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Exactly a year after legalization, edibles are no longer banned in Canada. For many, this means a slew of options that eluded consumers since October 2018. Individuals seeking therapeutic benefits without smoking will make up a huge portion of the customer base.

But with a prolific grey market offering its own line of powerful edibles and wide array of options for experienced recreational users, legal retailers have their work cut out for them.

We covered multiple stories in the past regarding edible poisonings in children and adults, thanks to a lack of knowledge and poor judgment when consuming or storing these illegal products.

Although illegal edibles are highly potent, this does not mean that their legal counterparts do not pose some degree of risk to newcomers.

To shed some more light on the topic, CTV News sat down with Dr. Amy Porath. Porath, who is the director of research at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, has some key points to discuss, especially for those with little to no experience.

 

Latent Effects

 

Smoking may be hard on the lungs and throat, but it is the best option for quick onset. Edibles, on the other hand, take time. In fact, it can take up to six hours before users feel any effects – although it is typically more in the range of 30 minutes to four hours.

The exact time varies due to factors such as potency, stomach contents or even the type of food consumed prior to using the edibles.

Porath Warns:

 

“…it takes a lot longer for people to experience [the intoxication]. And that’s because the product has to go through the digestive system,” she said. One of the biggest mistakes people can make is to accidentally consume too much and experience a stronger, unpleasant and unintended high.”

 

Also known as “greening out,” this experience typically involves symptoms like severe dizziness, nausea and uncontrollable vomiting.

To date, nobody has died from a THC overdose, but that does not mean the symptoms it brings cannot be dangerous or deadly.

For instance, THC greatly increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can exacerbate existing conditions. Excess THC can also cause hallucinations, severe paranoia and anxiety.

To prevent this, it is important to test the waters carefully. “Start low and go slow” is the common motto and it is something all users – regardless of experience – should follow.

 

Edible High Lasts Longer

 

Another consideration is that, while smoked cannabis typically wears off in roughly two to three hours, edible highs last much longer. Potency and the types of strains used are both mitigating factors here.

Once the high peaks, “residual effects” could still exist 12 to 24 hours after consumption. Dr. Porath warns:

 

“It’s important to keep that in mind if say you’re using the product on a Sunday evening and you have to go to work on Monday.”

 

If individuals need to be sober in 12 to 24 hours, it is better to use smoked herb to ensure that any effects are long gone by then.

 

Higher Potency

 

Users also need to be aware that edibles are much more concentrated and are therefore much more potent. There are two main reasons.

First, edibles are made with cannabis extracts, like oil or “cannabutter.” It is easy for a small amount of these substances to contain a lot of THC. Smoked herb with 30% THC means that each gram contains 30mg of tetrahydrocannabinol. But when ignited, a lot of that THC evaporates, leading to even less being taken in.

But with edibles, there is no instant evaporation and the amount of food product required to deliver THC is much lower. In fact, one illegal dispensary was raided in May of 2019 and found to carry edibles the size of Lego bricks, each containing 250mg of THC – equal to about eight grams of 30% THC smoked herb.

Consuming that much THC will easily lead to hospitalization from high heart rate, blood pressure, hallucinations or vomiting.

Dr. Porath has some recommendations to avoid the above scenario. First, she recommends first-time users to consume edibles with someone else nearby who is either experienced or does not intend to use cannabis.

She also encourages consumers to only buy legal edibles, since they are limited to 10mg of THC per unit.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Emphasis on Safe Cannabis Consumption

 

Legal marijuana is uncharted territory. Based on incidents involving illegal products, it is clear that users – especially new ones – need to be extremely careful. Fortunately, retailers are happy to give their clients guidance on safe consumption.

WeedAdvisor looks forward to the second phase of legalization and will happily add these new edible items to our list of reviews. We encourage potential customers to keep an eye on our review section for the latest products as they are released.

