta Addictions Minister

6/6/21--According to Alberta’s associate minister Jason Luan, the key to curbing addictions and overcoming the opioid crisis is to provide addicts with a recovery-oriented system of care instead of supplying them with drugs. Alberta’s strategy, which includes five new addiction recovery centers to be built across the province, challenges the “harm reduction” model of addiction treatment promoted by many of Canada’s top health officials. Read

Local politicians fuming over Cannabis Act enforcement gaps

4/28/21--Many County of Simcoe councillors have expressed dismay about Cannabis Act enforcement. At the end of 2020, county councillors voted in favor of sending a letter to Health Canada outlining their concerns with the enforcement of the Cannabis Act. At that time, councillors asked the federal agency to consider amending the rules around commercial and personal production of cannabis to address problems being felt in rural areas across the county such as noise, odours and enforcement. Read

After ‘Green Rush,’ Canada’s legal pot suppliers are stumbling

4/18/21--Analysts say one reason the sunny projections for legal marijuana in Canada have failed to materialize is the tightly regulated distribution system introduced by Canada, which largely bans advertising and marketing. The halting roll out of stores in some provinces — particularly Ontario — is also a factor. Plus, surveys have suggested that many Canadians are simply not interested in adopting a new vice. Read

Cannabis legalization and link to increase in fatal collisions

4/6/21--Legalization of recreational cannabis may be associated with an increase in fatal motor vehicle collisions based on data from the United States, and authors discuss the implications for Canada in an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Read

Trends in youth cannabis use across cannabis legalization: Data from the COMPASS prospective cohort study

3/17/21--According to this study, recreational cannabis legalization has not been followed by the slowing or reversing of concerning trends in youth cannabis use, suggesting that, so far, the Cannabis Act has not yet led to the benefits for youth envisioned in adopting a public health approach to legalization. Further monitoring will be essential in characterizing its longer-term effects as well as to track impacts of additional regulatory changes. Read

World’s first all-hemp plane is 10 times stronger than steel and fueled by hemp

2/24/21--Canadian cannabis firm Hempearth has designed a plane made from and fueled by hemp oil. The body and wings of the plane are made from composite hemp fibers that are 10 times stronger than steel, according to the company. Read

Supervised consumption review report release

2/19/21--Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide remarks about the findings of the Supervised Consumption Committee's final report. Read

Commonwealth Fund survey, 2020

2/10/21--The Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Policy surveys fill important information gaps by polling patients and providers in 11 developed countries. For the first time, the survey included comparable information about behaviors affecting health (use of alcohol, tobacco, electronic vaping devices, cannabis and illicit drugs). Read

USask launches first study on effects of smoked cannabis on brain development

11/13/20--University of Saskatchewan (USask) pharmacologist Robert Laprairie will use a Brain Canada research grant to determine how a mother’s use of cannabis during pregnancy affects the brain of the developing fetus she’s carrying. Laprairie is one of 20 Canadian neuroscientists each awarded $100,000 today as part of Brain Canada’s Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Program. Read

Clearing the smoke on cannabis

8/7/20--This is the fourth in a series of reports that reviews the effects of cannabis use on various aspects of human functioning and development. This report on the respiratory and cardiovascular effects of cannabis smoking provides an update of a previous report with new research findings that validate and extend our current understanding of this issue. Read

Canada marijuana dispensary count tops 1,000 for the first time

7/18/20--In less than two years after the country legalized recreational cannabis, Canada has reached an important milestone. According to a report in BNN Bloomberg, the country's dispensary count crossed the 1,000 mark as of July 17, landing at 1,010. Read

Canadian cannabis GDP contribution rises by 15% in November

2/2/20--According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, the federal government's official statistics agency, the growth in the contribution of cannabis to gross domestic product (GDP) eclipsed every major category of the Canadian economy in November 2019. All told, cannabis industry production amounted to just over $7.4 billion Canadian ($5.6 billion) that month, which was 15% higher than the November 2018 result. Read

Pot shop proximity jumps in Canada after a slow retail rollout

12/11/19--Although Canada’s pot industry is having a rough year, retailers looking to cash in on the newly legalized commodity has not diminished. The total number of retail cannabis stores rose to 407 in July, an increase of 88 percent in the past four months, Statistics Canada said Wednesday in Ottawa. Read