 

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Colombia garnered a lot of attention in recent months, especially from large investors. But its ideal climate and cheap labour were soon offset by the country’s intense regulations, which created a developmental bottleneck.

Although this issue did not bode well for those interested in doing business with Colombia, it has not changed the country’s direction. According to 420 Intel, progress is slow, but steady.

If things continue at this rate, Colombia is well on its way to become a major exporter of cannabis, despite its regulatory roadblocks.

 

Influx of Growers

 

When Colombia allowed domestic cannabis growth, investors pounced. Seemingly overnight, hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in helping get the country’s cannabis export industry up and running. Since this change, the country quickly became a battleground for licensed producers with deep pockets:

 

“Cannabis companies are rushing to set up operations in Colombia, looking to gain a foothold in one of Latin America’s drug capitals as governments across the world embrace the burgeoning legal marijuana industry.Growers, many with financial backing of firms from Canada and the U.S., estimate as much as $500 million has been invested to buy farmland, build greenhouses and set up labs to produce oils, creams and other products that contain cannabidiol, or CBD…”

 

Many of these licensed producers are household names among both medical and recreational users. Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Aphria Inc. are all highly prolific Canadian licensed producers and just a few examples of the big names with operations in Colombia.

 

Changing Its Image

 

Colombia may have emerged as a bit of an underdog in the legal cannabis industry, but it certainly well-known for its involvement in the illegal drug trade – an image it desperately wants to shake.

Seen as the world’s biggest cocaine producer and a hub for cartel violence, Colombia sees its entry into the cannabis export business as a way to scrub off some of this bad publicity. In doing so, they also hope to go from a source of healing, rather than perpetual harm.

Julian Wilches, co-founder of medical marijuana producer Clever Leaves, says:

 

“When you mention Colombia, unfortunately, some people relate that name with illegal drugs. We have an opportunity here to take a controlled substance and change that reputation, to bring health to people and development to our country.”

 

Colombia certainly has a long way to go to reach this goal, but its foray into the legal cannabis industry will certainly help.

 

Regulatory Changes in the Works

 

Currently, Colombian investors are focusing on cannabidiol (CBD). It’s non-intoxicating nature sits better with regulatory officials and consumers alike. THC strains are allowed, but the regulatory process is off-putting, prompting companies to take the path of least resistance with CBD.

However, the Colombian government promises changes:

 

“President Ivan Duque vowed last month to cut bureaucracy and support the industry. Revenue from the sector in Colombia is forecast to balloon to $791 million by 2025 from $99 million in 2020, according to a draft study by think tank Fedesarollo. Researchers estimate the market for cannabidiol in the U.S. alone could be worth almost $23 billion by 2023.”

 

These figures are enough motivation to make Colombia re-examine some of its regulatory measures. Once these are loosened, it is safe to say that the industry will pick up an enormous amount of momentum.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Colombian Presence

 

As a global provider of business solutions for licensed producers, retailers and government agencies, WeedAdvisor is proud to partner with clients in Colombia.

We understand that, in a growing industry, having a strong, efficient start is the best way to stay ahead of any competition. Our solutions facilitate this goal by making certain functions, such as POS, inventory tracking and compliance more accurate, efficient and reliable.

 

 

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According to CBC News, recent statistics show an uptick in drug impaired driving and theft – specifically marijuana theft.

The impact on public safety, especially as it pertains to driving, is something that legislators and opponents frequently thought about. Fearmongering over a massive increase in impaired driving accidents or deaths became a key tool in the prohibitionist arsenal.

Admittedly, 2019 has seen a rise – at least for the Waterloo Regional Police Service – in cannabis DUI charges.

A rather unexpected consequence, however, involves cannabis theft, which adds to the overall theft rates in the area.

While Waterloo is just one small sample, it is indicative of a larger trend. But while these statistics may seem fairly clear, there are some other factors to consider.

 

Gradual Increase in Drug-Impaired Driving

 

Incidents of drug-impaired driving have peaked this year, reaching a total of 75 as of October 17th. On the surface, this could indicate that cannabis legalization is to blame. But based on previous patterns, legalization may not be as culpable as some might want to believe.

CBC News explains:

 

“In 2018, there were 69 drug-impaired charges, 70 in 2017 and 53 charges in 2016 connected to drug-impaired driving, according to Waterloo regional police.”

 

If authorities had seen a sudden spike in drug-impaired driving between 2018 and 2019, then legalization could be held accountable. But it is clear that an upward trend was in place over the last three years – almost three of which did not fall during the October 17th, 2018 period of legalization.

But this and other considerations are things that police openly admit:

 

“Staff Sgt. Mike Hinsperger says the increase in drug impaired driving charges is part of a longer-term trend that preceded legalization…’The types of impaired by drug investigations we’re involving ourselves in are, more often than not, multiple drugs combined causing the impairment.’”

 

Furthermore, these rates are not particularly alarming. If we take the 2019 average, this amounts to about six incidents per month.

Alcohol, police say, still remains the biggest culprit, with 350 people charged in 2019 so far.

One reason for this trend could be that police do not have to suspect an individual is intoxicated before administering a test for alcohol. Drugs, however, require a reasonable suspicion before police can investigate further, meaning tests are less frequent.

This of course leaves some unanswered questions that will hopefully be clearer as more data becomes available.

 

Marijuana Theft

 

One trend that certainly rose is marijuana theft. Granted, it is hard to make formal comparison to pre-legalization numbers, since illegal cannabis users are unlikely to report their stolen drugs to police.

However, it is clear that legalization opened the door to these aforementioned crimes. The unfortunate part is that these theft incidents are preventable if people simply follow the rules.

According to CBC News:

 

“Wellington County OPP Const. Joshua Cunningham has noticed even if people are purchasing marijuana legally, they’re not always following the rules. ‘People aren’t storing and carrying and using marijuana as the regulations are set out [says Cunningham].’”

 

Another thing Cunningham notices is that thieves are getting quite bold. Police have seen increase in break-ins, with suspects going into people’s homes and yards where cannabis is growing legally.

At this point, it is important to remember that regulations allow a maximum of four plants per household in most provinces (zero in others). These need to be inaccessible to children and hidden from plain sight. This is important for public safety and prevents citizens from being targeted by thieves.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Support for Public Safety

 

As a proud provider of business solutions in the cannabis industry, WeedAdvisor understands that legalization is not without its flaws. A lot of the consequences are still unclear, but there are certain areas that definitely raise some concerns.

We encourage all consumers to follow the law when it comes to driving under the influence and to keep their plants or products well-hidden.

 

 

 

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Mexico is just one day away from submitting its final draft on cannabis legalization, according to Marijuana Business Daily. After that, the country has only a few days to end prohibition, with the senate’s deadline set for October 23rd.

But when stacked next to Canada, Mexico’s situation did not offer a very generous amount of time to prepare. Consequently, the process has been rushed – and it shows.

Despite their best efforts, Mexico’s ultimatum mandated by the Supreme Court to legalize cannabis has caused a lot of difficulty that created a nearly impossible time crunch.

Needless to say, the next few days will be critical.

 

“Reasonable Time”

 

According to Marijuana Moment, Justice Commission Senator Damián Zepeda Vidales asked for “reasonable time” to evaluate the final draft before implementing legalization. Unfortunately, there is one problem – or rather, twelve problems.

Marijuana Moment explains:

 

“The problem is that despite the deadline being less than two weeks away, there remains at least a dozen different proposals. Earlier this month, lower house majority leader Mario Martín Delgado Carrillo introduced a new bill that would create a state monopoly through a public company named Cannsalud. Last month, Menchaca Salazar introduced a bill that would legalize domestic growing.”