Ahead of Canada’s big day, forecast for cannabis industry gets a boost

10/16/18--On the eve of Canada’s historic launch of its recreational marijuana program, the global marijuana industry appears poised for explosive growth due to the confluence of a host of market developments. According to Wall Street analyst Vivien Azer of Cowen, Canada’s move to legalize marijuana across its 10 provinces “is the first step” in establishing marijuana as “a key functional ingredient” that will disrupt a group of consumer product categories collectively worth up to $500 billion. This perspective lands as the legal marijuana industry continues to log record rates of growth. Read

Opinion: Quebec should do all it can to resist onslaught of cannabis

10/16/18--In an editorial published in Montreal Gazette, Benjamin Anson, president of Superchute, a Montreal-based manufacturer of construction safety products, openly expresses his views about recreational marijuana legalization fundamentally changing Canada for the worse, and the normalization of pot having the hallmarks of a fiasco in the making. Read

The day Canada goes to pot

10/16/18--As Canada moves toward legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, the federal government, led by Justin Trudeau, breaks with long-standing international drug prevention partners, including the United States. Canada walks away from the three UN Drug Conventions, as it violates articles within the Rights of the Child Treaty. In response, concerned citizens are rallying under the banner ‘A Grey Balloon Day For Canada – Legal Marijuana is Nothing To Celebrate’. Read

Pot 101: Everything you need to know about Canada’s marijuana legalization

10/17/18--Free Press cannabis reporter Dale Carruthers has spent the past six months focused on marijuana legalization -- an issue that becomes reality on Wednesday when Canada becomes the world’s second country (after Uruguay) to legalize pot. Carruthers presents the basics of marijuana and addresses key questions. Read

Pamela McColl: Canadians are going to need to force government to protect kids from smoking

10/13/18--Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop health problems, and this should be of grave concern to Canadians as they move to legalization. Pamela McColl, an anti-smoking and anti-cannabis activist, launched a petition to convince the provincial government to ban smoking in all condominiums and apartment buildings. Smoke-free housing is needed to protect the non-user’s health. The Cannabis Act fails to preserve the rights of non-users of marijuana; therefore it rests with citizens to stand up for their rights and those of children. Read

Week in Review: 5 business takeaways from the launch of Canada’s recreational marijuana market

10/19/18--The groundbreaking launch of Canada’s recreational cannabis market occurred on October 17. The world watched how marijuana businesses around Canada handled sales both online and at physical stores, potential product shortages, and other challenges tied to regulations and illicit-market competition. Marijuana Business Daily presents five notable takeaways from the nation’s historic day. Read

Man credited with decriminalizing drugs in Portugal not sure legal cannabis is the right move

10/12/18--Joao Goulao, the person who helped Portugal decriminalize all drugs, isn’t sure if Canada’s plan to legalize cannabis is the right one. Goulao says he will be keeping an eye on Canada as it legalizes cannabis next week, but doesn’t know if the move is a good idea. Read

As legalization nears, the hardest marijuana question for universities is edibles

9/1/18--Cannabis isn’t a novelty on Canadian campuses, but with legality comes the need for rules that are more complicated than when it was simply illegal. Universities could ban pot, on paper, and treat it with varying levels of tolerance in practice. Read

Health Canada criticized over different ‘plain packaging’ for marijuana, tobacco

6/29/18--Health Canada's differing requirements for “plain packaging” on cigarette and marijuana products are upsetting some interest groups who say there needs to be more of a “consistent approach” to the matter. In a press release, Imperial Tobacco Canada said Health Canada’s proposed changes to how cigarettes are packaged don’t align with the requirements they recently announced for marijuana products. Read

Legal pot: Canada will sell marijuana in liquor stores

12/9/17--One province in Canada has decided to sell its marijuana in liquor stores. Nova Scotia, a province on Canada’s eastern shore, announced on Thursday that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., its sole alcohol distributor, would sell the drug in its stores and on its website once Canada legalizes weed in July of next year. Read