 

With a slew of bills still circulating, politicians have their work cut out for them if they hope to finalize their vision of the upcoming framework.

 

Shifting Focus

 

Although there are many legislators with different visions and agendas for legalization, the government simply does not have the time to consider them all. Fortunately, they may not have to:

 

“…local industry sources that spoke with Marijuana Business Daily are confident the bill that is being given priority is the one filed almost a year ago by Olga Sanchez Cordero, then a senator, now secretary of the interior, but with significant modifications.”

 

The other proposals currently in limbo will likely need to be set aside, but this does not mean they will not see the light of day. With a rushed process like this, it is possible that reforms will continue over time.

 

Approval

 

If there is one good thing about this situation, it is that final passage of the law should be relatively smooth. Once the senate votes on the bill, the lower chamber has to approve it. Frankly, they have no choice in the end.

The political climate itself is rather friendly to legalization, but it is not enthusiastic either:

 

“Because the government holds majorities in both houses of congress, no significant opposition is expected. This week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that legalizing marijuana is not his government’s priority, adding uncertainty to an already confusing situation.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Anticipation for a Mexican Cannabis Market

 

Mexico has a long way to go once the legislative process is complete. Legalizing marijuana on paper is a lot simpler than actually implementing it.

The next few months will be both interesting and nerve-wracking for many individuals. Hopefully, however, WeedAdvisor will soon be able to offer its assistance through business solutions for Mexican licensed producers, retailers and government agencies.

 

 

 

 

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When discussing the grey market, we often mentioned how the most efficient way to stop illegal dispensaries is not through enforcement, but simple competition. Now, CTV News reports that licensed producer Hexo decided to take this approach.

The current cannabis landscape is different. It is no longer a matter of law enforcement vs. illegal cannabis. Now, the legal market itself is a weapon to stem underground sales.

Initially, experts and laypeople alike felt legalization alone would end black market sales. But they underestimated the resilience of illegal providers, customer loyalty to their dealers and the impact of pricing.

However, Hexo’s solution – a product line called Original Stash – could be the proverbial magic bullet we are waiting for.

 

Best of Both Worlds

 

There are many reasons people either like or dislike legal cannabis. But according to CTV News, two particular factors stand out:

 

“When deciding where to buy cannabis, 76 per cent of Canadians who consumed pot in the first half of the year cited quality and safety as an important consideration while 42 per cent mainly considered price, according to Statistics Canada survey results released in August.”

 

As a legal licensed producer, Hexo provides a cheaper product to satisfy the more budget-conscious consumers. At the same time, they assure us that quality will not suffer just because the price is lower.

In terms of pricing, Hexo is not kidding when they say their Original Stash line is cheaper:

 

“The product…will be on sale in Quebec cannabis stores starting Thursday for $125.70, or $4.49 per gram, including taxes, the company said. That’s cheaper than the average cost of a gram of cannabis at $7.37 per gram during the third quarter, with the price of legal and illegal weed at $10.23 and $5.59 per gram, respectively, according to the latest Statistics Canada analysis of crowdsourced data.”

 

Typically, cheaper cannabis is weaker, but Original Stash is moderately potent, at 12 to 18% THC. Intermediate consumers will be more than satisfied with this level of potency.

 

Taking a Page from the Illegal Market

 

This may sound strange and perhaps a bit generous, but the black market has a business model that, to be fair, has served it well since prohibition began. One major issue that affects price is the double tax system placed on dry herb and – to a lesser extent – upcoming edibles.

The excise tax for the former is $1 per gram, which does an excellent job of inflating prices. Edibles are a little more affordable, with the tax set to $0.01 per milligram of THC.

But dealers do not charge tax, so neither will Hexo. The company’s chief executive, Sebastien St. Louis says:

 

“That 51 per cent of Canadians that buys illegally, when they walk into their dealer, they don’t pay tax…Hexo is absorbing that cost for them. We’ve listened, we’re removing their reason for not shopping legal,” he said in an interview.”

 

Absorbing the excise tax is not a new practice. Now-suspended licensed producer CannTrust, for instance, agreed to absorb the excise tax on their medical cannabis.

At this point, we may have to ask how Hexo can do all of this without harming its bottom line. However, the company managed to considerably reduce its overhead to counter the cost of absorbing the excise tax:

 

“[St. Louis] said Hexo is able to offer a one ounce, or 28 gram, product at this relatively low price point for various reasons, such as less packaging needed for the bulk size rather than individual packaging for each gram or 3.5 gram product. St. Louis added that the licensed producer increased its production scale and lower hydroelectric costs in Quebec also allow the company to reduce its price.”

 

Going National

 

Although Original Stash is only available in Quebec, CTV News says that this could soon change:

 

“The company is currently working with entities in other provinces, such as Ontario and Alberta, to do a similar low-cost product.”

 

If Hexo can take steps to get a competitive product available nationwide, it will arguably be the biggest blow to the black and grey market.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Interest in New Products

 

As an expert provider in business solutions for the cannabis industry, WeedAdvisor understand the importance of informed purchases.

Naturally, we have high hopes that a reputable company like Hexo will enjoy success with its Original Stash – especially at the expense of the illegal market.

We look forward to learning about the new product and adding it to our growing number of product descriptions.

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Medical and recreational marijuana producer CannTrust is about to lose $77 million worth of inventory as it fights to stay afloat, according to Markets Insider.

A classic example of what happens when you attempt to dupe Health Canada, CannTrust needs little introduction. The ironically-named company made headlines in September when its license was suspended after a lengthy investigation.

Health officials uncovered massive company negligence, incompetence, corruption and overall misconduct. This led to a huge corporate shake-up, starting in July with the resignation or dismissal of key upper management members, most notably ousting the company’s CEO, Peter Aceto.

But a lot has happened since July, when the first infractions began to unveil. After months in damage control mode, the company is making huge steps – and sacrifices – to one day again be open for business.

 

“Remediation Plan”

 

CannTrust’s board of directors is working to make its way into Health Canada’s good graces, but the goal requires some very difficult steps. The most glaring, of course, being the massive inventory loss:

 

“The cannabis producer CannTrust Holdings said it planned to destroy $65 million worth of weed inventory and roughly $12 million worth of ‘biological assets’ like plants in an attempt to gain regulatory approval in Canada.”

 

But this is just the beginning. According to an October 14th press release CannTrust has several key steps planned. This “remediation plan” is to demonstrate CannTrust’s intention to be cooperative and transparent with Health Canada, while working to become compliant:

 

“Measures to ensure that cannabis will be produced and distributed only as authorized, including measures to control the movement of cannabis in and out of CannTrust’s site;

Measures to recover cannabis that was not authorized by CannTrust’s license;

Measures to improve key personnel’s knowledge of, and compliance with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations that apply to CannTrust; and,

Measures for improving the manner in which records are kept, including a plan to improve the inventory tracking, and any interim measures to ensure that information provided to Health Canada can be reconciled.”

 

The press release also notes that, while the value of the inventory is significant, it is unsellable – returned by various patients, distributors and retail stores.

However, this is just the beginning. CannTrust is set to provide a more detailed plan by October 21st.

 

Making Room

 

Perhaps the simplest way to describe CannTrust’s purge is the desire to create a clean slate. CannTrust says that, once the non-compliant products are destroyed, it will leave room for cannabis that has been grown, processed, packaged, stored and monitored as per Health Canada’s regulations.

 

Immediate Impact

 

The news of CannTrust’s commitment garnered some positive attention from the stock market. Following the announcement, CannTrust’s stock value increased by 25%.

Granted, the value plunged by nearly 78% during the course of their ordeal, worth $1.06 per share as of October 14th.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

Out of all the errors producers, distributors or retailers can make, non-compliance is arguable one of the most egregious. Whether accidental or intentional, the consequences may amount to millions in fines, lost productivity and severe loss of public trust.