Big Tobacco claims the government is playing favorites with cannabis companies

10/13/17--Tobacco firms are upset about the way the government is going about the legalization process. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s grand plan to legalize recreational weed, is an angry faction — one that feels the government is playing favorites, granting cannabis companies the kind of leniency this particular industry hasn’t experienced in decades. Read

Canada marijuana legalization: Police services ask feds to postpone July 2018 start date

9/12/17--Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for legalized pot by next summer. They said Tuesday they need more time to properly train officers about the new laws and more than double the number of police officers who are certified to conduct roadside drug impaired driving testing. There also needs to be more time for public education, the police said. Read

Smoking a couple of joints a week? Research warns it may make sperm ‘more mellow’ and swim in circles

8/31/17--Recent research indicates that smoking too much marijuana can cause sperm to become “more mellow and swimming in circles,” resulting in lower sperm counts by almost a third. According to Dr. Victor Chow, a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia Medical School’s department of urological sciences, the effect on male fertility is strong because “sperm is a very rapidly turning over cell." Heavy marijuana use can have an immediate effect on sperm production because the male body makes new sperm about every three months. Read

Cannabis experts join True Leaf team for final marijuana licensing review stage

4/24/17--True Leaf Medicine Inc. (True Leaf), a division of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., has engaged a number of cannabis experts to guide the company through the final stage in Health Canada's review of its application for a license to produce marijuana in Canada. They will be working with True Leaf over the next few weeks to prepare a review package for submission to Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) application process. Read

Huge opportunities for B.C. with legalization, marijuana producer says

4/13/17--According to Dan Sutton, founder and managing director of medical marijuana producer Tantalus Labs, the time has come for British Columbia (B.C.) to take the lead on the marijuana legalization process. Sutton said B.C. is perfectly positioned to lend its expertise to the legalization process. "I think demand will substantially increase as a result. Production will necessitate massive expansion as well. We need a new generation of entrepreneurship to step in and fill that void." Read

Alberta cities, province respond to federal legislation on legalizing marijuana

4/13/17--The federal Liberal government has launched its effort to legalize recreational marijuana. Alberta municipalities are very concerned about the short time frames for implementing the new laws. Yet, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) said it has been working hard to make sure systems are in place to educate the public, restrict inappropriate use, address health and safety issues, and co-ordinate law enforcement through RCMP and local police. Read

Canada Today: Marijuana

4/14/17--The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that, if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana. Although the bill lays out the broad guidelines of a tightly regulated system, and introduces strict new penalties for selling or giving marijuana to minors, much work remains. For instance, provinces will have to figure out how to distribute it, and the police will need to develop tests for apprehending impaired drivers that are reliable enough to avoid court challenges. Read

Ex-big pharma executive behind OxyContin sells medical marijuana

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-49-48-am11/25/16--John Stewart, formerly of Purdue Pharma, is now a co-founder of Emblem, a medical marijuana company based in Paris, Ontario. He credits his time at Purdue Pharma, which did some early research into therapeutic cannabis but never brought a drug to market, for sparking his current interest - finding better ways to deliver the medical benefits of marijuana to patients. Read

Medical marijuana benefits for vets are costing Canada a fortune

11/16/16--According to figures provided by Veterans Affairs Canada, the number of retired soldiers obtaining medical marijuana from the government saw a staggering 15-fold increase over just three years, with a corresponding 50-time increase in cost. From just 112 veterans on the plan in 2013, the federal government now covers the medical marijuana prescriptions for 1,762 veterans nation-wide. The cost has gone from $400,000 to $20 million in that time. That’s a jump of 5,000 percent. Read

Recreational marijuana in Canada could generate more money than booze

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-33-19-pm10/27/16--If recreational marijuana is legalized in Canada, capsule it could generate a nearly $23 billion industry in the country, discount a new study suggests. Sales would surpass the combined totals that come from beer, stomach wine and spirits purchases, according to the Toronto Star. The newspaper said the report found that the base retail market alone would be worth $4.9 billion to $8.7 billion annually, while the ancillary market would spike to about $22.6 billion. Read

Shoppers Drug Mart formally applies to distribute medical marijuana

10/25/16--Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada's largest pharmacy chain, has formally applied to be a distributor of medical marijuana. The move is the next step in a logical progression for the chain, which earlier this year was looking into the possibility of entering the burgeoning business. Read