WeedAdvisor understands the critical balance required to ensure compliance, which is why one of our many business solutions include key functions like inventory tracking, real-time data, safety monitoring, reporting and more.

We help our clients remain compliant in a seamless, automated fashion, so they can focus on providing the best products possible.

 

 

 

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The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is turning to the private sector in order to ease the supply and distribution issues it faces, according to CBC News.

One year after legalization, things have drastically improved, but Ontario – and much of the country – still has an uphill battle ahead before they can confidently say supplies consistently meet demand.

The discussions are still preliminary and far from definitive. But the current situation and upcoming developments may force the OCS to re-examine its current model.

 

A Better Alternative

 

Ontario is no stranger to government monopolies. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is currently the only entity allowed to sell all alcohol products.

Ontario’s former Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne loosened these rules slightly by allowing lighter alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, to be sold in grocery stores.

The only other outlet selling alcohol is the Beer Store, which, as its name implies, is limited to beer.

However, Wynne planned on creating OCS retail outlets similar to the LCBO. This system is often perceived as less than ideal by the general public and it is clear by the OCS’ current situation that complete government control can lead to bottlenecks.

If seeking outside help from private distributors helps the OCS keep up with customer and dispensary orders, it will go a long way in not only making the cannabis industry more efficient, but also help patch its admittedly tarnished image.

 

“Prudent Steps”

 

In light of the situation, OCS officials have already started exploring what this private/public distribution hybrid might look like. They seem satisfied with the current situation, but acknowledge that there is room for improvement. OCS CEO Cal Bricker tells CBC News:

 

“While centralized distribution services have served existing retailers … the OCS is taking prudent steps to consult the industry on opportunities to increase their involvement in participating in the storage and transportation of cannabis products to retail stores.”

 

Based on the last year, the OCS may be headed in the right direction. It’s inability to adequately supply consumers was the source of numerous complains and negative experiences that drove people back to the black market.

 

 

Edibles May Bring Changes

 

With the release of edibles in retail stores only two months away, demand is expected to increase dramatically. The OCS simply cannot afford another fiasco like the one in 2018.

If private distributors can dramatically ease the workload, then now is the best time to look at reforming the current system – sentiment that Bricker certainly shares.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Service in All Sectors

 

We understand that the cannabis industry is constantly evolving. This is why we offer a variety of solutions to make daily functions and major processes – such as compliance – easy and inexpensive for our government and business clients.

As the role of different organizations expands to handle a growing market, we look forward to working with these companies and their government counterparts.

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The Société Québécois du Cannabis (SQDC) will be adding 20 more stores by March 2020, according to the Montreal Gazette. This will raise the number of stores from about 20 to a total of 43. SQDC president Jean-Francois Bergeron made this announcement during a luncheon set up by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce.

It is no secret that Quebec is the most restrictive province when it comes to legal cannabis, imposing new bans on certain edibles and toying with the idea of raising the minimum purchasing age to 21.

But despite resistance from government officials and a strong black market presence spanning the country, Quebec still managed to fair relatively well, given the circumstances.

 

“Just the Beginning”

 

Quebec’s legislators may not be very cannabis-friendly, but its consumers certainly are. According to the Montreal Gazette:

 

“The SQDC has executed more than 4 million transactions since its launch, according to Bergeron. That comes out to two sales per minute, with rush-hour peaks of up to six per minute. The SQDC sold 27 tonnes of marijuana during the last 12 months, equal to 60 full containers, ‘and that’s just the beginning,’ he promised.”

 

Sales have certainly ramped up since legalization – a common effect of having retail stores. Ontario, for instance, saw its cannabis revenue double in April after less than half of its 25 stores opened for business.

 

Massive Improvement

 

Shortly after legalization, Quebec suffered from the same problems as the rest of Canada – mainly supply issues. This forced them (like the rest of the country) to limit operating hours of their retail locations. Now, however, things are dramatically different:

 

“After getting off to a rough start because of supply problems — which forced the SQDC to cut operating hours to a few days per week through the month of May — things are looking up…Store shelves are always stocked, Bergeron said, with Quebec being one of the cheapest places to buy legal marijuana in the country. Prices in the province are 20 per cent below the national average, partly to remain competitive with the black market.”

 

Profits also showed a significant leap forward. The SQDC went from a $4.5 million deficit in the first quarter of 2019 and a $1.4 million profit in the second quarter. The Montreal Gazette states that the increased store hours – which are now seven days per week province-wide – had a major role to play.

 

Fighting the Black Market

 

With another 20 retail stores on the horizon, Quebecers can expect easier accessibility to cannabis. Consumers strongly prefer to visit a physical storefront rather than order marijuana online.

Furthermore, adding these extra locations will help cover a lot of “dry areas” where lack of accessibility drives people to the black market, simply out of convenience.

Add that to the fact that Quebec’s cannabis is much cheaper than in other provinces, this creates ideal conditions for consumers to fight the black market with their wallets.

Although 43 stores for the entire province definitely does not cover as much ground as necessary, it is still an improvement over the early days of legalization. Any industry analyst will agree that the initial rollout was an unmitigated disaster.  If anything, Quebec’s recent announcement proves how far things have changed for the better.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Role in an Improving Cannabis Market

 

With the addition of 20 new retail stores in Quebec and a marked revenue increase, the province is but one example of the improving situation with legal cannabis.

Although things are much better, there is still room for improvement – something that is guaranteed to come with more time.

Meanwhile, WeedAdvisor’s business solutions for retailers – which include POS, inventory tracking, reporting, compliance, safety and more – will all help make daily functions more accurate and efficient as these businesses prepare for a brighter cannabis market.

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With about two months left until the government rolls out a variety of edibles and other popular products, it is important to understand what these are and the limitations around them.

Unlike dried flower, these upcoming items require a little more care when dosing, while others shouldn’t be touched by all but the most experienced users. Consuming one of these products without fully understanding them could lead to a bad experience.

Needless to say, the legal marijuana landscape is about to change, so the public needs to know everything it can about “Legalization 2.0”.

 

Edibles

 

Edibles span a variety of different options. Marijuana brownies are often the default thing that comes to mind when people think of edibles. But the list is far more extensive.

The term “edible” is rather broad. It does not simply refer to solid foods, but any cannabis product that is meant to be ingested. This is why drinks are also included in this category.

There are some strict rules around edibles. First, no individual unit can contain more than 10mg of THC.

Certain ingredients also cannot be added, such as nicotine, alcohol, vitamins or minerals. Caffeine is allowed to a small extent.

To avoid cross-contamination, facilities that produce marijuana edibles cannot also produce normal versions of these foods/drinks.

The manufacturers also are forbidden to make any health claims about their products.

Many have criticized the 10mg THC limit as being to weak. While 10mg is more than enough to intoxicate beginners and intermediate users, heavy, frequent consumers will likely not experience anything from such a low amount.

 

Extracts

 

Extracts are essentially marijuana products where the THC or CBD has been removed from the plant matter via an industrial extraction process. This allows producers to then use those concentrated cannabinoids for a variety of different products.

 Concentrates are the most powerful options. In most cases, users smoke them, but some are available as capsules.  The minimum THC for concentrates is around 60% – about two to three times more than the highest potency dry herb available. This makes them extremely risky for inexperienced users.

Ingestible concentrates will follow the same rules as regular edibles – 10mg of THC per dose. However, consumers can purchase these in packs of 1,000mg.

It appears that these products will be available in vape pens, with a maximum THC concentration of 1,000mg per cartridge.

 

Topicals

 

Topicals are particularly unique, since they do not need to be inside the body through inhalation or ingestion. Instead, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin. These include options like shampoos, balms, creams and bath products.

Also unlike edibles and concentrates – or dry herb, for that matter – topicals are more geared toward medicinal users. When treating things like pain or inflammation, it is best to apply the THC or CBD as close to the source as possible. This allows for more effective, targeted relief.

However, the creams can still cause intoxication, so consumers need to be vigilant and start with small doses.

Like with edibles and concentrates, topicals will have a THC limit. In this case, it is 1,000mg per container (hence why slow dosing is important).

 

WeedAdvisor’s Anticipation for an Expanded Market

 

It is a harsh reality that legalization did not turn out to be as successful as people hoped. But the edible market will open a whole new line of products that appeal to a much broader audience, especially those who are uncomfortable with smoking dry herb.

WeedAdvisor expects a much better response following the second wave of legalization. We look forward to offering our business solutions to retailers and producers alike as they enter this uncharted territory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Canadian cannabis industry is being treated like its U.S. counterparts, according to CBC News.

While the SAFE Banking Act makes its way through the legislative process in the U.S., banks remain nervous about involving themselves in the industry.

Initially, this seemed like an American problem, but thanks to their U.S. connections, major Canadian banks are starting to close their doors to cannabis clients, leaving many of them scrambling in a cash-only dilemma.

Dispensary owners south of the border know all-to-well how the situation affects them, carrying massive amounts of cash that makes them prime targets for crime.

Yet despite Canada fully legalizing marijuana, U.S. laws continue to create roadblocks that unfairly affect Canadians.

 

Dispensaries Deemed “High Risk”

 

Thomas H. Clarke owns a small dispensary in his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Up until now, he had a business account with Royal Bank of Canada, which he obtained prior to becoming licensed. Clarke explained to the bank that his business is a “cannabis accessories wholesaler.”

 

But just recently, Clarke received a letter from RBC, stating that his account was being closed due the business being “high risk.”

 

Clarke approached the other five major banks, but was given the same response. None of them want to deal with the cannabis industry.  He told the St. John’s Morning Show:

 

“Most of them are saying that we are not taking cannabis clients right now due to us having dealings with America and America putting pressure on us to not have cannabis industries in our bank.”

 

American Pressure Unwarranted

 

We can forgive big banks for wanting to preserve their images with large U.S. partners, but the fact that American institutions are putting direct pressure on our banks is an injustice.

The U.S. has no right to impose its laws on Canada – something it has been happy to do since legalization. If Canadian companies cannot dictate how American businesses conduct themselves, then it is only fair, from both a legal and moral standpoint, for U.S. organizations to mind their own business.

 

Credit Unions More Receptive

 

Given the circumstances, the best solution is to deal with institutions who have not allowed the U.S. to force its prohibitionist values into their operations. But even then, there is no guarantee.

Located in Labrador City, High North was lucky to secure an account with a credit union at the last moment:

 

“In Labrador West, it was down to the wire. The High North shop in Labrador City also struggled to get a bank on board, and only secured its account with the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union two hours before opening at 4:20 p.m. on legalization day.”

 

Trevor Tobin – who runs the dispensary with his mother, Brenda as a co-owner – shared a similar story about his dealings with major banks. Like Clarke, every large financial institution turned him down.

But now, even the credit union he signed on with is no longer accepting new cannabis clients.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Concern for Future Clients

 

As a Canada-based company with a global presence, WeedAdvisor wants to see its clients treated fairly and afforded the necessary tools to safely conduct business.

The way dispensaries are treated in the U.S. is unsurprising. However, the hypocritical and outdated U.S. federal laws should not have any effect on legitimate businesses in Canada.

Hopefully, future legislation like the SAFE Banking Act will at least reduce the impact of this convoluted legal situation and cause some major banks to revisit their policies.s